Right now we are at the stage where my daughter thinks that every small accomplishment justifies a "treat". If it were up to her, every treat would be candy. Thankfully she also accepts being able to watch a show, or have mama read her a book, or my favorite, a sticker.
I really like stickers for a few reasons. First of all, they are fast. I can pull out the sticker book give her a reward and continue on with the task that I really want to be doing with them. She is happy because she gets to see the sticker and it reminds her of her good behavior.
I love that there are no calories in stickers. I really struggle with a balanced diet for myself and work very hard to teach my girls better eating habits. Although it works, and I do provide the occasional reward of candy, I don't want her to get a bunch of empty calories every time that she does something well.
I am also a big fan of positive reinforcement. I absolutely believe that you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. I know that I get better results and decrease my chances of a melt down (from both of us) if I praise my daughter when she does things right, instead of yelling at her for negative behaviors. The other component of positive reinforcement that people often forget about is that you have to work at it. You have to provide praise throughout the day, not just once. Kids are easily distracted and they remember your last action. So we need to make sure that we are giving lots of praise so that the last thing that they remember is the praise and not the time that you had to correct their behavior.
I really like the stickers because they are a good reminder that just like the stickers fall off and are forgotten as the day goes on that our praise is also forgotten as the day goes on and kids need lots of positive reinforcement for things to stick with them. My daughter does not get a sticker for every good thing that she does, but if I don't see a sticker on her, it is a good reminder that it is time to dole out some praise.
Of course you can over due it.
This little girl must have had a REALLY good day.