Positive Reward Systems that Work

Via E has created two systems, Via Education and Via E Girls, designed to partner with parents to support their efforts to reward and reinforce positive behavior. Via Education pays girls for their “A” papers received in school by giving them discounts to purchase the things they love.  They get their own Via Education account number and with each paper submitted their account earns discounts, or Via E Dollars, that they can draw upon to make their purchases.  Having their own account filled with Via E Dollars creates a positive rewards system and a sense of accomplishment that complements the reward systems in place at school and home, while at the same time, reduces the cost for moms to purchase the toys their girl desires.

Via E Girl is a forum where average girls share their stories of accomplishment and community involvement.  Each girl that applies receives the title of “Via E Girl”, their story and pictures posted on the Via E website (last names and locations are withheld to keep the girls safe), a certificate of achievement, and a free outfit for their dollfriend especially designed to their interests as a gift for sharing their story with other girls.  Every girl is exceptional in her own way.  Via E lifts up each girl so other girls will be inspired to be all they dream to be. The more confidence girls build in their youth, the greater the chance they will not fall to the pressures of social groups that embrace values conflicting with their own.  Via E believes our “average girls” are much better role models fore each other than those provided by today’s media.

We all have established reward systems to help encourage our children to work hard at learning.  We offer up financial rewards for grades achieved, praise and recognition by posting those prized “A” papers on the refrigerator or other special place of recognition, perhaps we take them on a special trip—all in the name of conditioning our children to want to produce excellent work.  This positive reinforcement is a highly successful technique and has proven to be more successful than other forms of behavioral training such as punishments or negative reinforcement techniques.

Burrhus Frederic “B. F.” Skinner, Behavior Scientist 1904 – 1990, did much research in the field of behavioral sciences and provides a foundation for thinking about the tools and techniques that we parents might utilize in our own efforts. In his work, Skinner discussed positive reinforcement as superior to punishment in altering behavior. He maintained that punishment was not only the opposite of positive reinforcement but positive reinforcement results in lasting behavioral modification, whereas punishment changes behavior only temporarily and presents many detrimental side effects[1].

The concept of positive reinforcement may also be applied in a negative way through peer pressure.  The idea here is when the child acts as the peer group wants them to act, they get the approval they desire.  This positive feeling of acceptance can over-ride the short-term costs of punishment in the home for non compliance.  Thus we must work hard to surround our children with social groups and systems that are inline with our own philosophies and moralities.

Via Education and Via E Girls are two positive reinforcement systems designed with a mother’s heart and to give lift to the ambitions and desires of girls everywhere.

More information on reinforcement techniques:






We’re so glad you have taken the time to visit our learning blog.  Each month we will  post new articles written with the heart of mom’s in mind.  Please visit often and join us in creatively solving some of the complexities of raising up girls in today’s world.  We’ll talk about fun things to do, education challenges, world events and how we can help each other in times that seem a bit too uncertain.

We look forward to hearing from you soon!

It’s More Than Just A Doll — The value of doll play

 “O.K. now sit still while I buckle your seat belt.  I love you and want to keep you safe.”  Sally only four years old says kindly to her doll-friend.  Bang, Bang, Bang, startled, Sally’s locks of curly amber colored hair whip around as she quickly looks over her right shoulder.  With his child’s Home Depot hammer in hand and tool belt swung on his slender hips like a modern day home improvement warrior, Sam looks up at his father and says, “Dad can I help you?  I can do it, see…look at me!”

Each of us has stories and memories of our children at play.  It warms our hearts and makes us smile.  But what is play?  We define it as fun, free time where imaginations and energy move in a flurry of laughter and social bonding.  Like a camera zooming into a specific detail, let me take you into playtime and how it is actually the rehearsal of character traits which will determine who your children will ultimately become.

I can give you pages of scientific data espousing the intricacies of how the brain functions, the creation of memories and importance of environmental influences but for the purposes of brevity I’ll instead stick to observations and conclusions that don’t require a PH.D. to understand.  It is accurate to point out that anything repeated over and over again becomes a habit or permanently etched into the brain.  Once there, it can never be removed–only suppressed.

If studies show it takes only six hours of rehearsal to develop the long-term memory of a new motor skill, then consider the hours of play where children repeat behaviors—over and over again through a course of months and years.

Thus our children’s behaviors while at play develop lasting characteristics:  If they engage in constant arguing, they will grow to be combative; constant overpowering of others creates a bully; lack of sharing results in selfishness, etc.  However, a child who nurtures learns how to care for others; expressions of empathy reinforce compassion; and learning to instruct creates leaders.  These latter behaviors are the common observations of girls involved in doll play.   Yes, this “toy” becomes a tool for which we can build compassionate leaders of tomorrow.

Doll play in the early years reflects observed mothering behaviors and is a conduit to express desires for love, friendship and tenderness.  As your little girl grows, the play pattern changes from mothering to peer level friendship and role playing of values learned and observed both inside and outside of the family circle.  The final years of doll play adds crafting and creative works involving sewing, drawing, storytelling and making of play accessories.  Here your daughter’s imagination sores and creativity sets her sole at peace.  All this found in a toy called a doll.

When she looks at her doll, she sees herself.  She sees every woman who loves her, every friend that cares.  These years are magical times of character development–a rehearsal of values that will be tested in years to come.  Today’s girls are pushed to become women before their time.  Doll play offers an environment where wholesome values can become the center of our girl’s lives.

Via E has developed a support structure for moms and girls such that they are exposed to other girls with wholesome values.  We create a rewards system to encourage reading, writing, creativity, social awareness and academic excellence.  Learning is best when learning is fun, so we integrate dolls such that they become more than just a form to dress every now and then, but a tool to rehearse values of compassion, love, caring and social interaction.  Our goal is to excite the imagination and show each girl they can truly make a difference in the world through helping people.  Every time they connect with girls, who exhibit strong values, they are motivated to express their own values and achievements.  By combining forces with moms Via E Girls have both internal and external forces to leverage.  We believe children hold the future and hope to be a part—even a small part—of helping them become all they dare to be.