Most parents are in the habit of rewarding children with material things like candies. Although for small children such rewards are necessary in teaching them proper behavior etc., it is still wise if we try to reward children with things of greater spiritual value. Then they learn to appreciate spiritual matters, give importance to that and not feel they need to comfort themselves or reward themselves with materialism, even as they grow older. What we see in western society is that even adults feel they deserve a treat, or chocolates, or extra cake etc. if they need comfort or to validate their self worth. This comes from childhood. If we train our children when they are young to value more important matters and to feel self worth by doing good, by giving charity, by helping someone, then we are succeeding in raising a generation of children who have consideration for others and learn to think of others. If a child is raised to feel that their parents and grandparents are proud of them for doing good, this is the greatest reward, far better than a candy or toy.
In previous generations, most children lived with or near their grandparents and extended family and used to help them out. This is healthy for children. Nowadays, many children grow up self centered, wanting to get whatever they want, looking up to more toys, more treats, more material possessions, a better cell phone, a better ipad etc. We need to change this mentality.
Unfortunately, this is a reflection of the society we live in: a society run by the drive for money, materialism, capitalism etc. This mentality is not healthy. It breeds separation, selfishness and a struggle for power.
But society begins at home…..the way we bring up our children. That is what forms our society later.