It’s important to reward children’s achievements, big and small, in a way that keeps them motivated. But rewards must be appropriate (and affordable!) to be effective. We asked parents about their reward systems for children. (It was inspired by the P&G videos about athletes and their parents.) Are you looking for new reward ideas for your children?
Here are some heart-warming ways parents told us that celebrate achievements in their families. Get ideas and add your own in the comments section!
Employ stickers and reward charts
Yes these are a known quantity — that’s because they work! Here are some tips on how to use stickers and charts effectively.
- Praise them from an early age. I have charts for mine, age 6 and even 21 months!
- Make placing the stickers a ceremony and talk about them as a family. Knowing mum and dad are impressed by your sticker haul is motivating for any child!
- Don’t forget everyday achievements and keep your charts in a visible place. This not only helps create good habits, it keeps sticker-earning top of mind for children.
Occasional gifts highlight big goals
- I’ve always thought a new charm for a bracelet was a lovely way to celebrate achievement. @ToybuzzUK
- Praise and congratulations as well as maybe a little gift or something wanted from Disney!
- My two-year-old mastered cycling without stabilisers and was rewarded with high fives and a new bell.
Plan days out
- For good school reports the boys have tickets to go and watch a football match with Daddy! @stressymummy
- Rewards such as a bike ride, a trip to the park etc. It doesn’t always have to cost money. @playfullearners
- Plan big outings for bigger achievements: I must say I think I enjoyed Chessington as much as they did but had to keep saying they’d earned it! @mummyratesit
Celebrate with food
- We celebrate with little tea parties and cupcakes with candles. @dancer 2712
- We have celebratory picnics too even though we would have gone anyway.
- We go out for pop and ice cream to celebrate brilliant school results.
Display your mother’s pride
- We always put art on the walls and I have a lot of stuff they made when they were little.
- 5-year-old son doesn’t love lots of praise (so does not take after me!) but thumbs up, a big smile and he is over the moon. @Mid30sLife
- Even though I didn’t win the Mummy’s race at Sports Day, Ella cheered me anyway! I was proud to do it for her. @cafebebe
Make it a family affair
- I try and do videos to share with Granny and Grandad who do not live nearby
- We always call Grandpa in California with special news! @AModernMother
Getting noticed at nursery and school is a motivator
- Our school is good at recognising the smaller things children achieve and they always get a special mention in assembly.
- Headteacher took my son out for fish and chips for doing a good scrapbook. @kateonthinice
- My Special Needs son loves getting certificates in Assembly so his teacher uses this to encourage him to be good
The simple acknowledgements are important too
- It’s lovely when the twins race each other and scream at the end: we won.
- I do very little except that I tell them I love them every single day J @Fishwifemark2
- Your attention tells them this is important and you are valued @jhowze
- I print loads of photos! So the boys are reminded of the great things they have done all round the house! @capturebylucy
Things we can do just because we’re mums
- Since my children were babies I’ve always rewarded them with my celebration dance.
- I’m forever crying with pride, that’s just part of being a mum @ClaireLouise82
Remind them it’s not always about winning
- We’re proud when they try their best, no matter where they finish. @Penwizard
- It’s not all about sports or being first, being helpful and kind should be something we support every day. @caro_mad
- Teaching children to never give up on their dreams and encouraging them with whatever they do is how I live. @ClaireLouise82