29 ways to celebrate and reward your child’s achievements

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.

  1. Praise them from an early age.  I have charts for mine, age 6 and even 21 months!
  2. 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!
  3. 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

  1. I’ve always thought a new charm for a bracelet was a lovely way to celebrate achievement. @ToybuzzUK
  2. Praise and congratulations as well as maybe a little gift or something wanted from Disney!
  3. My two-year-old mastered cycling without stabilisers and was rewarded with high fives and a new bell.

Plan days out

  1. For good school reports the boys have tickets to go and watch a football match with Daddy! @stressymummy
  2. Rewards such as a bike ride, a trip to the park etc.  It doesn’t always have to cost money. @playfullearners
  3. 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

  1. We celebrate with little tea parties and cupcakes with candles. @dancer 2712
  2. We have celebratory picnics too even though we would have gone anyway.
  3. We go out for pop and ice cream to celebrate brilliant school results.

Display your mother’s pride

  1. We always put art on the walls and I have a lot of stuff they made when they were little.
  2. 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
  3. 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

  1. I try and do videos to share with Granny and Grandad who do not live nearby
  2. We always call Grandpa in California with special news! @AModernMother

Getting noticed at nursery and school is a motivator

  1. Our school is good at recognising the smaller things children achieve and they always get a special mention in assembly.
  2. Headteacher took my son out for fish and chips for doing a good scrapbook. @kateonthinice
  3. 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

  1. It’s lovely when the twins race each other and scream at the end: we won.
  2. I do very little except that I tell them I love them every single day J @Fishwifemark2
  3. Your attention tells them this is important and you are valued @jhowze
  4. 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

  1. Since my children were babies I’ve always rewarded them with my celebration dance. 
  2. I’m forever crying with pride, that’s just part of being a mum @ClaireLouise82

Remind them it’s not always about winning

  1. We’re proud when they try their best, no matter where they finish. @Penwizard
  2. It’s not all about sports or being first, being helpful and kind should be something we support every day. @caro_mad
  3. Teaching children to never give up on their dreams and encouraging them with whatever they do is how I live. @ClaireLouise82

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29 innovative ways to celebrate your child's achievements
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3 Comments

  1. 24 July 2012 / 15:20

    Great idea for an article. Very interesting!

  2. 12 September 2012 / 12:01

    I’m not really big on giving rewards because my two are still quite small (2 years and 10 months). However, a loud cheer and clapping makes my older girl beam with pride and lots of bouncing and clapping from me and his older sister, makes my little boys’ day.

    This post is fantastic and the comment of the twins’ mum saying that her two both shout: We won! is possibly the cutest thing that I read all day. Thank you!

    Martha

  3. 03 November 2020 / 11:09

    For me, a celebration of achievements is a big part of personal development, then your kid feels the importance of his done work.