It’s no secret that children thrive on praise. It is an immediate boost to self-confidence and praise is a great motivator. The highest reward for good grades is praise. When a child does well in school praise is a way of encouraging them to “keep up the great work” and it helps assure them that their hard work is worth the effort.
From day one in kindergarten it is essential for parents to encourage good grades and hard work in school. Let the child know early on that working hard in school is expected of them but being rewarded for good grades is a benefit of their hard work. Giving praise to a child for a job well done is seen as something worth striving for.
As a former reading tutor for kindergarten students, I would often praise my students with a heartfelt hug and a “great job,” which the kids loved. I also saw many eyes light up when given a cute sticker for doing well on their reading assignments. After earning five stickers the student was then able to choose from an assortment of pencils, erasers or crayons as their “great achievement” reward. It was a perfect motivator for the children to want to do their reading—everyone wanted their pencil on Friday!
As parents, your reward doesn’t have to be an object or money but can simply be genuine praise. Kids loved to be praised and to hear mommy and daddy tell them they did well contributes to the emotional and psychological wellbeing of a developing child. Know the difference between genuine praise and excessive flattery, though, as you don’t want to create a false ego or bravado in your child.
If your child’s grades are not up to par help them by working with them on a daily basis. The greatest gift you can give to your child is your time. If your child is struggling with a particular subject be sure to review the schoolwork with them each night and help answer questions—but never do the work for them!
As your struggling child advances in school you may find that you are no longer able to help them. Speak with the teacher about possible in-school tutoring that may be available. Nothing is more debilitating to a child than struggling in the classroom so getting help early will benefit your child the rest of their school career.
Praise a struggling child as you see their work improving as it is a wonderful incentive to keep striving for better results. Praising a child for achieving a goal does wonders for their self-esteem and they’ll want to do it again and again. If the child falls short, encourage them to keep trying. Don’t get frustrated but be supportive and praise those baby-steps in the right direction.
Rewarding a child with praise is an incentive for them to set goals and strive to achieve those goals. Your child will see that an achieved goal brings about pride and satisfaction in their own accomplishment. This alone is motivation enough to always strive to do well.
LaDene Mayville is the author of
Hallie the Harvester Ant
She is a freelance writer and has three grown sons.
Photo credit © Les3photo8