Do you reward your children for achievements, and if so, which ones?
As with most parenting issues, I veer from being 100% certain that I’ve got it sussed, and realising I have precisely zero idea what’s the right thing to do.
I want to motivate and recognise when Flea has worked hard. I don’t want to create a monster who is so spoiled she won’t do anything without my dangling a carrot (or a Jack Wills sweater) in front of her.
This past few months, Flea’s worked really hard at school.
Last week, she came home and told me she’s taken a fitness test at school, and moved up 10 levels from where she ranked when she took the same test in September. She’s also been promoted from the hockey B team to the A team.
I’m so proud of Flea.
She came from a primary school where sport was very much the preserve of “sporty” kids. Even the after-school clubs were selective. And Flea definitely wasn’t one of the kids who was selected (don’t get me started on this particular issue, I might still be ranting this time next week).
Academically she’s been working hard. After flunking a maths test badly last term, she’s pulled her socks up and scored a great mark in her maths assessment this term. In history, she managed to score full marks in one test, and only missed one question in the second. She’d gone into school early to study in the library to make sure she was prepared.
I feel like I want to recognise these achievements – and the fact that Flea has worked hard to get them is just as important.
She might still not be the fittest kid in her class, but she’s made a huge improvement against her own previous performance, which surely counts for a lot?
On the other hand, I want Flea to feel that working hard at school is what she should be aiming for all the time. That success is its own reward.
I’d love to know from other parents – how do you reward you kids for strong results and achievements? Do you have a sliding scale? Do you focus on effort, or achievement?
Is a sincere, “Well done – I’m proud of you,” reward enough?