Reading time: 3 minutes
Suitable for: Families of primary-age children
Don’t forget to celebrate positive progress when you spot it. It’s great when you see positive improvements in your family life.
Perhaps you’ve noticed your child seems happier or calmer? Maybe you’re proud that they’ve overcome a particular struggle.
It’s important to celebrate these changes and explore the reasons why they might have happened.
1: Celebrating success
Sometimes we get hung up on the big changes we want to achieve, and don’t notice the little steps of progress our children are making.
Spotting and celebrating these small stages of progress is a great way to boost your child’s confidence and encourage them to keep going.
If you notice a small positive change, tell your child about what you’ve seen. Praise them specifically, so they know what it is you’re pleased to see.
- Instead of using “well done,” you could say, “I like the way you’re sharing with your sister.”
- “Good work,” becomes, “I’m noticing you’re trying hard with your homework.”
Avoid adding on the things they still need to improve or doubting that these positive changes will last.
Stay focused on what they’re doing well and shift your attention to the great things they’re doing rather than problems.
2: Rewards to celebrate positive progress
To celebrate positive progress you don’t need rewards, treats, or presents, although some parents may choose to use a reward system or sticker chart to help their child measure their progress.
If you do want to reward your child, the best prizes are time-based, where they get to do something they enjoy with you and have your full attention.
Simple ideas for rewards:
- Crafting or construction time together
- A game of their favourite sport
- Going to a park to play together
- A card or letter to your child telling them why you’re proud of them
- Making them their favourite dinner
- Letting them choose a movie
You may choose to give your child a small reward to celebrate their success, but avoid turning it into a bribe to encourage future good behaviour. This can lead to them expecting a reward every time they do anything positive.
3: Finding reasons behind the positive progress
Children grow out of many challenging behaviours, like having tantrums, naturally over time. However, some problems change because of something you’ve done.
Finding the reason behind the improvement can help you keep making progress.
There could be many reasons behind changes to their behaviour:
- Having a consistent routine at bedtimes
- Spotting the warning signs before a problem happens
- Helping your child calm down with calming activities
- Being consistent with your expectations
- Changing meal times to avoid them getting too hungry
- Focusing on the positives and specifically praising good choices
If you’re noticing a positive change, think about the reasons behind it. What is making the difference?
You could talk to your child about what you’ve noticed to help them understand the progress they’re making.
We know parenting can be tough.
Our regular webinars and parenting classes can help you better understand your child’s emotions so you can keep making positive progress.
We’ll explore the behaviours you’re experiencing and give you practical ideas you can try at home to reduce arguments and family conflict. Browse our upcoming events.