Supporting and encouraging each other as a family is important. Even with encouragement it can sometimes feel hard to keep going.
Being positive about your child or family's efforts to do their best and make healthy lifestyle choices can make all the difference to their success. It takes time to get used to new ways of doing things.
Rewards can help to encourage and motivate effort and progress.
How Does It Work?
When your child is trying it is important to show them that you have noticed their efforts. You can do this through praise and reward. This can help them focus on their goal.
Remember - you are rewarding effort and progress, not perfection.
What works as a reward will be different for every family - get everyone involved to think of ideas.
Rewards helps children to understand that making good choices builds towards good things and makes them feel proud. Sometimes your child might struggle to keep on track but it is important that rewards already earned are never taken away. Help your child understand that it is normal to have mistakes and wobbles. The important thing is to move on and try again.
Rewards can be very simple. Praising, thanking or hugging for positive behaviours are a great place to start. Praise helps to build self-esteem and encourages us to keep going and try our best. Your time and attention is very powerful reward for children and young people.
Remember, rewards are not about bribing or discipline. A bribe often happens in the moment to try and deal with unwanted behaviour.
It is important to help your child see they are getting closer to their goal. This can be as simple as a colourful tick or star chart on the fridge. Your child could mark every time they do 10 minutes exercise – when they have done 30 minutes of exercise, 3 days in a row, they could get their reward.
Other ways children might see they are getting close to a reward are;
Rewards allow children to see their progress is valued. Rewards are a way of showing pride in their efforts and making children believe in themselves.
You may already have some ideas and your child will probably enjoy coming up with some too. Rewards don't have to cost lots of money.
You could try;
Rewarding Older Children
Older children will still enjoy working towards a goal and being rewarded. They may want their efforts recognised in different ways.
Don’t forget to give them praise – they will like it even if they pretend they don’t!
Plan together how and when you will celebrate their success.
If you are really struggling to make changes and would like some support, you can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520 631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.
If you are 11-19 you can text ChatHealth on 07480 635060 for confidential advice from one of our team.
To speak to other Norfolk parents and carers, you can join our online community forum below.