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We’ve always known we have a smart kid. He speaks his mind, he picks up words fast and understands instructions easily; he’s inquisitive and he enjoys learning new things. So when the school administrator sent us a letter informing us that he’s one of the honor students in his class and that there will be a recognition ceremony, we were, of course thrilled.
I don’t know if Kai’s aware of the joy he brought to us for being part of the top 3 honor students in school. He was once the scared kid who had separation anxiety during the first week of summer class, but he’s become the confident preschooler who enjoys being in school. Maybe he doesn’t care or he’s too young to care. We know if he does because he won’t stop blabbing about it. We also didn’t shower him with verbal praises but we did tell him we were happy and proud of him for doing good in school. And I think he doesn’t care because the look on his face says, “mreh.” Lol
But this achievement, whether he realizes it or not, is always a parent’s joy and source of pride. Some parents are too excited about their kid’s accomplishment they’d shower them with gifts. Others prefer to take their kids out for a date or take them to their favorite place. Whatever the case, good behavior is always deserving of praise and acknowledgment, all the more if you never asked your kid to do it in the first place.
Here are 5 ways you can celebrate and acknowledge your kid’s good performance in school
1. Take him out on a date – Your kid will have that one favorite place to go to. I know Kai’s is an indoor playground. A good reward for us is also taking him out for an adventure because he likes it – especially if it involves the beach.
2. Verbal acknowledgment – A simple “I’m proud of you,” or even a “Yay” for will be enough for some parents, and it works for their kids as well, especially if you make it clear why you said those words. Kids like it if their parents are happy so, show them that you are.
Tip: Do not overuse those congratulatory phrases. Here’s a beautiful article by Amanda Elder found at Mother.ly on how to say praises with meaning rather than drown your kids with empty ones.
3. Food – This family loves food. Kai is not a picky eater and he eats whatever is on the table for the adults. But when it comes to good deeds, food is a great reward – a reward we’re more than willing to have him indulge in (haha!) Most Filipino families have Jollibee to depend on. Come on, kids love Jollibee. So yeah, it’s one of Kai’s favorites too. You can also make some sweet treats. In my case, I’m sure our boy would love these no-bake munchkins. Giving your kid his favorite treats as a reward is a great way to recognize his effort.
4. Quality time with you – kids would be better off spending quality time with you than getting the most expensive toy he can get his hands on. Quality time doesn’t have to be planned out too much. A spontaneous road trip would be a good idea. In Kai’s case, he likes cuddling and goofing around, that there are times he’d really ask me to drop everything and just cuddle. A movie night is also an awesome way to bond with your kid.
5. Toys and material things- We try not to overindulge in toys as much as possible (except maybe when it involves Avengers/Marvel toys haha, because… well, I’m also a fan lol!). We don’t buy toys much to give as a reward, but when we do, we like to go for educational ones like toy insects or even building blocks. If not, a drawing book, coloring book and a box of crayons always work.
Some will argue that rewarding can have negative consequences in the long run. Others believe that parents should always reward the good for positive reinforcement and punish the bad. Personally, I just like to have a balance of both. I don’t like to give a reward EACH time there’s a good deed done. I want rewards to be spontaneous and not an incentive. And of course, I believe in being kind and genuinely showing your kid that you appreciate their good deeds.
We never asked Kai or pressure him to do great in school – heck, he’s just in preschool. But I know I will be that parent who’ll get involved in his little boy’s academics when he gets older, motivating him to do well in school and give the best that he can – without pressure. The most important thing here is to recognize his effort in whatever he does.
What went down
Because this blog is dedicated to our boy, I’d just like to share what happened and remember this moment. So, we didn’t know beforehand his rank in class since the teacher said it would be a surprise. We’ve been waiting for his name to be called on stage, but when two students from his class were called first, my heart was pumping hard. That’s when we realized he was ranked first in class.
So this is what it feels like to be a proud parent.
So yeah, we’ll be heading to the mall later to buy him one ream of newsprint so he can draw and color all he wants. And maybe some ice cream. 😊
Do you reward your kids for good grades and good behavior? How do you celebrate or acknowledge your kid’s good deeds and accomplishments? Share them in the comments below.