From Praise to Rewards: Strategies for Boosting Child Motivation and Inspiration

As parents, one of our primary goals is to instill in our children a sense of self-esteem and motivation. We want our children to believe in themselves and their abilities, so they can confidently pursue their dreams and achieve their goals. However, in today’s digital age, it can be challenging to maintain our children’s motivation and keep them focused on their goals. Video games and the internet can be highly distracting, and many children may feel discouraged or overwhelmed when faced with academic challenges.

Child motivation

Fortunately, there are several effective strategies that parents can use to motivate their children and help them develop a strong sense of self-esteem. In this article, we’ll explore some essential tips for fostering child motivation and building healthy self-esteem in our children.

Praise Your Child’s Accomplishments

Praising your child’s accomplishments is a simple yet powerful way to motivate them. Whether it’s completing a challenging homework assignment or achieving a personal goal, acknowledging their efforts and expressing pride in their accomplishments can boost their confidence and inspire them to keep striving for success.

Positive reinforcement is a vital tool for building your child’s self-esteem, and it can have a long-lasting impact on their motivation and enthusiasm for learning. So take the time to recognize and celebrate your child’s achievements, no matter how big or small, and watch as they become more engaged and motivated in all areas of their life.

Celebrate Small Achievements

It’s not just the big wins that count in your child’s life, but the small ones too. It’s important to acknowledge and celebrate every step of progress your child makes, no matter how small it may seem. These small achievements can be just as motivating as the major ones and can help build your child’s confidence to take on bigger challenges. So, make sure to take the time to acknowledge and celebrate those little victories, as they can go a long way in boosting your child’s self-esteem and motivation.

One way to celebrate small achievements is by creating a reward system. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive, just something to acknowledge their success. You could take them out for ice cream, give them a small gift, or spend some quality time with them doing an activity they enjoy. By doing this, you are showing your child that their hard work is valued and appreciated, which will encourage them to continue making progress in the future.

“The goal of parenting is to create independent adults who can function well in the world. The goal of childhood is to enjoy and explore the world around them.” – Lawrence J. Cohen

Display Your Child’s Work

By showcasing your child’s work, you are demonstrating your appreciation and respect for their hard work and efforts. This can help boost their confidence and give them a sense of pride in their accomplishments. Moreover, displaying their work can motivate them to take more responsibility and control over their work. You can choose to exhibit their work in a noticeable spot, like the refrigerator or a bulletin board in their room, to further emphasize the importance of their achievements.

When you display your child’s work, you send a message that their work is important and valued. It can also be an opportunity for your child to share their achievements with others and feel proud of their hard work. You may also notice that displaying their work can be a conversation starter for your child, as others may ask them about their project or drawing, which can help them develop their social skills and confidence in communicating with others.

Talk to Your Child Daily

Regular communication and active listening are critical for boosting child motivation and inspiration. When parents take the time to talk to their children every day, it can help establish trust and foster a deeper connection with them. By showing an interest in their child’s life, parents can also help their child develop a sense of value and worth, which can have a positive impact on their overall self-esteem.

In addition to regular conversations, it’s important to ask your child about their interests and hobbies. Encourage your child to pursue their passions and provide them with opportunities to explore their talents. When your child shares their challenges or struggles, it’s essential to provide them with encouragement and support. Remind them that setbacks and failures are a natural part of life and that they can learn from their mistakes and continue to grow and improve. By being a source of comfort and guidance for your child, you can help them develop the resilience and perseverance needed to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals.

Reward Your Child’s Achievements

When it comes to motivating your child, rewards can be an effective strategy. By providing a reward for their accomplishments, you are acknowledging their hard work and showing them that you appreciate their efforts. This can be particularly effective for children who may struggle with self-motivation.

“Motivating kids is like planting a garden, you gotta give them the right environment and plenty of sunshine to grow.”

However, it’s essential to use rewards wisely and not overdo it. Providing a reward for every accomplishment can lead to entitlement and an overemphasis on material goods. It’s important to choose rewards that are meaningful but not excessive. For example, taking your child out for ice cream or planning a special outing can be a great way to acknowledge their achievements without breaking the bank. Additionally, you can choose to reward your child with non-material things, such as extra playtime or a special activity with a parent or friend. By using rewards strategically, you can help build your child’s motivation and encourage them to continue working hard towards their goals.

Stay Positive

Staying positive is key when it comes to motivating your child. Instead of dwelling on your child’s weaknesses or failures, it’s crucial to focus on their strengths and achievements. By giving your child positive feedback, you can help them build a strong sense of self-esteem and confidence, which can inspire them to keep striving for success.

It’s also important to remember that children are naturally curious and experimental, which means they will make mistakes along the way. Rather than getting frustrated or angry when they fail, try to use those moments as opportunities for growth and learning. Help your child see that failures are just temporary setbacks and that they can learn valuable lessons from their mistakes. By staying positive and encouraging your child, you can help them develop resilience and a growth mindset that will serve them well throughout their lives.

Focus on Their Passions

Encouraging children to pursue their passions and interests can be a powerful motivation strategy. Children are more likely to stay motivated and engaged when they are exploring subjects they find interesting and enjoyable. As a parent, you can help your child find ways to integrate their hobbies and interests into their academic pursuits, such as incorporating their love of animals into science projects or using their artistic skills to enhance their writing assignments.

When children are pursuing their passions, they are more likely to feel a sense of purpose and fulfillment, which can translate into greater success in school and other areas of their lives. By supporting your child’s interests, you can also help them develop important skills and knowledge that they can use later in life. So, if your child is passionate about music, encourage them to join the school band or sign up for music lessons. Or, if your child is interested in robotics, help them research local robotics clubs or competitions they can participate in.

Encourage Them to Set Goals

Motivating and building your child’s confidence can be fostered by encouraging them to set achievable goals. This can give them a sense of direction and purpose, and help them remain focused and motivated to reach their desired outcomes. As a parent, you can play an active role in supporting your child by helping them to identify their goals, breaking them down into smaller, attainable steps, and creating a plan to achieve them.

“Children are not things to be molded, but are people to be unfolded.” – Jess Lair

By helping your child set realistic goals, you can empower them to take control of their academic or personal pursuits, which can contribute to their sense of self-efficacy and resilience. As they progress towards their goals, it can provide them with a sense of accomplishment and pride, further fueling their motivation and confidence. Remember to provide positive reinforcement and support along the way to help them stay on track and maintain their motivation.


In conclusion, motivating your child and building their self-esteem is essential for their overall well-being and success in life. As a parent, you play a crucial role in shaping your child’s mindset and helping them develop a positive outlook on themselves and their abilities. By using the tips and strategies outlined in this article, you can help your child stay motivated, focused, and confident in themselves and their abilities. Remember to provide consistent positive reinforcement, celebrate their accomplishments, and communicate with them regularly to understand their needs and challenges. With your help and support, your child can develop a strong sense of self-worth and the motivation to achieve their dreams and goals.