Celebrating Growing Up
January 9, 2012 ~
Birthdays aren’t the only milestones in a child’s life. Life events—from learning to read to learning to drive—are also huge accomplishments which demonstrate the growth of your child. Although reaching these various milestones can be some of the biggest occasions of the year, they aren’t the only achievements that deserve celebration and recognition. Putting in strong effort and working hard are just as important as the end goal and can be honored in various fun ways that go beyond traditional rewards. Life is, after all, about the journey, not the destination.
Rewarding Hard Work
When your child attempts something big, try to focus on all the effort and dedication that he or she puts into the process of reaching the goal rather than the end result. Reward your child on a weekly or monthly basis for putting in a designated amount of time and effort towards accomplishing his or her goals. Reward dedication and diligence with something tangible, like a coveted pencil set. Acknowledge your child’s perseverance with something as simple as a hug or a personalized certificate of achievement. (You can find a terrific selection of award and certificate templates here.) Whether or not success is achieved, by teaching the value of hard work, you will help your child stay motivated when he or she faces more difficult tasks and challenges in life.
Advancing a Kumon Level
Kumon is specifically designed to have your child start at the point where he or she will be most successful. The learning method uses a systematic and individualized approach that helps students develop a solid command of math and reading skills. As your child builds a strong foundation and masters the content, he or she will progress through the Kumon curriculum. Your child might advance quickly through some levels and more slowly through others. Rewarding hard work along the way will help encourage your child to persevere as the concepts become more challenging.
However long it may take, passing a Kumon level is a noteworthy accomplishment to be celebrated. In addition to telling your child how proud you are of their success, consider rewarding your child with something related to the specific accomplishment. For example, if your child advances to the next level in the Kumon Reading Program, let him or her pick out a new book that was featured in the completed level or which reflects the more advanced learning focus in the new level. Alternatively, you can also reward your child with a fun and educational experience, such as a trip to a science museum or a day exploring nature at an arboretum or national park.
One of the greatest hallmarks of growing up is becoming more mature. Just like life, maturity is a journey and each child will reach this point at different times in his or her life. One could say that we don’t reach maturity; rather, we grow into it.
Whether it is recognizing that someone is in need and lending a hand, admitting rather than denying mistakes, or solving a tough problem on one’s own, maturity comes in many forms and is a true sign that your child is growing into a well-rounded and caring individual. To help guide your child along the path towards a happy adulthood, recognize when he or she demonstrates desirable, mature qualities. Simply having a conversation with your child about how proud you are of his or her actions can go a long way towards encouraging mature behaviors and inspiring growth.
Nothing can affect a child’s path in life more than a parent’s love and support. With all the challenges and changes that are experienced while growing up, a combination of positive reinforcement, rewarding your child for hard work, praising academic accomplishments and commending personal growth will help your child as he or she learns to face life’s challenges head on. As your child learns and grows, take a moment to recognize the amazing capacity of human development and express your pride and love for all that your child can and will do so that they can become the best that they can be.