Loading

Making Positive Changes

Keeping Motivated

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.

Dive Deeper

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 do not have to cost money.
  • They should not be based around unhealthy foods or any other behaviours you are trying to change.
  • A reward is planned ahead with your child.

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.

Goals

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;

  • Putting a piece of dried pasta / cotton wool ball in a small jar.
  • Make ‘fake’ money that they can ‘save’ to exchange for agreed rewards.
  • Make a flower that they can add ‘post-it’ achievement petals to.
  • Draw a ladder – move a cut out photo or drawing of your child up the ladder towards their goal. You could have the whole family climbing the ladder!

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.

Reward Ideas

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;

  • Time with your child when other family members are not around.
  • Read a book together – choose a new one from the library or charity shop.
  • Let them choose what’s for dinner and cook it together.
  • Choose a film to watch together.
  • Put them in charge - let your child be the parent and choose where you go, what you do, eat, watch and even go to bed!
  • They choose the music in the car or the house.
  • Agree to a sleepover.
  • Do arts and crafts together – stickers, glitter paints, slime – get creative as a family.
  • Extra freedoms – reward their good decisions by letting them do something you feel they are ready for
  • Go for a family bike ride.
  • Plan a day out together. You could visit a museum or the beach.

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!

  • Make praise specific ‘it was great that you chose to walk home today instead of getting the bus – you are so much more active recently’.
  • They can use electronic devices to measure progress – maybe an app that records activity.
  • A family most ‘steps a day’ competition can work well.

Plan together how and when you will celebrate their success.

Who can Help?

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.

Log In / Create An Account

Forgot password?

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Was This Page Helpful

Latest from Twitter

You can also search on https://t.co/2HHJNVBx8P for useful health advice for your child/young person! 👨‍💻 https://t.co/Rfw7rWRyW2
NorfolkCYP, 09 August 2022
@SouthNorfolkYAB @BroadlandYAB @YabBreckland @NNYAB7 @NorthNorfolkYAB @YABNwch @YABWestNorfolk @GtYarmouthYAB
NorfolkCYP, 09 August 2022
If your child turns two before 31st August, you may be eligible for 15 hours of funded childcare and education per… https://t.co/Icso83Tkc6
NorfolkCYP, 09 August 2022
RT @ECFSNorfolk: 1 WEEK TO GO! There's still plenty of time to book your free place on our Getting Ready for School online information sess…
NorfolkCYP, 09 August 2022
RT @ccs_nhst: ⭐ Too good not to share! @CambsPboroICS has been shortlisted for an #HSJAwards for the #VaccinatorsOnTour campaign🥳 Proud to…
NorfolkCYP, 08 August 2022
We need young people to vote for their favourite name for the new young person's self-care website! Please share wi… https://t.co/DkiTk6Br6J
NorfolkCYP, 08 August 2022
👾👽 Does your 7 - 12 year old have a lot of worries? Or struggle with anxiety? The Lumi Nova app can help them! It's… https://t.co/JVqBwrQzp7
NorfolkCYP, 08 August 2022
RT @NorfolkCC: Summer is the perfect time for ‘grass gazing’. Lie on your back and gaze at the sky, listen for aeroplanes & helicopters and…
NorfolkCYP, 08 August 2022
Is your child starting school this September? Join our interactive session co-hosted with Early Childhood and Famil… https://t.co/daReWBZETb
NorfolkCYP, 08 August 2022
📞 Don't forget Just One Number is open 9am - 1pm today for all of your child health and development queries! 0300 3… https://t.co/pzYRauIrmB
NorfolkCYP, 06 August 2022