Three Ways to Celebrate Positive Progress

Parent and child celebrate positive progress

Don’t forget to celebrate positive progress when you spot it. It’s great when you see positive improvements in your family life. Perhaps you’ve noticed your child seems happier or calmer? Maybe you’re proud that they’ve overcome a particular struggle. 

It’s important to celebrate these changes and explore the reasons why they might have happened.

1: Celebrating success

Sometimes we get hung up on the big changes we want to achieve, and don’t notice the little steps of progress our children are making. Spotting and celebrating these small stages of progress is a great way to boost your child’s confidence and encourage them to keep going.

If you notice a small positive change, tell your child about what you’ve seen. Praise them specifically, so they know what it is you’re pleased to see.

For example:

  • Instead of using “well done,” you could say, “I like the way you’re sharing with your sister.”
  • “Good work,” becomes, “I’m noticing you’re trying hard with your homework.”

Avoid adding on the things they still need to improve or doubting that these positive changes will last. Stay focused on what they’re doing well and shift your attention to the great things they’re doing rather than problems.

Positive happy children jumping on bed

2: Rewards to celebrate positive progress

To celebrate positive progress you don’t need rewards, treats, or presents, although some parents may choose to use a reward system or sticker chart to help their child measure their progress. 

If you do want to reward your child, the best prizes are time-based, where they get to do something they enjoy with you and have your full attention.

Simple ideas for rewards:

  • Crafting or construction time together
  • A game of their favourite sport
  • Going to a park to play together
  • A card or letter to your child telling them why you’re proud of them
  • Making them their favourite dinner
  • Letting them choose a movie

You may choose to give your child a small reward to celebrate their success, but avoid turning it into a bribe to encourage future good behaviour. This can lead to them expecting a reward every time they do anything positive. 

3: Finding reasons behind the positive progress

Children grow out of many challenging behaviours, like having tantrums, naturally over time. However, some problems change because of something you’ve done. Finding the reason behind the improvement can help you keep making progress.

There could be many reasons behind changes to their behaviour:

  • Having a consistent routine at bedtimes
  • Spotting warning signs before a problem happens
  • Helping your child self-regulate with calming activities
  • Being consistent with your expectations
  • Changing meal times to avoid them getting too hungry
  • Focusing on the positives and specifically praising good choices

If you’re noticing a positive change, think about the reasons behind it. What is making the difference? You could talk to your child about what you’ve noticed to help them understand the progress they’re making. 


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