awards for children

Rewarding Children in School with Plaques and Other Gifts: How and When?

by Presenta Plaque | on Nov 18, 2013 | No Comments

Recently there has been much speculation on the topic of the effectiveness of rewarding children in school environments with treats and awards. Surprisingly, some researchers now believe that rewarding kids for good behavior and other small classroom tasks isn’t the best way to encourage children.

Some research shows that giving kids small rewards to motivate them can become habitual and perhaps even lose importance in a child’s eyes. Children may come to expect rewards for duties that are expected of them such as doing their homework, paying attention or coming to class prepared. Often kids may think that since other children are being rewarded for these things, it must mean they are a favorite or the same is not expected of them.

It is important to set a bar for kids in classrooms and clearly distinguish from what is expected of them and what going above and beyond means. While rewards and recognition may have different effects among children and adults, one if the most important and valued benefits of being acknowledged is the feeling of achievement and the desire to work towards more.

In the classroom, it is important to establish that hard work and that extra effort can and will be recognized in time.

Recognizing children for their hard work at the end of a year with rewards such as a party can give them something to want to work toward in order to reap the prize at the end. In turn, working long-term toward a bigger prize can get children into the habit of remaining focused and working hard, even when there isn’t a sticker or candy awaiting them in the next few hours.

Plaques can be also be a great way to reward children as their permanence can mean a great deal to a child who is normally accustomed to receiving small and temporary incentives. An award plaque can be something they feel incredibly proud of and excited to share with family and friends. For other children, seeing this type of recognition and approval from adults can inspire them to want to achieve that and beyond.

Recognizing a child’s efforts can mean the world to them and, above all, it is important to help reinforce these values and behaviors in them. Whether they have received a reward or not, children seek approval and that is the best way to help them reach for even greater achievements

Certificates of Attendance—A Better Way to Reward Children’s Dedication

by Presenta Plaque | on Jun 07, 2013 | No Comments

Every parent knows the symptoms (runny nose, fever, coughing, chills) that can keep a child feeling miserable for a day or two. But should you keep the child home or give him some Motrin and send him to school anyway? Many kids ask to go to school even if they’re not feeling well because they want to earn a Certificate of Attendance. In other words, in many schools, if kids attend school every day for the entire year, they are rewarded.

Award plaques provide students something tangible to proudly display at home. This is a good thing, right? Not always, especially if kids are going to school while contagious. Some argue that Certificates of Attendance encourage the spread of disease in schools, but that is not the real issue; it is the all-or-nothing mentality that surrounds attendance goals.

Avoiding all illness is impossible, and students shouldn’t feel like they lost a competition just because they caught pink eye.  Being at school every day, regardless of illness, is unrealistic and teaches children to make their health a low priority. The best solution is for schools to keep giving award certificates but scratch that all-or-nothing mindset. Kids should be awarded for generally high attendance or improved attendance. This way a child who is sick at the beginning of the school year will not be discouraged because he or she has no chance at winning the award.

So why is attendance such a big deal? Starting as early as kindergarten, attendance patterns have far-reaching consequences and can predict a student’s success. When students are absent frequently they fall behind in academics. Those students are more likely to cause problems in their communities and run into trouble with the law. Additionally, some schools set their budgets based on average daily attendance. When poor attendance becomes the norm, some schools lose the ability to fund essential classroom needs.

For these reasons, early intervention is important. Award plaques are positive tools to better ensure a bright future for children, but there needs to be exceptions for illness, family emergencies, and other unexpected events. Let’s keep high attendance a priority without alienating the kids who experience events out of their control. We can eliminate the all-or-nothing approach, and make Certificates of Attendance a meaningful prize every student wants to earn in a healthier manner.  Share this blog with your school’s administration and other parents to implement attendance awards the right way.

How To Reward Children For Their Achievements

by Presenta Plaque | on Apr 23, 2013 | No Comments

It’s important to celebrate children’s achievements both big and small. As you probably know, children’s self-esteem gets a significant boost when adults reward their achievements. All children should be rewarded for their achievements whether it be completing a school year, getting good grades, accomplishing a certain level in a sport or playing a major role in a piece for orchestra.

What you may not realize is that the reward doesn’t necessarily have to be monetary or materialistic. The key is to make sure to stay away from giving your children a bribe, because this could inadvertently teach them to only repeat the good behavior if they get rewarded.

Below are some suggestions for ways you can reward children’s achievements that are both monetary and non-monetary:

  • Complimenting your children for what they have done.
  • Surprising your children with a reward. This might be something like creating a lifelong memory by highlighting their achievement on a certificate and mounting it on the wall in an impressive plaque.
  • Being available and ready to interact with your children to celebrate, such as making a special meal for him/her or holding a special activity.
  • Sitting down with your children and asking them about how things are going with friends, school and activities.
  • Encouraging good behavior.
  • Baking something special.
  • Letting your children pick out a new game or book.
  • Throwing a party for your children and their friends.
  • Having one parent take your children for a special day together.

Research shows that intrinsic rewards for children, praise leading to self-worth, are longer lasting and transferable, whereas extrinsic rewards are one-offs, non-transferable. So, we suggest you make sure to not overload your child with extrinsic rewards! Award certificates are a perfect balance between the two.