I know of a school that gives 2 grades for each class: one for academic achievement and one for effort. What a great idea! The school can really acknowledge kids for their attitude, even if they aren’t getting straight “A’s.”
It’s a great idea to take this approach with our kids at home, too. We can’t expect our kids to be perfect – frankly, none of us are perfect,– but we can expect them to try to do well. And if we reward them for trying, they’re more likely to keep trying until they reach success.
It doesn’t really matter whether we’re talking about doing their chores, or finishing homework, or even talking respectfully to us – focus in on what your child is TRYING to achieve, and acknowledge it whenever you can. If you use a rewards system, consider giving points for effort, not just completion. If you’re trying to teach your kids to use a system like a calendar or daily list, give kudos for any effort made in using the structure.
This works well for spouses, too. I believe that the reason my marriage made it through what I like to call “the rough years” – the years when I was doing too much of it alone – is because I always tried to give my husband credit for wanting to be my partner. I gave him points for intention, and he kept trying. Now, we have a true partnership, and the entire family benefits!
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