Tips for Encouraging Children to Do Their Best

Kids are innocent; they don’t know that what they are doing is either good for them or not. This is the reason why parents should motivate their children to do their best. Words of encouragement matter a lot, and if used right, they can have a positive effect on kids. Kids tend to doubt themselves; this is why it is essential to convince them that they can succeed in life. 

From improving your relationship with your children to understanding them, there are a lot of things you can do to encourage them to do their best. 

Benefits of Encouraging Kids

Using the right words of encouragement can:

  • Improve and enhance perseverance
  • Motivate them
  • Boost and improve their self-esteem

Here are some tips for encouraging your children to do their best:

Get involved

Kids shouldn’t be left on their own. Being a parent, one should keep an eye on their children’s progress and the things they do. The more you involve in their life, the more they will feel connected with you. You should answer questions and resolve their confusions regarding anything. This won’t just make them feel good but also encourage them to do their best in studies and personal life. 

You should develop a habit to ask your child about his/her day in school or what he/she learned today, doing this will make your child realize that school can be interesting as well. If your children are teenagers, you should not ask them too many questions or else they can bristle. Make sure you are making a conversation, not an interrogation. 

You should give your older kids space because if they are not giving their best already, your extra involvement may develop resistance and make them feel less motivated for work. 

Praise Sincerely and Honestly

Kids love it when they are praised, and most parents do this on purpose to make their children feel better, motivate them, boost their self-esteem, or protect them from hurtful feelings. However, if your praises do not appear to be sincere and honest, children won’t feel much encouraged.

Here are two common examples:

Don’t say:

You are a genius! You solved that problem! (Genius? Your son or daughter got only one right out of three questions)


Impressive! You came up with a good answer for that last question.

Don’t say:

You did great! I am sure you will do well next time too.


I like the solution that you came up with. 

Be Specific and Descriptive

Instead of just praising your children, you can encourage them by using descriptive comments. The less generic your comment or feedback is, the more sincere and factual it will seem. You can point out a certain aspect of your child’s performance and then descriptively encourage him/her. For example:

Don’t say:

That’s looking great!


I like the way you have focused on every detail in this drawing.

Don’t say:

Awesome job!


You came up with a sensible answer and really nailed that question!

Embrace Their Imperfections

No one is perfect in this world, and as a parent, you should embrace your children’s imperfections so they can feel motivated, and in return, do their best! You should focus on everything positive that your son or daughter did instead of getting mad on him/her for any mistake. For example, you should praise your child for getting his/her comforter off the floor instead of scolding him/her for hanging it unevenly – praise for his/her effort. 

Doing this won’t just make your kid more self-confident but also allow him/her to give the best no matter what. 

Also, a little bit of creativity never hurts. If your child isn’t doing what you asked him/her to do, you should use a puppet or a favorite toy to ask him/her to do a certain task. 

Be a role model

Actions speak louder than words. If you are just praising your children with rewards and nice words, it’s good but not great. You should be a role model to your children so they can look up to you and do what you do. As a role model, you are allowing your children to copy your behavior. For example, if you want your child to say “please” before requesting anything, you should say it yourself. If you don’t want your little ones to speak loudly and harshly, you shouldn’t raise your voice and speak gently. 

Listen actively

Listening actively by nodding as your child talks will make him/her feel important and heard. You can also repeat back what you think your kid is currently feeling. For example, he may be frustrated that his favorite toy broke, you can say something like “it sounds like you feel sad because your favorite toy broke”. Remember, your child will only do well and give his/her best when he feels comfortable and relaxed, internally.

Get down to your child’s level

Getting down to your child’s level will make him/her feel that you are really trying to understand him/her. Also, it gets much easier for you to encourage your child in a better way because you already have his/her attention, and you don’t need to make him/her look at you. 

Reward them for their effort rather than the outcome

As already discussed above that praising your child’s effort and rewarding can make him feel special. This way, your child won’t just feel good but also perform even better next time, with more dedication. 

Keep things simple and positive

You should always keep things simple and positive when dealing with your children, especially encouraging them to do their best. Give clear instructions that they can understand and follow without thinking much. For example, you can say “please go to bed at 9:00 PM sharp” instead of saying “you should sleep earlier”. 

Lead by Example

You should try to resolve a conflict with your spouse, admirably and lovingly. Doing this will make your kids realize how to stop fighting without beating each other and speaking rudely. The only reliable way to encourage your kids, in this case, is to lead by example. It is simple: your kids will follow your footsteps, so make sure to set the best example that they can follow. 

Avoid Comparison Praise

What most parents do to discourage their children is praising by comparison, which isn’t a positive thing to do. This is because we were all raised this way – we were compared in school with top scorers, in sports, in exams, in universities, in extracurricular activities, and at work, etc. 

At times, these comparison praises may motivate us to work harder, but only for a certain time. The big problem with this is that it can backfire if we fail. You should never compare your kid with anyone else, even in a positive way, because it may lead towards disappointment and regret, later. 

For example:

Don’t say:

Good! You are just like your sister. 


You are good at playing this game, sweetheart. 

Don’t say:

You are smarter than James!


Your work was excellent! Keep it up. 

Final Verdict

Kids have a soft heart, an immature mind, and they are in a stage of learning, you can mend them in whatever shape you like. If you follow these tips, you can successfully encourage them to do their best. However, you should make sure to respect your children’s feelings and understand them in every way so you can motivate them in a much better way. Get down to their level, and they will open their hearts to you!