Saturday, May 24, 2008

How I Motivated My Child To Excel In Exams

Last Thursday, my girl came back from school and she was screaming "Mommy, Mommeeeeee" all the way from the outside gate until inside the house. I thought she was being chased by some bad guys or something. Actually, she was screaming because she scored 100% in her science paper. She was very excited.

I'm not telling you guys this to brag (okay, brag a little lah). But just wanted to discuss about ways you motivate your children to excel in exams. Before her recent exams, my girl was saying that it is impossible to get 100%. However, I know it is within her potential to achieve 100%. So to get her a little motivated, I said I'd reward her RM5 for every 100% she got.

So, now my question is:
Do you think it is a good idea to motivate your children with money????

I remember when I was in school, I had friends who had promises of oversea trips if they did well in exams. Me? My mom would say "you should ask what you will get if you DON'T do well." Hahaha. She said it jokingly.

But I believe money can be a good motivator. The trick is not to offer too much coz' then you overshadow the intrinsic reward. You still want the "feel good" factor to be greater than the external factor.

Let me share with you how my father encouraged me during my golf practices. Yes, sometimes he would use money too but it was so my practice sessions stayed interesting. I would earn money for every birdie, double three, double 5, and trot. But I would also have to pay for double bogeys. Sorry if you don't understand the golf terms. Bottom line is, it worked for me. It wasn't a lot of money but just the token of it was good enough to keep me striving.

Anyway, that was my strategy with my girl. I just wanted her to strive for the 100% by attaching a token to it. Now that she knows it is not impossible, I think I will reduce the reward (or else I might go "pokai"). Hahahah.


  1. Ai Lian,

    There is no problem at all to reward the children with money. I was rewarded with RM10 from my parents, whenever I scored 100%. So I still remembered that I scored 100% for 6 subjects in the semester, I proudly gained RM60 that month. I guess I'll remember this till death.

  2. Clever girl. I think motivate wisely with money did work. You did it well as you set a rules and regulations for the "motivation".

  3. I'd rather use the word "reward" than "motivate"... it's a reasonable amount, I would reward my kids too..

  4. the amount is just nice. believe i would do the same too :)

  5. a&a's mom28 May, 2008 13:09

    Hey, me too!! Immidiately after I told Abilash I wld be giving him RM5 for each 100 marks he brings back, he scored full marks for BM, Math & Moral. He tried very hard to persuade me to give him RM 4 for getting highest in English (96) & Science (98). Told him only for full marks.

  6. Well done can do it...

  7. I'm using the "monetary reward" system too. However, in order to maintain the "attractiveness" of the system, and expecting the amount of the monetary rewards will have to grow proportionately to the age of the children, I just hope the "feel good" factor will kick in before the quantum reach my "pokai" level. :)

  8. Hi Lian,
    I agree with you. Sometimes our kids have the potential which they may doubts themselves. Like for my of them are more independant and can excel if he wants to. The father motivated him by promising him a GAMEbOY if he will get top 10 in class.Guess what from 29th position, suddenly he zoomed to 9th place in class.

  9. Sheoh Yan,
    Wah, you one smart cookie eh. Thanks for sharing. Goes to show that the amount doesn't have to be so fantastic to be meaningful.

    Yes, the keyword is "wisely".

    baby smooches:
    "Motivate" is before exam. "Reward" is after exam :)

    mummy to qiqi:
    Ya I think RM5 is okay, especially when things are getting more and more expensive.

    Your boys very clever in negotiating. Unfortunately cannot outsmart the amah. Hahahah.

    Yes, positive thinking right?

    buzzing j:
    I realized too that RM5 will not be so appealing after a few years. Sigh!

    Wow, that's a big jump. You found the button to motivate him.

  10. Hi Lian
    I motivate my son to accomplish things by giving me stars reward. It works very well for him.
    As for exam, I prefer to reward him with his favourite gifts such as DVDs/VCDs and books.

    Feel free to drop by


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