As a parent or guardian, simply trying to help kids do better in school (or engage in their classes or study for tests), can be stressful and a little nerve-wracking. Of course parents want their children to do well in school and help them while also allowing them to learn independently. However, it’s important to provide students with the properly motivational tools to encourage them to want to do well in school on their own. Apex Leadership Co. offers the following tips for parents, teachers and guardians to motivate students in and outside of the classroom.

Rewards — A reward system generally has more positive results than one of discipline (for missed assignments, failed tests, for example). While, yes, students need to understand and be accountable for the ramifications of lack of preparation in school, it has been found that positive affirmation versus negative is much for powerful when it comes to motivation. That said, it’s also about finding the right reward that will motivate students. It’s not a one size fits all solution. Some students might be motivated simply by praise, while others may be enticed by a physical “reward” whether it’s a sticker or small prize (for younger students), or something larger or more suited for older students. Finding the right motivational tool can go a long way in encouraging students to reach for the stars when it comes to their performance in school.

The Homework Hustle — Getting good grades should not balance solely on a “prize,” however. It’s ideal that parents, teachers and guardians build the foundation for students to want to get good grades for simply their own satisfaction versus a reward. This can start by making the process a little more pleasant. For example, social students may be served well by forming a weekly study group with friends that adds a little fun and social time to studying. Those that prefer to study alone should have a proper place that is neat, organized, comfortable and quiet in which to get their homework done.

Be Realistic — This one pretty much falls back on Mom and Dad, or guardians. While parents want the very best for their children, setting too high of expectations for children can actually backfire by putting too much unnecessary pressure upon them to try to achieve the ever-unattainable “perfection.” Parents should certainly have expectations for their children’s, but also be realistic when it comes to setbacks, challenges and more that may get in the way of straight A’s. Being open and inviting communication from students can help ensure that children are not afraid to speak up when they are having trouble in a certain class for example or need extra help on a homework assignment.

The Apex Leadership Co. advises parents, teachers and students to work together to create a motivational program that works to encourages kids to want to get good grades and that challenges them to push themselves to their best ability, but without the added pressure that demanding all A’s or Principal’s List might create for them.