Home » Mothering » How to Motivate a Tween

How to Motivate a Tween

Um like, What’s my motivation?

So how did we chose to motivate our tween?

It’s much easier than you would think.  You know how in elementary school you got gold stickers when you did something good?  Then if you earned so many gold stickers you got to choose a trinket from the treasure chest?  Same idea, but in middle-schooler’s language.

My baby sister is in 8th grade this year.  Last year, she managed to get out 7th grade by the skin of her neck.  We’d like to avoid some of the stress this year and try to not get so far behind.   But she was in need of some serious motivation.  We’ve tried dangling the carrot for a while.  Then desperation kicked in and it was more like “OMG if you do your homework you can have ANYTHING YOU WANT!” Which sounds great, but it’s very hard to imagine being real or anything that might actually come to be.  We needed motivation that would be present in her mind daily.

Motivation in broad terms works well for adults typically.  Hey if you work “really hard” for “an indeterminate amount of time” you will get a “raise of unknown proportions”.  Oh excuse me, let me just go put in some overtime brb!

For Ivanal, I made it a little more tangible, specific, measurable, and most importantly attainable.  Behold the Rewards Folder.


Super fancy right? I know.

Inside there are three main things.  1.) A rules page.  This one shows her how she can earn points.  The points accrue and she can cash them in for prizes.




The cash seems to be the most appealing, but then that is the case for most of us I guess.

2.) A tracking sheet – where we sum up weekly for all of the work she did and points she earned.


3.) Points Registry – The totals are transferred to the Points Registry, which is where we keep up with the debits and credits each week.  For example, if she wants to cash in 30 of her points next week, we would show a 30 point debit and subtract it from the total points to keep a running tab.  Easy-Peasy!

Her grades thus far?  All As and Bs.  Great Job Ivanal! Stick with it and I guess we will have to go find someplace to take you soon.  New York?  LA? Key West maybe?  I don’t care, just keep working hard and being generally awesome!

Below is a link to my Overly simple templates shown in the folder.

Rewards Printable


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