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To Sam


My mum is saying that I have to get a level 6 in my reading if I want a new keyboard. I understand that it is really expensive but it is really hard to get into level 6. I am level 5. The teacher who runs the lvl6 reading only selects the top of students. Iam already lvl 6 at spag and maths. If a parent has a high excpectation for you, do you think that until you reach that target you can not have anything you want?

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Being rewarded for hard work feels good. Having the idea of that reward can help us push harder to achieve something. Having those rewards and goals can also put a lot of pressure on us to do well, so it’s important not to let that stress become too much.

There might be lots of things that motivate us to do well. It can be the promise of a reward, like a new keyboard, but it doesn’t have to be. It can be good to want to achieve something just for yourself and let that success be its own reward.

One of the drawbacks to getting rewards for school work is that it doesn’t take into account how hard you try. What’s important is that you are doing your best – so that you come out with the highest grade and level that you can get right now.

It could be good to speak to your mum and explain how worried you are about not reaching level 6 in reading. You could agree a different kind of reward. For example, instead of being rewarded for reaching a certain level, perhaps you could ask your mum if she would reward you for practicing every night and putting in lots of effort.

Remember that making your own rewards can also be enough – if you didn’t get a level 6, but you know that you tried as hard as you could then you should feel proud of whatever grade you do get.

I hope that helps.

Remember you can talk to our counsellors if you want to say more.

Take care,

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