Celebrating Success – The Red Plate

This past weekend went by, not unlike the school year, in a blur. Nine months of Saturday morning tap and ballet classes for Pea culminated in the dance school’s annual showcase, and she worked hard: a Friday night technical rehearsal, a long Saturday morning dress rehearsal and (finally) Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon performances. Squeeze in the school’s annual summer fete in between Saturday events at the end of an already long week of activities at school, and you have one tired six-year-old.

Really, really tired, overtired really, and more than a few tears were shed…but onstage, she gave it her all and had a great time.

It’s all we ask of them, really – to give it their best and try their hardest.

After the Sunday performance, we told Pea that we’d take her out for tea – we were proud of how well she did, she was so enthusiastic (and we could see that she focused on her dancing, and not at waving at us from onstage). She was more than a bit disappointed, however, as she admitted it meant she wouldn’t get her reward of the Red Plate.

I’m not sure where the Red Plate came from – I wish I could say it was an old family tradition, but I think my mom found it for me at a yard sale.

It’s a big round plate, red, obviously, and it reads: ‘You are special today”.

(Not that we don’t think our kids are pretty special every day….but you know what I mean. Special as in “we are so proud of you”.)

I try very hard not to reward with THINGS. Oh, it happens, a little treat now and again for a job well done or award received. Generally, for real successes – doing well speaking in a class assembly, or receiving a merit at school, or scoring a goal at football – my kidlings get to eat their meal using the Red Plate.

It never fails to amaze me just how much delight and pride they get from it – but it is a simple acknowledgement that they’ve done well.

And anyway, isn’t that what we all want?

Talking about success stories, on that note, I’ll leave you with this video: Mums on “Raising an Olympian”. Grab a hankie, and enjoy!

This post was written for the #PGRaisingOlympians competition, sponsored by P&G. Proud Sponsor of Mums, for the chance to win a spa day….because this mum could use her own red plate day – and to encourage others to rejoice in their family’s successes, big and small.


  1. Your right where the “red plate” came from but that doesn’t matter as you have started your own tradition with it. That is what really matters and that the kids know the meaning of the plate. Love you all. Mom

  2. What a great idea. Much better than giving them gifts. I always liked the idea of the Gellar cup on friends…..will have to think of something for my boys to use when they have done something special.

    • It’s amazing how excited they get, but it’s an easy way to acknowledge a job well done! I think any plate could work or u could make one at a paint your own pottery place for a pittance!!!

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