Appropriate Ways to Motivate Children

Ways to Motivate Children – Motivating children is always a challenge. If you rely on external motivations too much, you may create a little monster who asks, “What’s in it for me?” every time you ask him or her to do something. Developing internal motivation, on the other hand, depends a great deal on what your child finds rewarding, which may not be what you find rewarding. There are a couple ways you can help develop motivation in your kids.

Ways to Motivate Children

How to motivate children

Give Choices

Your child is not a mini version of you. Just because you learned how to ride a bike at age four doesn’t mean Junior is ready or even interested. Let your child feel in control of the things that are not related to health and safety. For example, holding hands when crossing the street is a non-negotiable, but wearing two different colored socks or taking ice skating lessons instead of playing baseball can be a decision that your child gets to make.

Allow Failure

As parents, it’s tough to see your children fail, but this is an extremely important part of learning internal motivation. Nobody likes to fail, but failure makes you stronger and gives you a mental toughness that will help you overcome future obstacles. If you let your child experience the failure that comes from choosing to not study for a spelling test, for example, chances are he will feel unhappy and adjust his behavior to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Thus, you are setting him up for self-motivation. If, on the other hand, you complain to the teacher that the test was too hard, you are teaching your child that hard work isn’t necessary for success.

Teach Growth Mindset

Teaching a growth mindset means teaching your child that she can improve their skills with effort. Assure her that there is nothing magical about people who succeed. Beyond a very few exceptions, most successful people are very hard workers. Even sports stars work thousands of hours off the court or field to be able to do what they seem to do effortlessly during a game. The same concept applies to musicians learning to play their instrument and children learning to read. Practice equals better performance.

Practice Goal Setting

Help your children set their own goals for practice and achievement. Maybe your child wants to improve his maths grade by a certain number of points. Help him set a schedule to spend time studying multiplication chart each week. At the end of the time, reevaluate the goal with him to help him determine whether or not it was realistic. Learning how to work towards their own aspirations is an invaluable lesson for children. Your job as the parent is not to say, “I told you so” when the goal is unrealistic, but instead to facilitate a discussion about how to improve on the goal-setting process for the next time.

Demonstrate Altruism

One way to help children be less self-absorbed and more attuned to the needs of others is to organize some volunteer opportunities which allows them to assist in making the world a better place. Talk to them about different organizations’ goals to end hunger or clean up the parks or adopt stray dogs, for example. Through good works, allow children to be part of the solution. This is a particularly great motivator if it stems from an area that your child is already interested in or has questions about.

Track Progress

Not everyone needs a visual reminder of where they are in their progress towards a particular goal, but some people do. Adults, for example, regularly track the pounds they’ve lost or the miles they’ve jogged. Offer this type of tracking chart to your child if she seems interested. For some younger children especially, the visual aspect of recording minutes read or soccer goals attempted is a great motivator. Just be careful that the reward is the internal realization of improvement rather than an external prize for filling up the chart.

Self-motivation is a precious skill to possess. Expecting a reward for every good thing is unrealistic and will only set your child up for disappointment. Finding incentive to do well and achieve from within is a healthier way to live.

Spread the love

Article Author Details

Kevin Gardner

Kevin Gardner loves writing about technology and the impact it has on our lives, especially within businesses.