Recently I have had many conversations with parents regarding the lack of motivation or sometimes even enthusiasm their children have. The constant dragging of the feet to school, or the high emotions of not being the best on the field can get to be overwhelming. It is not always easy to be the constant cheerleader either. Frankly, many of us run out of ideas in how to motivate our children. I know that we would like to be able to do it all for them; but we aren’t doing them any favors by doing this. We need to be able to give them the tools to achieve success. Children have an immense strength and power all of their own. So how do we tap into that and encourage our children to be self-motivated? Below is a great article that I came across that can give parents the tools to help foster this trait in their children.
Eight Ways to Encourage Self-Motivation in Your Child
by Tracy Enright | on September 30, 2015 | in Child Development, Dad’s Corner, Learning, Mom’s Corner, Psychology
Self-motivation is a trait that is often underrated. It’s more than just getting out of bed in the morning; it can have a huge impact on how well your child does in school. Children are naturally motivated to learn until they’re about 7 years old. After this time, they’ll need the ability to motivate themselves, a vital skill if they are to succeed. It’s true that self-motivation can only come from within, but there are ways you can help your child nurture it, giving them an advantage that will pay off in later life. Here are eight ways you can help.
Focusing on solutions to problems rather than dwelling on setbacks, combined with having a positive outlook on life. This will encourage your child to adopt the same approach.
Reward effort rather than just success. You will help your child to develop the resilience they’ll need to face failure and to keep trying until they do succeed.
Deal With Failure
Teach your child to accept that sometimes they will fail. Showing them how to lose or win gracefully, will give them the ability to deal with, and move on from, setbacks later in life.
Children who have a range of interests will be exposed to different opportunities. Combined with a good work-life balance, this will make the less-interesting tasks they face less demoralizing and easier to face.
Knowing how to celebrate and enjoy success, both their own and others’, will give your child something positive to aim for.
Make Success Possible
Give your child the opportunity to be successful and experience the positive emotions that go with it. Supporting and guiding them will help build the self-esteem that is vital to self-motivation.
Foster Their Interests
Encouraging a child to learn about things that interest them will allow them to better understand the concepts they learn at school, especially if you’re creative about the way you link their interest to learning. Pacing out the length of their favorite dinosaur or measuring ingredients for baking will help them understand size or volume without it feeling like another math lesson.
Adapt to Their Learning Style
Some children will sit and listen to new information. Others want to pick things up and use them straight away. Adapting to their preferred way of learning will keep learning fun and not a chore.
Parents want to help improve their child’s chance of success at school, and later, as adults. By starting early and encouraging your child in the right way, you can help them develop a trait that will be useful to them for the rest of their lives.
Jaime Gonce has been working at Walnut Acres Children's Center for over 10 years and is now Director of the center. She has a masters in Child Counseling and attended San Diego State and California State University, East Bay.