Motivation and your child

Some parents may find it difficult to motivate their children into learning. The trick is to always focus on the positive and do not dwell on the negative things that have happened in the past.

So what on earth do you do when your child does not accept the fact that he could benefit from help at home? Many parents have to face the immense frustration that their child will not accept help or has a complete lack of motivation. In most cases children do not want to be different from their peers.

But a lack of motivation may be due to several other things: from anxiety, depression or fear of failure to the end goal seeming completely unobtainable. Sometimes, children simply do not know how or where to start or it all seems like too much hard work for no reward. Occasionally, children are disaffected because of negative feelings of failure.

This is where you come in. Most people do things either because they love doing them or because they fear the consequences. You need to help your child identify his talents and goals in life and what he needs to do in order to achieve them. When children or adults have a dream they want to pursue or a goal they want to achieve, they more are inspired and motivated to be successful.

Use the following motivational techniques to encourage your child:

  1. Help your child define his goal (he/she needs to define his/her goal)
  2. Start small: break the goal into manageable pieces (use a motivation chart)
  3. Set personal rewards for achieving each of his mini goals
  4. Practise/revise consistently, but don’t overdo it
  5. Include doing something fun or in a fun way
  6. Allow your child to learn from failure
  7. Encourage your child to evaluate his progress and celebrate success
  8. Positive reinforcement

Many parents feel that they have tried everything to get their child motivated to learn. If you have tried the softly, softly, patient approach and it has not worked, then some tough love is in order. You need to remove privileges in a way that will encourage children to earn them back. I would still work through the motivational techniques, so that they know where they are heading, how they are going to get there, and what the reward is at the end (either personal reward or privileges returned). Using a motivational reward chart is a great visual incentive.

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