Getting Your Child Motivated for This School Year
Getting Your Child Motivated
Getting back into the swing of things for another school year may feel like a drag for many kids. However, in order for kids to succeed in the classroom, they have to make that shift from summer vacation into the school mode. Whose job is it anyway to help ignite that spark and passion for learning?
There are things that kids find naturally curious and fun to do without receiving any reward for doing it, called intrinsic motivation where the desire to keep doing something comes from within that person. However, there are things that kids are motivated to do if they receive a reward, such as receiving praise, money, a treat, or a sticker. This is called extrinsic motivation where the desire to do something comes from an outside reward.
Questions to Ask Yourself About Motivation
The big question is, “How do you create a love for learning that is intrinsic and can be applied in all facets of a child’s life?” Before you answer that question, you may want to assess your reactions to different scenarios that go on in your day-to-day world with your children. Think back to when your child would not want to do something and how you got them to do it? Did you use bribery, coercion, criticism? Did you make threats, offer reminders, provide encouragement or simply give up trying?
Provide Encouragement and Positive Feedback
When children experience success at something they do, they feel more encouraged to continue doing what brings them joy, excitement, and satisfaction. However, there are those times when a child becomes frustrated after trying to accomplish a certain task. Knowing your child’s strengths and weaknesses can help you provide the tools that a child needs to assist them in overcoming obstacles they face. Children who have trouble putting their words on paper to express their thoughts would benefit from using a program that performs talk to text features.
English as a Second Language Learners may find it challenging to grasp the language and get excited about learning the language. Having a friend or a group of friends who are native speakers can help in their support system and provide confidence to improve their speaking and understanding of the language.
Students who have learning difficulties such as ADHD, dyslexia, sensory processing disorders and such may require accommodations, such as assistive technology and/or scaffolding of instruction to meet their unique needs.
“Strong motivation is the most important factor in getting you to the top.” –Edmund Hillary (New Zealand mountaineer)
Ask Questions to Encourage Curiosity
Children want to be heard, understood, and feel valued. Without having to saturate a child with a multitude of praises to let them know that you are proud of them, you can turn a praise into a question. For example, if a child earned a good grade on a test, you can say, “Wow! This material looks like some tough stuff. How did you learn everything?” You could even ask them to teach you something about a specific topic that they learned. Catching a child doing something good and then turning it into a question shows a child that you are interested and paying attention to the good work and/or deeds they have done. This further opens up lines of communication and strengthens the parent-child bond.
If you feel at a loss for getting your child motivated, there is a technique that I’ve developed to help spark an intrinsic motivation in a child called The P.R.I.C.E. Technique. It has worked with countless children that I’ve worked with, in a variety of capacities, who have struggled to perform tasks both inside and outside of the classroom. Learn more in my new best-selling book The Ultimate Guide to Raising Teens and Tweens on how you can incorporate these strategies into your parenting practice and go from being the exhausted, nagging parent to a facilitator of encouraging statements that result in desirable behavior by your child.
Douglas Haddad, is an award-winning educator and best-selling author. You can go online or to a local bookstore and order his new book The Ultimate Guide to Raising Teens and Tweens: Strategies for Unlocking Your Child’s Full Potential. Visit: www.douglashaddad.com and pick up a free PDF copy of The WHOLE LOTTA LIVING Guide for You and Your Family.
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This post originally appeared on our September/October 2017 Magazine