As a parent, sometimes you probably wonder how to motivate your child to study and to get good grades in school, so that he can go to a good college? How to motivate him to practice playing his musical instrument? To be better at sport and any other things that we know he is actually good at? Overall, how to motivate him so that he is willing to put in the effort that is needed to achieve his goals?
After all, as parents, we want our children to be happy, to be proud of himself and to become successful in life.
4 key things that plays a role to our child’s motivation
- Possibility: The child must feel that it is possible for them to achieve their goal. If there is any doubt or if they think that it is impossible to do, then there is a chance that they will not work towards their goal and apply what they need in order to get to it in the end.
- Inspiration/Importance: The goal has to be one that is inspiring to your child and one that is important for them to achieve.
- Persistence: The road to any goal is of course going to be filled with setbacks and disappointment. The child needs to learn that when those moments come, they need to get back up, brush it off, and get back on the track.
- Appreciation/Acknowledgment: Keeping a child motivated is quite easy when a reward is offered. Knowing that achieving the goal with a reward or some form of acknowledgment to be expected as a result will give them that extra spark to complete the goal.
When a child does realize that goal is important and that they can achieve it along with an incentive as a result, the chances are that they will be quite motivated to do it and give the effort needed for it. Mix in a little persistence and things will be guaranteed!
Make your child see the possibilities of what they can do if they put the effort into things. Let them dream big and let them make those big dreams come true!
Don’t wait until they are in high school for them to think that there are ways to achieve that. Start early. Encourage them to do well in school and tell them stories of children who succeeded in school and what they achieved as a result of that success. Tell them the advantages that awaits them. Explain to them the benefit and the opportunity that will come with good education. If your child still thinks that ‘good grades’ is only important for Mum and Dad and not for themselves, than as a parent we still fail.
I usually tell my children that every time that you study, you invest in yourself. I tell them that they’ll be opening beneficial opportunity doors for themselves. They’ll become more knowledgeable, wiser and more intelligent. They’ll be able to become themselves, but shined, polished and will be open to open their true potential.
Make sure that you instill to your children the benefit of surrounding themselves with friends that are a good influence. When they were smaller it will be easier to choose their friends for them, but as they grow older you can’t. So make sure that they understand the importance of surrounding themselves with people that will make them a better person.
Repetition is another tool we can use. It is never enough to have just one conversation with your child in regards to explaining the importance of applying themselves. It has to be put together as a plan of attack. Get some interesting reading material and movies about role models. Have biographies of people who achieved great things. Take your child to a theater performance about a certain role model. Introduce successful people to them. If you have a friend who is accomplished and educated, ask them to meet your child and talk about their success with the child. Talk with your child about their future, their goals, and what they want to be when they grow up. Repeat the idea to them in different ways as time goes on.
Affirmation is a very good tool to use when it comes to getting your child to believe in themselves. Write down some affirmations that you think will inspire your child and encourage them. For example: “You are very talented!”, “You learn really fast”, You can memorize really well!”. Affirmations have been known to be effective when they are repeated three times. Choose one affirmation for the day and repeat it at least three times as the day goes on. If you can, have your partner to do it along with you. The more people that you can get to repeat the affirmation the better the result will be! Your child may even find themselves repeating it! That’s when you know that things are definitely moving along good!
Just imagine! How your child must feel when he hears from everyone over and over again that they are smart and talented. Imagine the smile on their little faces and how proud he must be. That alone will encourage him to repeat and do better each time.
Acknowledgment, Appreciation, Reward
The word ‘Encourage’ is said to be quite similar to ‘Motivate’. Think about what comes to your mind when you think of the word ‘Encourage’? ‘Praise’ is probably one that comes to mind. Children and adults both respond well to it and both feel encouraged when it is received. Praise your child each day if you want to encourage them. Every small achievement should be praised. Most of us, children especially, can be self-judgmental and we all tend to criticize ourselves in a way. Any small set-back can seem like a serious failure. Your child will feel encouraged if all efforts are appreciated and achievements go about acknowledged.
Every time a goal is achieved, praise should be given as well. Make sure that your child understands the reward for achieving the goal that they set out to do. Determining that reward depends on you. A reward should be something that the child wants, age appropriate, but is also realistic and affordable to you.
Persistence is something that is a learned trait in a way. Your child needs to learn persistence and how set backs can happen. They need to know to not give up when that set back occurs. They need to learn to put in more effort and get back on the road.
Story telling is considered to be quite an effective way to teach persistence. It can take the form of a movie, book, or even a discussion. You might be surprised on how many inspiring movies and books are out there. Keep your eyes open for them and share the story with your child when you find the right one.
Having discussions is one way to go as well. When your child has a setback it will be a good thing for you to put perspective into them. Knowing that a setback is just a minor thing will take some judgment. When one has good judgement it is often the result of experience. Children should know the lesson necessary when it comes to setbacks and concentrate on the success that is to come. Encourage your child to focus on the goal instead of the set back.
Inspiring and motivating children is similar to parenting in a way that it is a life long job. When you start at an early age make sure to have the plan of attack and learn the tools needed. Mix in with lots of love, cuddles, encouragements and before you know it the results will come!