29 Nov 6 Effective Ways of Raising a Motivated Child
“Never give up on what you really want to do. The person with BIG DREAMS is more powerful than the one with all the facts.”– Albert Einstein
Raising your little one to be a motivated child can be a huge challenge. After all, every parent has struggled with getting her child to do what she says, and even more so to get the tot to stop when she says stop.
However, no matter how challenging it can be, learning what motivates your child to succeed and helping him in the process is a very important task that parents have to face.
So, just what is it that will get children to feel motivated and get things done without getting into mind games and power struggles?
Thankfully, experts on children’s growth and development are willing to share some key strategies that will help you raise your kids into motivated children and help improve their behavior.
ENCOURAGEMENT IS BETTER THAN REWARDS
Positive reinforcement has always been a strategy that parents stick to so they can get the kids to do what they say.
Even if the effects of the reward system are short-lived, it is quite helpful when you need your children to do or stop something right then and there.
But more than the reward, children will respond better with encouragement.
According to Eileen Kennedy-Moore, a psychologist and coauthor of Smart Parenting for Smart Kids, clever children will find ways to get around the reward system.
And their actions will become dependent on the prizes they get, which means they will stop when you stop giving them treats, even if they like what they are doing.
So, while rewards can get your child to stop his tantrums in a public place, encouragement of an act that makes your little one feel good about himself teaches him the value of his actions.
Thus, he is happy with what he does and, in return, he will feel motivated.
ONE-ON-ONE TALKS TRIGGER MOTIVATION
Dr. Edward Deci, a professor of psychology at the University of Rochester, says that having a meaningful conversation with your child helps him understand things better and gets him motivated, intellect-wise.
Grabbing every opportunity, you can to teach life lessons work way better than rewards and punishment.
For instance, if your child refuses to clean his room, learn to understand why from the little one’s point of view.
Respect his decision and ask him again after a while.
Try not to use words such as “must” and “should” and let him know you are there when he needs you.
When your child finally does the task, compliment him and ask him how he feels now that his room is neat.
Your feedback about their actions means a lot to them, so have a talk, let them know and get in a few lessons in life, while you’re at it.
ACCEPT THE IMPERFECTIONS
Children are not perfect, as are we. But their efforts certainly deserve praises.
Psychologist and author of The Blessing of a Skinned Knee, Wendy Mogel, says young children usually lose their love of doing chores because parents tend to get too rushed or picky.
Instead of focusing on the negative, the fact that your child gets plates and utensils on the table, no matter how slow, is worth praising.
And if children dislike the chores assigned to them, get your creative side out.
Use a puppet to motivate them or challenge them with a race.
Doing so removes the feeling of being controlled and gives children a chance at autonomy.
IDENTIFY THE CHILD’S CAPABILITIES
How do you expect your child to do what you ask when he literally can’t do it?
Any amount of reward or punishment is irrelevant in this case.
What parents can do, instead, is find out what children can do and cannot do.
According to Dr. Kennedy-Moore when a child has mastered something, it can be greatly motivating.
Therefore, focus on his capabilities and try to uncover the opposite of those.
Have a talk with your child so you will know what is preventing him from doing certain tasks.
APPRECIATE THE EFFORT
Let your child know you appreciate his actions. Kids revel in the fact that their parents are pleased with them.
Dr. Kennedy-Moore says this kind of connection is powerful and motivating.
When your child got out of bed and prepared for school on his own, appreciate him.
Praise his efforts and let him know both of you feel good that you are not rushed for time.
Instead of focusing on the result, the effort that your child put into his actions, as well what he got from it, will let him know he is the one who benefited the most.
BE AN EXAMPLE
The phrase “children are great imitators” or “practice what you preach” is always used in parenting, but they will not lose their value any time soon.
If you want your children to be good mannered, set a good example.
Always say please and thank you when you talk to them.
And if you want no more fighting between siblings or for them to resolve their differences peacefully, show them how you and your partner lovingly do so.
Ultimately, it all boils down to saying what you mean and meaning what you say. This is quite motivating for children.
Paul Tough, the author of the book How Children Succeed: Grit , Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character, has this to say about motivating kids:
- Contrary to previous belief, which is cognitive skills are the biggest factors affecting a child’s success, it has been recently revealed that characteristics such a such as persistence, self-control, curiosity, self-confidence and optimism are what makes a child successful in life.
- In order to help children develop the important qualities that will make them successful in life, parents need to build a strong, positive relationship with them. Once this is established, kids will feel more secure and become self-reliant.
Kids can be taught how to be successful in life.
It is not about inherited genes and having a “gifted” child.
They can be taught.
And your relationship with your child plays a big role on how to motivate your child to be competitive and successful.
Yes, motivating kids is a big challenge, but let us make use of the above strategies so we can help boost our children’s confidence, and guide them to become the best they can be and find success better in life.