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How to Motivate Your Children

“A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning .” - Brad Henry

Do your chores! Do your homework right after school! And why do I have to say the SAME thing OVER and OVER for you to LISTEN!? These are just a few of the many complaints that we seem to convey over and over to our children. We often wonder, why can't our children just do what they are supposed to do without me having to tell them or why is my child/teen not motivated. In this post, we will define how to successfully motivate our children so that they are willing to comply with house rules and make life easier for the entire family.

To begin with, why is motivation important? According to a study conducted in London, 44% of parents struggle with motivating their children while 55% of students in elementary school suffer with motivation themselves which directly impacts academic functioning and future career success. Motivation is important for children because motivation assists children in being able to become independent and think independently for future creative projects and learning new skills. Motivation can also be useful for establishing responsibility with children in their earlier stages of growth and development. We often attempt to motivate our children in a manner that is not useful for establishing healthy skills.

To continue, nagging, controlling, scolding, and punishing can be counterproductive for a child to establish motivation, especially with a topic of disinterest. Imagine, you are at work and you hate a certain task that your boss forces you to complete day in and day out. You complete it slowly because you are not motivated to complete the task quickly so your boss nags you and scolds you which makes you not want to complete the task at all. The same concept works for children. Punishing, yelling, and controlling them to complete their math homework which is a dreaded task can be counterproductive for motivating your child further. So how do we motivate our children? Praise, according to The New York Times, praising the process that your child is going through is more beneficial than praising the person. Praising the process is known to nurture a child's confidence and sense of self which can assist with improving motivation. Children also require inspiration and interest in the task to be motivated. Inspire is defined by the Oxford language as filling someone with the urge or ability to do or feel something, especially to do something creative. So how do we inspire?

How to Improve Motivation through Inspiration

Inspiring to motivate can seem like a difficult task, but an inspiration for children can be fun and make the family's life easier due to improving motivation to complete tasks. To assist with improving inspiration to motivate children follow these steps:

  1. Praise the Process NOT the Person: Praising the process as mentioned above, focuses on the child's intellectual abilities, individualization, and personal qualities and traits. Praising the person would look like “Wow, You are such a good painter.” Examples of praising the process, not the person would look something like “I saw how hard you worked on your painting and you did a great job painting.”

  2. Include your child in decision-making: allowing your child to choose times, activities, or means for completing a task can inspire them to foster individuality, decision-making skills, and creativity which makes tasks more fun to complete.

  3. Introduce fun: model behavior such as showing children that learning new tasks, hobbies, and skills can be fun and interesting to do.

  4. Make the task worth their while: ever wondered why children ask so many questions, Why specifically? It’s because they want to understand their worth. Children seek value in understanding the importance of a topic or subject and why they should do it. For important tasks help them understand the why and make it worth their while to complete it.

  5. Get involved and Be Involved: Being involved in tasks and your children's activities can both challenge and motivate your children to explore and seek out different skills, tasks, and hobbies. Being involved with their activities can help facilitate the drive to complete something

Motivating our children can seem like a daunting task but it is possible with the right type of motivation through inspiration. Praising the process, including your children in decision-making skills, introducing fun, making tasks worthwhile, and being involved are all ways that will assist with motivating your child.

For more tips, please check out our other tips You can always find us at 954-903-1676 for counseling services.

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