The intrinsic motivation to learn about the world around us begins in infancy. This type of motivation can either be encouraged or suppressed by the experiences adults provide for children. Research points to a set of promising approaches that parents can use to promote positive motivation and learning during development.
Provide incentives only when necessary
Some kids are self-motivated…others need a little push here or there. If you’re wondering how to motivate your child, you might automatically think of rewarding your child for every step they take in the right direction and applying negative consequences for steps they take in the wrong direction. In reality, the best approach is to go easy on the rewards and punishments and cultivate their internal motivation—help them to tune into the feelings of accomplishment and the pride they feel for a job well done.
Praise the process rather than the outcome
It’s normal to get frustrated when our kids show a lack of motivation. Not knowing how to motivate them gets us even more frustrated! The important point to remember is that there may be a number of reasons for kids’ lack of motivation: lack of confidence, lack of participation in decisions concerning them, frustration, disappointment, and the failures they experience.
Comment on the positive changes you observe in your kids even if those changes do not immediately lead to an improvement. If you notice your children putting in greater effort, tell them. If you see them trying harder, acknowledge it. If you observe them trying a different approach, let them know you’ve noticed. Remember, praise the effort !
Challenge children just enough
Occasionally, a little peer pressure is not a bad thing. It can push your child to do better in school or in a sport because they want to keep up with their friends. However, watch for when the stress of peer pressure starts to become too much!
Prioritize social interaction during learning
The right socially interactive environment will help children develop strong language skills, creativity, social intelligence, and confidence. Interacting and playing with both peers and adults presents an immense amount of learning opportunities for young children.
Encourage children’s playful exploration
Playful exploration enhances creativity, inspires curiosity, and broadens a child’s immigration – making them more open to new ideas and concepts while teaching them about life, themselves, and others.
By allowing your children to be curious and explore, you teach them confidence and appreciation for everything around them. You also show them the world. Explore with your children, get outdoors, and learn about the world around you. Curiosity will always open doors and lead down new and exciting paths full of adventure and learning.
Follow their lead – Put your child in the driver’s seat as much as possible
Most people are afraid that if they let their children make their own decisions, they will inevitably make the wrong ones and fail. But just as falling is an inevitable part of learning to walk, making wrong decisions is an inevitable and important part of learning to make good decisions. Children also need opportunities to practice decision making to gain self-confidence. If the activity is not health- or safety-related, let them decide (with your guidance) and then let them face the natural consequence.
Encourage open and sincere communication
Learn about your child’s interests. Talk to your child about them and listen. It will show your child that you care and that they are free to talk to you about their interests.
Treat your children as unique individuals
We all like doing things we find interesting, and children are no different. They will be more motivated when pursuing activities, they enjoy.
- Observe your kids to discover their interest.
- Show interest in their interests, even if those enthusiasm differ from what you would like them to be interested in.
- Find ways to link their interests with the other skills you would like them to develop. For instance, comics can be a great way to practice reading skills and gain new knowledge; or encouraging your child to practice music lessons with a friend can help motivate an unmotivated child.
Be spontaneous! break up mundane routines whenever possible
This is not always easy, since routines are important part of family life and child development – however, just like adult life, the occasional fun and spontaneity can bring a needed, fresh spark to the day.
Most importantly, don’t forget…kids will be kids!