Finding motivation can be a difficult task. You have work to do, but it’s easier and more entertaining to scroll through social media pages. With that in mind, you can imagine how much harder motivating kids is.
Think of the times your mom asked you to clean your room. Although you agreed and said yes, you probably went back to goofing off. And your mom probably resorted to nagging because of that.
Talking to your child and getting the results you want is a tricky thing to master. But, with the right mindset and positive speaking, you can help your child develop great internal motivation.
Here are eight ways you can start motivating kids.
Letting your child have options is great because they get to feel like they have control of their choices. Don’t rely on that old parenting phrase of “because I said so.”
Instilling this kind of independence works doubly well. Firstly, they learn about personal responsibility. Secondly, you’ll be able to teach them how to handle tough situations without relying on you. Don’t be a tyrant with your child. Listen to what they want and work with them, instead of against them.
Use Praise, Not Criticism
This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s an important one.
Imagine you’ve given a big presentation at work and your boss tells you a hundred things that are wrong with it and how he wants it fixed. That certainly won’t make you want to do better. The same thing is true when it comes to motivating kids.
Scolding your child will not motivate them. So, instead of nagging, try to explain how you would have liked things done. You’re going to have to repeat your explanation if necessary and don’t hesitate to do so.
When your words turn into positive actions, make sure your children know that you appreciate their efforts.
Let Them Try
Watching your child struggle to tie her shoes can be a little frustrating after the eighteenth time. You’ll want to jump in, get it done and move on to the next thing.
But, before you do that, take a moment and breathe. Letting your children try to accomplish something on their own will build up the internal courage to not only complete the present task but also to attempt more difficult ones.
Generic praise phrases like “good job” or “way to go” are nice, but they’re hollow praises. Generic congratulations won’t explain why or what happened.
When acknowledging your children’s effort, try to be very specific about why you’re giving a compliment. Emphasize how proud you are of your children for completing the task and not the task itself. This is also a great way to build their growth mindset.
A growth mindset isn’t focused on one task but the efforts used to complete it. Instead of seeing just a finish line, your children will learn the skills necessary to improve and move toward their goals.
Don’t Ignore Failure
You can’t have success without failure. Consequences are a real thing for children and adults.
At the first sign of trouble, you’ll want to jump in and protect your children. But, doing that at every minor convenience isn’t going to be motivational. Instead, they’ll expect you to always do that. It’s going to be hard, but you have to let your child stumble so that he can find his own footing.
Inspire, Don’t Bribe
Bribes won’t teach kids how to earn something based on their merit and effort. If you’re just offering a treat, then the motivation is just for the reward. For self-motivation, connect with your child’s interests and use them as teaching tools.
Be A Dolphin
Using the dolphin style will help boost your child’s motivation and confidence in their decision-making skills. What sets this style apart is that your goal as a parent won’t just be focused on punishing mistakes or praising triumphs. You’ll need to dive into the middle where you can be both encouraging and authoritative when you need to be.
Every child is different and how they learn is going to be different, too. Visual learners, for example, aren’t going to really get much out of your lecture on how to clean a bedroom.
See how your child learns and use that as a tip to ignite motivation. If they have to use touch, let them help you with a task while you explain it. Try to find the best learning style for your child and run with it.
Most people view motivation as a strictly internal process. But, with the right outside encouragement, you can help create a great inner cheerleader for your child. With these tips and patience, you can help make your child stronger both emotionally and mentally. Think of the words you wanted to hear when you were struggling with a tough math problem or feeling stressed about a competition. You can use your experiences to help your child grow a strong core of motivation.
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Author: Sasha Brown
Sasha has been a blogger for nearly 10 years. She has published articles on Lifehack, Natural News, Blogher, Fitlife, and MindBodyGreen. She covers health, lifestyle, business, technology, and other technical areas. She's also the girl behind VoxNature.com and AffordableBlogging.com.