how to motivate your child in school

One of the most common questions from parents of school-aged children is how to motivate your child to do their best in school.

Some children are highly self-motivated. They possess a continuous drive to give their best 100% of the time, no matter what. Other children are less enthusiastic and require assistance in finding the self motivation to do their best, particularly at school.

If you find you have a child that is less than motivated, just know that it is okay mama. He is still going to do just fine in life and there are some things you can do to help give him a nudge in the right direction.

Psst…. before diving in, it’s important to remember every child is different. Some of what you are trying to change is just inherent in your child’s nature and one of the best things we can do as a parent is accepting our child for who they are while providing gentle encouragement.

Motivate Your Kid in School - FB - encourage kids - getting kids motivated

How to Motivate Your Child to Do Their Best

  1. Set a good example.

    Do you want your child to do her best? Then you need to do your best (and make sure your child sees you doing it). When your child sees you making an effort to do your best, he’ll be inspired to do his best, too. It’s hard to motivate your child to do something you’re not willing to do yourself. If you want your child to keep his room clean, then you need to keep your room clean. If you want him to make his bed every morning and start his day with a smile, then you do the same.

  2. Give praise for effort.

    Your child may not pick up everything on the first try. That’s why it’s important to teach your child that effort is just as important as the final results.Make sure your child knows you appreciate his hard work and his best effort, even if it doesn’t turn out right. 

    For example, let’s say he makes his bed but the sheet isn’t tucked in or the comforter is not on straight. Instead of telling him what he did incorrectly, first tell him how proud you are of him for trying and what he did right before telling him how he can improve next time.

  3. Stay calm and mom on.

    We totally get it,.. it is frustrating at times when we feel like we repeating ourselves a bajillion times and still nothing is being done or we are just not getting through to our kids. But here’s the deal sister,.. criticising or yelling is one sure way to get your child to stop trying. It will only create more conflict. Instead, here is a more effective way. If you’re unhappy with your child’s behavior or effort, try this process instead:

    • Explain to your child why his behavior is unacceptable.
    • Clearly communicate what behavior you’d like to see instead.
    • Inform your child of the consequences if he repeats the poor behavior.
    • Follow through.
  4. Ask questions.

    By asking questions about your child’s school, friends, sports, or artwork, you’re subconsciously showing your child that those things are important. The more your child understands they are important to you, the more important they become to your child.

  5. Explain benefits and consequences.

    For example, you can explain to your child that if he performs well in school, he’ll have more educational choices after high school and a greater selection of careers. Failing to do well in school can result in a lifetime of low pay and unenjoyable jobs. Follow up by pointing out real life examples if the opportunity comes up.

  6. Give your child a bit of power.

    If your child feels like he has power over some of his life, he is more likely to listen when he is being told to do something. In other words, no one likes to be bossed around all day every day. As your child gains independence allow him to make his own decisions. For example, allow your younger child to choose what he’ll wear for the day. Allow your teenager to choose the dinner menu.If you don’t trust your child to completely decide what to wear or what to have for dinner – then give your children options, but allow them to make the final decision.

    Having control over their environment can boost their self-esteem.

  7. Set your child up for success.

    Set goals with your child and ensure that those goals are accomplished. It feels good to be successful and success breeds future success. The goal can be easy, like reading for 20 minutes each night or eating one vegetable at dinner time.

  8. Encourage persistence.

    Persistence is the critical component of success. When we feel uncomfortable, it’s natural to want to escape from the situation. Encourage your child to continue even if they’re struggling. It can be as simple as spending another 10 minutes on homework after they want to quit.

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Motivation lies on the other side of your comfort zone - orrin Woodward - momalotMotivating your children can be challenging. It’s never easy to influence the way someone views a task or life in general. Self-motivation is empowering to a child or an adult. Children are often motivated by extrinsic rewards, mainly praise and the opinions of their peers. Praise is a valuable tool to motivate a child.

Keep in mind that repetition breeds success. Take the list supplied on this page and refer to it often. 

Ideally, a child will eventually learn to motivate themselves. A child becomes more independent and successful as an adult when intrinsically motivated. Later in life, praise is rare, and the need to perform for one’s peers is diminished. This is why many successful high school students struggle later in life. The extrinsic motivation is gone.

Teach your child to motivate themselves and you’ll give them a gift that will benefit them for the rest of their life.

Talk to us! What are some of the ways you motivate your kids and encourage self-motivation? What are some of the struggles your kids have with being self-motivated. Comment below ?

Motivate Your Kid in School - FB - encourage kids - getting kids motivated

Motivate Your Kid in School - FB - encourage kids - getting kids motivatedMotivate Your Kid in School - FB - encourage kids - getting kids motivatedhow to motivate your child in school

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