Motivating a child is difficult for many parents. Do you feel the same? Do you find motivating your child is difficult? If you do, you might even wonder why it is so difficult to motivate your child. Fret not. We will help you with that. Here, we will give you some tips on how to motivate your child.
Why Did I Fail to Motivate My Child?
Before we go further, do know that some children are not as motivated as others. There are smart children and yet, they have bad grades due to being unmotivated.
There are also children who forget their assignments or do something worse, not turning in their assignments. And so on and so forth.
An unmotivated child can make parents worry, frustrated, and even desperate. This is where the problem in their parenting stage can begin. The problem here is not the child’s lack of motivation. Rather, the reaction of the parents to it.
When parents get nervous due to their child’s situation, they try to motivate him while they themselves are anxious. This just won’t work. It is impossible to make someone care.
Parents who are worried or anxious about their unmotivated child often do things like nagging, hovering, pushing, or cajoling.
These might make them the child do what the parents want but they will be no more motivated than before. In other words, these might solve the problem but they wouldn’t help a child to be self-motivated.
Why Is My Child Unmotivated?
There are many things that can cause a child to be unmotivated. Behavioral disorders and learning disabilities are among them, although here we will tell you how to motivate a child who is unmotivated.
If behavioral disorders and learning disabilities have been ruled out yet somehow your child is still unmotivated, you probably are not holding him accountable. That might be the reason why.
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The solution is, of course, to hold them accountable for what they do or not do. If they have done their chores or homework, let them play a video game.
If they haven’t, then no video game. Hold your child accountable for things that they need to do. At the same time, give them enough room so they can think for themselves.
This is an opportunity to know who your child is. For example, if they often wake up late, you might want to step back and find out their sleeping pattern. Your child might be unmotivated by doing certain chores put motivated to do others.
This might have something to do with what they want. A child might dislike loading dishwasher yet love cooking because he wants to be a chef, for example.
How to Motivate Your Child
The following are our tips to help you motivate your child.
Don’t push your child to get motivated when you are anxious
Yes, avoid pushing your child to get motivated when you are anxious. If you do, they will be motivated either to resist you or comply so you will leave them alone.
Either way, they will not learn to be self-motivated. This will turn from learning to be self-motivated to reacting to you. Don’t let your anxiety compels you to do counterproductive things like this.
Let your child make their own choices
Letting a child make their own choices and face the natural consequences of their choices is very important.
Why? Because this encourages self-control, accountability, and of course, being self-motivated. If they make a poor choice, let them face the natural consequences of their choice.
For example, if the consequence of not doing chores is no video game, put the need to play a video game back in their hands. If they finish their chores, allow them to play a video game.
Same case on how to motivate child to do homework. You can not force your kid to do the task. Just explain the consequences, when he decides to do or not to do
Doing this will help them to learn self-motivation without you having to push them. You don’t need to tell your child what to do, how to do it, or why should they care, either.
Set goals and celebrate achievements
Setting goals can also help your child to be motivated. Have your child make a list of goals, both short-term and long-term.
The short-term goals can be many while the long-term goal can only be one. Make sure that your child’s goals are realistic and achievable with effort.
When your child achieves their goal, celebrate the achievement. Show them that you are proud of them. Reward them for their hard work. Increasing children’s motivation will also boost children’s self-esteem.
If the goal is a long-term one, you can break it into chunks and reward your child each time they get through each chunk.
Let your child make mistakes
No one is perfect. Not you and not your child. Although children do need encouragement and it is healthy to push your child to try their best, understand that mistakes and setbacks are normal. Let them make mistakes and let them learn from it. Do you remember when you Encourage Toddler to Talk, it is hard right? But, you do can pass it. Just use positive vibes.
Be attentive in your child’s interests
This is also important. Learn about your child’s interests. Talk to them about their interests and listen. Show that you care about them and their interests.
This communicates to them that they are free to talk about their interests, whatever they might be, to you.
Be their inspiration
Ironically, the best way to encourage your child is to stop trying to motivate them. Rather than trying to motivate your child, focus on inspiring them? How do you inspire them?
The answer is to be an inspiring person yourself. Reflect and ask yourself: Are my behaviors inspiring? Or are they controlling?
If you are too controlling, your child will resist sooner or later. Being controlling will also motivate your child to resist you rather than learning how to be self-motivated.
Find someone in your life that inspires you, make it a goal, and work towards it. Lead by example. Be an inspiration for your child.
These are our tips on how to motivate your child. Remember that the goals here are to teach your child to do things they have to do even if they don’t want to do it as well as finding their own internal motivations. You also want to help them learn what is important to them and what needs to do to make those things happen.