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Motivating Your Child

Every parent’s dream is to have a highly motivated child; motivating children is an art. Motivation is the art to get someone to do what YOU want them to do while making the other person feel that it is something THEY wanted to do. As parents, it is important for us to keep learning and improving on our own motivational skills. The way we think, feel and say will reflect in our child’s health, contentment and happiness. A few simple tips to keep our children motivated are given below:

  • Honest Praise: Specific, sincere praise focused on effort and improvement is effective for a child who is motivated by status, recognition and a need to belong. This simple gesture done with genuineness helps develop a positive attitude in the child which in turn will keep them motivated. A pat on back, a hug and a smile when our child behaves well says, "I love you and you mean a lot to me," can create wonders. These gestures intimate to our children the fact that they are loved by us. 
  • See the Good : We get what we look for. Let us concentrate on the GOOD things and not make an issue of so-called NOT GOOD things.  For example, if a child is prone to breaking toys, you can appreciate when he/she has managed to keep a toy intact for a longer period. This will give the child the motivation to continue the right actions and that is what we want, isn’t it? Fear is not a healthy way to motivate children. It may in fact drive them into hiding their thoughts and actions from us, which is highly undesirable.
  • Role Model : Children learn through observing. They learn to think rationally by observing us continually. In order to motivate our child, our own actions must be worth emulating. If we want to keep our children away from the Idiot Box (TV), we need to refrain from doing it ourselves. When children see us doing something, they presume that is right and they just copy it. So it is imperative that our actions remain the biggest motivator.
  • Self-praise : boosts a childs confidence. We must teach our children to praise and appreciate themselves too. This helps in developing pride and a sense of self-esteem which is a huge motivator. Let us teach them to be proud of themselves. Thus when our child says, I am proud of myself’; it is time for us to be proud of ourselves too, because we have done it!
  • Power : Offering minor choices will help motivate power-driven, autonomous and assertive children. One must avoid power struggles with the child and this can be achieved by figuring out how to give the child some power without ceding our own.
  • Prestige : Our children need to feel important. Consistent encouragement and opportunities to showcase his/her talent would also act as a great motivator.
  • Communication : Communicating with kids is probably the most powerful way to motivate them. Ask about what the child has learnt at school and stop worrying about the grades. The joy of sharing will help the child’s retention of whatever has been learnt and your enthusiasm to know what the child has experienced will, in turn, transform into a motivation that will induce confidence that will last a lifetime.
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