How to Motivate Your Child to Do Their Best
Some children are highly self-motivated. They possess a continuous drive to give their best 100% of the time. Other children are less enthusiastic. Some children require assistance in learning to do their best, particularly at school. Life is more challenging if approached with minimal effort. A child that learns to do her best with have a more fulfilling life.
Teach your child to give his best effort:
- Set a good example. Do you want your child to do her best? Do your best. When your child sees you making an effort to do your best, she’ll be inspired to do her best, too. It’s challenging to motivate your child to do something you’re not willing to do yourself.
- Give praise for effort. Only acknowledging results is insufficient, especially when a child is learning a new task. Ensure that your child knows you appreciate their hard work. Teach your child that effort is as important as the final results.
- Avoid criticizing or yelling. There’s a more effective way. If you’re displeased with your child’s behavior or effort, try this process:
- Explain why your child’s behavior is unacceptable.
- Communicate what you expect in the future and why your alternative is better.
- Inform your child of the consequences if they repeat the behavior.
- Follow through.
- Ask questions. People mention what they think is important. By asking questions about your child’s school work, friends, sports, or art work, you’re demonstrating that those things are important. Your child will take them more seriously.
- Explain the benefits and the consequences. For example, you can explain to your child that if they perform well in school, they’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.
- Your child needs to have a little power over her life. Allow your younger child to choose what she’ll wear for the day. Allow your teenager to choose the dinner menu. Give your children options, but allow them to make the final decision. Having control over their environment can boost their self-esteem.
- 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 catalyzes future success. The goal can be easy, like reading for 20 minutes each night or eating one vegetable at dinner time.
- 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.
Motivating 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.
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.