19 creative ways to motivate your child
Two twins, Sasha and Polina, were in the same room and were learning lessons. At the same time Sasha muttered something dissatisfied under his breath, and Pauline hummed a song. Sasha looked angry, and Polina looked happy. Having learned his lessons, Sasha immediately ran away to the street, and Pauline stayed in her room to read a book.
The children did the same thing, but they treated their work differently. Amazing, isn’t it?
Let’s try to understand what motivates your child and what parents can do to develop children’s motivation.
External and internal motivation
Let’s return to the situation with the children. My mother always told Pauline that she must study well in order to become a scientist in the future, and the girl made an effort to do so.
Sasha also dreamed of becoming a football player and hated lessons. All he wanted was to do his homework quickly and go play football with his friends.
Motivation is what makes us act in a certain way or repeat certain behaviors. Motivation can be external and internal.
Intrinsic motivation is an intrinsic desire to achieve goals. Intrinsic motivation can lead to success in a career, a relationship, or simply the experience of pleasant emotions (such as joy or peace). People who are inherently motivated are constantly striving for development and looking for new ways of self-improvement. Internally motivated child (in this case – Pauline) does not need to tell what to do and how to behave in order to achieve the goal.
But if the child is not motivated (in this case, it is Sasha), he needs constant reminders and external motivation to do the job. External motivation is caused by external factors. They can be, for example, money, power or fame. For a child, external motivation can be permission to watch TV, a promise to buy ice cream, a toy, etc.
How to motivate a child? You just need to know his preferences and dislikes. Using this, you will be able to better motivate him.
External motivation can be used to get your child to act in the way you want. But it is the inner motivation that helps him to succeed in life, create healthy relationships and become better. External motivators make a person dependent. When the reward disappears, the person ceases to demonstrate a certain behavior. How do you get a child to do something without encouragement?
Simple ways to motivate your child
How do you know what motivates a child? It is very simple: you need to understand him as a person. Look at the child as a person with their preferences, tastes and preferences. Find out what areas or subjects he is interested in.
When a person likes something, he tries to get it, making certain efforts. The same thing happens with your child. Knowing what he wants, you will understand how to motivate him.
So, what motivates the child?
overcoming difficulties, competitions;
Don’t confuse encouragement with bribery. You can offer your child ice cream or chocolate in exchange for the desired action, to deprive him of certain privileges, if he refuses to do something. But before you take any action, ask yourself a few questions:
if it works the method that you use?
how long can you use external motivation to motivate your child?
what happens when you stop motivating your child?
External motivation disappears over time. Therefore, you need to focus on developing the child’s internal motivation. Let us consider how this can be achieved.
1. Set goals
The easiest way to motivate a child is to set goals for them. Goals give the child perspective and direction that simplify the task. The goals can be simple: going to bed on time to get to school in the morning, learning lessons on time to have time to play, and so on. These can also be long-term goals that will lead the child to success in a career or relationship (this strategy is especially good for teenagers). Remember that no goal is final. It’s just another step towards reaching a higher level or becoming a better person.
When you know what direction to go and what to do, it means that you have a plan. It makes it easier for you to achieve your goal. Planning motivates your child to achieve their goals because it provides direction and guidance at each stage. Help your child plan the details in what he is interested in.
Encouragement is probably the most common way to motivate. For a child, something simple can be used as encouragement: for example, to allow him to watch TV, buy ice cream or a toy. But, as we said earlier, it is not necessary to turn encouragement into bribery: the encouragement will sooner or later disappear, and at the same time the desired behavior of the child. Encouragement works in certain situations, but it will not help in the formation of character and life values.
A more significant incentive may be the extra time that the child will spend with their parents (for example, a family walk on a day off). Sometimes the satisfaction of doing something good can be a reward in itself. After the work is done, ask the child how he feels. So you will give him to understand that the reward does not always have to be material.
For example, learning to ride a bike, the child tries to give it more time out of a sense of excitement. The feeling that he succeeds in this activity is in itself the best reward for him.
In conversations with the child it is important to explain why it is reasonable to do so, and not otherwise. Children are curious and want answers to all questions.
For example, when a child asks why he should clean his room, just explain that this will make his room look clean and tidy and his friends will want to come to visit him to play.
Sometimes a more detailed explanation may be needed to make the child understand the importance of certain actions. If your teenager complains that he is tired of cleaning the room, tell him: “Well, now you can rest, and then do the cleaning.” So you will show your attention and emphasize the importance of cleaning.
No matter what you tell the child, he will notice what you do yourself. Set a good example and inspire your child to do good things. The logic is simple: if you want a child to behave well, do well in school, be responsible, positive and respect other people, show him by example how to do it.
When explaining to your child how important it is to be responsible and honest, tell them exactly what you mean by these words, and set a good example. If you want the child to be polite, do not forget to say “thank you” and “please”, even if the child is not around.
Your child may not always succeed in everything. Failure can demotivate him. Your support will allow him to persevere in achieving his goals, despite the difficulties. Support is a form of positive reinforcement, because it recognizes the efforts of the child.
Encouraging the child, talk about specific things. Don’t encourage him to do something he’s already good at. Motivate him to do again what he previously failed. So the child will understand that you believe in him – for him it is sufficient motivation to try again.
Appreciate the efforts that the child makes to achieve the goal. A child deserves a Pat on the back, and it doesn’t matter so much whether he’s done his homework, helped you set the table, or got ready for school on time. Show your child that you appreciate his efforts, as this motivates him to continue to demonstrate good behavior.
8. Turn tasks into a competition
When we compete, we instinctively try to win. This can motivate us to new achievements.
One way to motivate children is to turn tasks into a competition. For example, you might say to children, ” The first person to eat everything will be the first to play the game.” This motivates them to eat faster.
9. Let’s choose and explain the consequences
One way to motivate a child is to make them feel in control of what they are doing by giving them choices. For example, ask your child to choose clothes for school from two options. The child is not allowed to choose whether to go to school or not, but he can choose what to go in. Similarly, you can create the illusion of choice in children, providing two good options. Children are more likely to do what they have chosen rather than what their parents expect them to do. So having a choice motivates them.
10. Don’t be Intrusive
Motivation is a good thing. But the manifestation of obsession in this process demotivates the child and can also cause him to resist, as a result of which he simply refuses to do what you want him to do.
11. Help your child acquire new skills
After receiving a new toy, the child wants to immediately play with it. Similarly, he seeks to test any acquired skill. Motivate your child to do better in school by teaching them the right skills and providing the right tools.
12. Help your child to accept his shortcomings
Everyone has flaws. But they should not determine whether you will succeed in life. Teach your child to accept his shortcomings. For example, he may be short and not suitable for playing basketball. Tell him to try football or swimming. Help your child find ways to benefit from his shortcomings.