Motivate Your Kids: My daughter is tasked with getting a packet of milk every day from our neighborhood shop.
Every day, we land up telling her ten times or more to do it. Till finally my husband walks across and gets the milk.
It is not that she does not like to buy or does not know how to buy. Its not that she does not like milk that she does not see the purpose. At 4 PM like clockwork she will ask for her glass of milk. The main issue here is that she is not motivated enough to go and buy milk.
I am sure you have faced similar issues with your kid. Or seen other parents face such issues with their children.
Lack of motivation.
- Importance of motivation
- Unmotivated child
- Why your motivation is not working?
- Tips to motivate your kids
To motivate your kids means to encourage them to be eager to do new things. Motivation is a way to help make up their minds to want to try something new.
When you do not try to motivate your kids, they will not show any interest. Nothing will attract them.
They will show passive behavior to everything. The behavior of your child reflects the way you motivate your kids.
Importance of motivation
Motivation is the drive behind every move you make. It can lead children to keep on attempting as time goes on.
Having positive experience and results can keep motivating them to continue working despite obstacles.
Furthermore, tasks based on the the capacity to do it is key for kids with learning and thinking differences.
Children’s minds are like a blank box. They always act as you teach them. It is a major responsibility of parents to motivate their children.
One instance, my nephew was not ready to do his homework. I was a little worried about him. Then I told him a story in which a boy does his homework happily and gets rewards for that.
From that story my nephew got motivated. After a few days, I gave him a little gift or chocolate as a reward. Now he does his homework happily. And that was the day I came to know the importance of motivation.
How do unmotivated children behave?
- A child lacking inspiration would prefer to play computer games than do his/her schoolwork
- The child does not show interest in anything.
- He/she does not focus on anything for a long time.
- An unmotivated kid gravitates towards those activities that require less effort.
- He/she does not appear to think about what he/she is learning in school.
- You start to feel that your child is always lazy.
- A kid without inspiration thinks everything is boring.
- He/she never takes part in any activity.
- An unmotivated child accuses every other person of his/her presentation as well as to conduct.
- He/she does not appear to think about anything.
- An unmotivated kid comes up with lot of excuses. Acts helpless most of the time.
- The kid does not show any expression of excitement in any situation.
- Becomes irritated when you ask him to do something.
- Shy’s away from playing with other children.
Have you ever wondered why it is so difficult to motivate your kids to do anything? Why your motivation is not working?
As parents, we regularly crib that our children will not care unless we force them.
As per my experience I have felt that the basic truth is that your strategies to inspire your kid are most likely working against you.
You cannot make your kid care just because you do. And that is enough to get them to be motivated. Most of the time it is us who care for our child more than the child does for themselves.
What is more awful is that in the process of attempting to motivate your kids for something, it will sometimes bounce right back on us.
Anyways, if your kid is one of the less motivated, it is a matter to be worried. And sometimes it creates trouble for you as well as your child.
This is when things start to get bit more complicated.
We look at our kid being stuck to a spot, not wanting to do anything, or not doing anything we had asked for.
This tries our patience and we respond to our kid’s absence of inspiration.
We are anxious about the child, and we try to motivate our kids from our point of view.
We resort to pressure tactics, or nagging, or blackmail such as, if don’t do this you won’t get that. Type of blackmail.
We have a set expectation and we like our kid to be super charged, motivated and do all things at once.
Most of the time we attack the lack of motivation rather than try to solve the root cause, which is, are we providing enough motivation?
When we attack the action rather than the root cause we land up being frustrated and we pressurize our kid.
The more this cycle continues the more the kid will withdraw and show less motivation.
Ask yourself these questions to evaluate the progress:
- Do you motivate him properly?
- Do you remain composed when you are disappointed?
- Are you spending enough time with your kids?
- Are you answering all the questions of your kid?
- Is patience in short supply, Are you showing patience?
- Do you have a close relationship with your child?
Most of the time a negative answer to any of the questions above usually points at us that the fault lies with us.
Tips to motivate your kids
Whether he battles you or obeys you, the result is that he will not be motivated any more than he previously was.
You may finally get him to do what you want, yet your goal of helping him to be self-motivated is still far away.
- Do you want to motivate your kids ?
- Do you want your child to do everything with excitement?
If Yes, here are a few tips that will help you to motivate your kids.
Be an inspiration for your kid
If you are trying to motivate your child, then do not be a motivational speaker for him. Yes, you hear me right DO NOT be just a motivational speaker. Be an inspiration.
How would you do that? Be an inspiration for your child.
Ask yourself this simple question.
Are you motivating him or just controlling him?
If all your motivational speech is in a way to brainwash or control your kid. You will fail miserably.
E.g. If your motivational speech is something like this.
“get me the packet of milk, you can keep the change.”
This is indirectly blackmailing your kid. The next time you want your kid to get a bottle of water. You kid will ask you for a reward or worse will negotiate a price for everything.
So, think of somebody in your own life who motivates you, and work towards that objective.
Involve your Kid in your activity
You like to cook an evening snack. You see your kid sitting and watching a video. Call in your kid to watch a snack video with you.
Try to make it interesting by watching a snack preparation video of a snack that your kid likes.
Slowly direct your kid to start helping you with things like, get me the onion. Where is the vessel? watch the video and tell me the next step, etc,.
You will have your kid helping you in no time. My daughter would even run to our neighbor’s shop to pick items if we do not have it to finish the item.
Better still she would even help with washing utensil as and when it is done. While I continue cooking.
Ask yourself, are you really motivating him, or is it just controlling him?
This is also another way of inspiring then than controlling them.
Set competition for your child. In this way, you can develop a sense of competition for him. For example,
Once I asked my nephew to race with me. I gave him the instructions and told him that if he wins the race, we would clap for him and would give give him chocolate.
I lost the race deliberately. This made him motivated to run fast.
Do this with your child. Play games and give them a chance to win.
Encourage your child
You know that when someone praises you, you become excited. Encouragement gives you strength.
Likewise, when your child is showing good performance you must encourage them then and there.
For example, take the above example where I narrated how I would motivate my daughter to help me in kitchen.
To give an example of how encouragement works. My daughter will show me how she cleaned her utensil after every vessel she cleans. I am sure every kid does such thing as they love validation.
I would go about saying.
WOW you are cleaning very well?
Or Where did you learn to clean so well?
Man, this is cleaner than the other vessel you cleaned!!! You are getting better!
If you want to try our above point on instilling competition. try saying …You are doing it very fast. Let us see if you can do this one faster than me.
In this way, your child will be more motivated. He will give you the best output that you want.
Be a friend, not an instructor
Develop a friendly relationship with your child. Do not be a mere instructor. If you are just instructing them, they will not show the desired output.
Teach them in a friendly manner. Give them space to share their feelings.
An example: When my kid volunteered to clean the kitchen top and she did a good job of it though it took her only 10 mins to clean.
The simple question from my side. how did you know to clean so well, made her talk and talk for 20 mins.
Spare time for conversation with your children. If you have a strong conversion with them, they will be close to you and will be more motivated to help, when you ask for.
Show them by doing it
It is well said that action speaks louder than words. Be a motivational actor instead of being a motivational speaker.
Teach them by doing.
Because your children do not do what you ask them to do. They do what they see you doing.
My second son had some weight issues. I have weight issues.
So, no matter how much I would tell him, lecture him, pleaded with him, and force him to go out and play, or cycle. he was completely turning a deaf ear.
Till one day my husband started going out for walks and I started avoiding carbs.
You guessed it right! soon after, he started calling out foods as carbs or protein etc. Started eating less of carbs and in the morning went out for cycling with my husband.
That is why you must be a role model for your kids. Be careful in front of your kids.
Listen to your child
Find out about your kid’s interests. Listen to your child carefully when they are talking to you.
It will show you what your child loves to do naturally. Encourage it and they will be more confident.
My elder one loves cricket. So, if there is a practice at 3 Am. I am sure he will just get up on his own and go for the practice.
But if there is church at 10. 30 AM, he is more likely to say that he is very sleepy and go for an evening service than wake up.
When you engage more with your kids on the things that they love doing, you start seeing quality output from them.
In the process when you slip in few chores here and there you find them more motivated to do it to reciprocate the love you are showing them.
Keep up a positive and idealistic behavior for your children. If they see fear or uncertainty in your eyes, at that point they will probably become anxious also.
Having a positive attitude will help him maintain confidence.
If you do not give them a positive response, they will be giving up even before they try.
I learnt this the hard way. When my son once asked me, which is the best MBA school in the world. I said Harvard and my big mouth went on to say that it is very difficult to get there.
Years after when I felt he has the aptitude to aim for an Ivy league school, the only response he gave was “It is very difficult to get there.”
Always stay positive. Have a positive outlook and exercise patience.
In case your child is not motivated for anything, tell them stories.
Children always like stories. You can create simple and short stories.
When you tell your child a story, your kid will keep it in his mind. He gets the strength of the hero of the story.
He tries to act like that hero. So, the stories must be thrilling and motivating.
Storytelling has amazing benefits. To know more and so that you do not miss out on it, read our article Storytelling to kids – Popular Trend these days.
When your child accomplishes any goal you have set you must celebrate it. Tell him that you are proud of his accomplishment.
Invite his friends to celebrate. In some cases, reward them if it was a genuine effort and not as a way of blackmail. After this celebration, you will get a better response than the previous one.
In some cases, a little bit of pressure is not bad. It will help your child to do his best. He will try to defeat his friends in school as well as in sports.
But be careful. This should not be too much. It can affect your child’s health.
This can lead to anxiety issues. If there is lot of peer pressure or comparison.
Anxiety issues in children is on the rise and we have written a good article on it. How to spot and deal with anxiety issues in teenager.
While the article focuses on Teenagers it is better that we as parents are equipped with the knowledge so that we can catch the signs early and not wait till the kid becomes a teenager.
Let them decide
Kids should have the option to settle on their own choices to feel a feeling of self-governance.
Many parents think that if their children decide, they will make the wrong choice.
Just let them make minor decisions. If they are wrong, correct them politely.
Do not be harsh with them. Reason with them as to why they are wrong and what went wrong.
Also help them to face challenges and not run away from it. You as parent need to teach them that.
If you are wondering how. Do read one of our resourceful article 11 PRACTICAL WAYS TO HELP YOUR CHILD FACE CHALLENGES.
Make sure you child is well rested
You cannot motivate your child if your child is tired or not rested.
Do not over schedule your child’s day. Schedule it in such a way that they have energy to permit them to engage in many activities.
Also ensure that your child gets enough rest. When you child is well rested, they are naturally in an active and receptive mode.
This will give them the strength needed to participate in an activity that you assign to them.
If you like to know more about how sleep will help your child, read our informative article INTRODUCING SLEEP FOR KIDS IN A NEW-LIGHT (WITH 17 HELPFUL TIPS). You will also get tips on how to deal with bedtime routines which will help your kid follow a sleep schedule.
This one works as a charm. I have tried it not once, not twice but three times (with all my kids) and now trying it out with my Niece.
I give kids title. Title like, “math queen”, “super-talent”, “Finder” “Magic Fingers” etc. Let me explain this…
My son is called “super talent” he is super talented, and he has earned this title. So, anything new to try… I would say to him, “You are “super talent” right. Try this?” To live up to his title, he would do it.
My daughter is called “Math Queen”. So, she got the chore of buying daily household items because she is “Math Queen” and she can do math while handling money.
Whenever she slacked a bit in her chore I would remind her of the title, and she would go ahead and do it.
(A little detour: Money management is a very important skill to teach your child. The world pivots on money yet we do-not have any formal education, teaching us to handle it. Hence, I have passionately written the topic on MONEY MANAGEMENT FOR KIDS – How and When to Start? Do read this. I am sure it will be of help).
While each of the title motivates each of the respective kid to be better at his or her role and try to live to the title. It also makes them stay motivated to do anything to defend the title.
Motivation is the key to success. A motivated person can do anything that he wants.
If a person is not motivated, he cannot achieve his goals. Motivation must be started at an early age. And we as parents have a vital role to play.
Follow all these tips we have given. We hope it will be of help to you to make your child motivate and in turn become a successful adult.