Tips on motivating your child
Convincing your child to do things they don’t want to do can be challenging. And making them stop doing the things you don’t want them to do can be even trickier.
Some kids are self-motivated, whilst others usually need a little push. If you’re looking for ways to motivate your child, you may think of rewarding them for steps they take in the right direction, or applying negative consequences for steps they take in the wrong direction.
Whilst rewards in the short-term aren’t harmful for times like getting your child to stop having a tantrum in a restaurant; external rewards won’t build your child’s character or impart the value of keeping their room organised or getting their homework done on time. By helping them to cultivate their self-motivation you are helping them to tune into their feelings of accomplishment, and create a sense of pride in achieving a job well done.
It’s also important to not let your anxiety push them to get motivated. Stop and ask yourself, “What’s my child’s responsibility here and what’s mine?” If your child isn’t getting their tasks done, your role as a parent is to inspire them, and to teach them about accountability and consequences.
Sometimes you need to step away and observe your child in a way that enables you to understand how best to motivate and inspire them. Be an investigator by exploring and uncovering, so you can help your child discover their own motivations and sticking points.
To help your child remain focused and motivated, be clear in your expectations for them. Don’t say you’ll be proud of them for trying so hard in school but wrinkle your nose at a B. Nothing frustrates a child more than constantly moving the goal posts. Instead, be consistent with your expectations so your child knows what to do. And make sure you focus on their effort and commitment instead of the outcome. If you expect perfect achievement from your child whilst they are struggling at school, you’ll likely cause them to rebel.
By influencing your child when they have to do something that they don’t want to do, they get to know themselves well enough to figure out what their own desires might be. As a parent, you want to strengthen their skills in defining what’s important to them. You want to help your child define for themselves who they are, what’s important to them and what they’re going to do to make those things happen. Your responsibility is to help your child do just that, not to do it for them. We need to stay out of their way enough so they can figure out who they are, what they think and where their own interests lie.
It can however be very frustrating to watch your child become withdrawn and unable to deal with their struggles. Hearing that you are not alone and how other parents have navigated their way through those situations and strengthened their relationships.
If you would like to learn more about understanding and supporting your child’s development, please contact us on 9334 0111 or firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange to talk with one of our experienced Family Workers in a confidential setting.