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A motivated child is more likely to study harder, focus better and have a positive outlook on life. It is absolutely essential to how well a child learns, not only the school but in life too. Motivation helps ease the process of learning and understanding. It is very important for a child to be sufficiently motivated, or else they resort to negative behavior, such as lack of effort, anger or quitting. There are several parenting styles most of them focus on bringing up their child in a good way. Motivated children are more likely to be successful and as parents, it is your job to keep your child motivated for their future. After all, “What you plant today, you will harvest tomorrow.” Therefore, we bring you our top ten tips for keeping children motivated.
1. Inspire them
Children cite their parents as their parents being their primary inspiration and spend most their life trying to emulate their parents. To be an inspiration, think of someone who inspired and try to bring their traits into your behavior. Another way to be a great inspiration for your child is to do good deeds with them, practice good deeds and be a positive figure that your child will respect. Teach your child how to do something and they will immediately try to do as well as you.
2. Praise their efforts instead of only the outcome
Children are known to take failure to their heart and be easily disappointed when something doesn’t go as expected. More often than not, they don’t entirely appreciate their own efforts, focused only on the result they were expecting. Parents often tend to overlook their efforts too, and that is a serious problem. Children are disheartened when they don’t do as they thought they would, which only increases when their parents chastise them this is the beginning of parents-child relationship problems. Therefore, appreciate your child’s efforts in trying something instead of only appreciating them when they’ve done well. Also, if your praise their effort, it will encourage them to do better the next time over and isn’t that what every parent wants?
3. Be active and exercise with them
A healthy body means a healthy mind! Show your child that exercise is important for holistic growth; the best way is to be active with them. Go on long walks with them, challenge each other to friendly races or bicycle with them. Exercise releases endorphins, also known as the “feel good hormone” which is very good for motivation. Additionally, it keeps you and your child fit, so why not?
4. Set realistic goals
Goals are important to children; they transform ideas into reality. When kids know what they are working towards and have a better idea of how to proceed with a plan, they are bound to well. However, it is important to set goals that a child is capable of achieving. If your child has recently taken up running, don’t expect them to be able to run a marathon. Remember to make the goals specific instead of vague, so the child has a firm sense of direction of what to work towards. As they progress, make their goals more difficult.
5. Rethink rewards
While rewarding children (or bribing them) to do something might help in short-term tasks/goals, it seriously hinders long-term growth. Children are smarter than we give them credit for, using rewards as incentives to get them to complete any task will end up with them doing something only for the reward. Children lose motivation to undertake activities they are interested in too, if they aren’t rewarded at the end. However, that doesn’t mean you should eliminate rewards or incentive entirely. Use rewards carefully, for small, one-time activities, but don’t use them too often or for chores.
6. Talk to the children
Having deep, thoughtful conversations with them will make your child feel more responsible, and intrigue them. It will also allow you an insight into their perspective, which is important for all parents to know – this helps parents understand how their child thinks. Ask them how their day was, how they feel about various things and what their thoughts on different activities are. Incorporating questions into the dialogue, such as “How do you feel about doing your chores alone today?” or “Do you really need help in your homework?” allows the children the choice of deciding to go with your help or not. Asking questions to the children makes them feel significantly more mature and is definitely bound to motivate them.
7. Always encourage
Encouragement is the most important step towards motivation, without constant encouragement, all these tips are for naught. There is a difference between praise and encouragement. Praise focuses on the results, such as “good job”. Encouragement not only acknowledges the child’s progress and effort but makes the child think about what they did right themselves. The children will learn to take responsibility for what they’ve done. An important thing is note is not to overdo it, or else the words will seem meaningless and lose their worth.
8. Don’t nag
Nagging is one of the worst ways to get a child, or anyone for that matter, to do anything. Constant reminders to complete a task can be very annoying and more often than not, puts people off. Find healthy alternatives to nagging, such as words of positivity and inspiration. To stop nagging, you should understand and recognize that you’re doing it in the first place.
9. Go out or do fun activities together
Take your child out often. Educational trips such as museums encourage their curiosity and children begin to develop inquisitional minds. Libraries are great places to spend a day at, reading is essential for a healthy development. In fact, a library membership might just be what they need for a stimulating day. Afternoons at parks, playing games in the fresh air will do their body as well as mind good. Playing educational games, like Scrabble will encourage them to learn in the spirit of competition.
10. Allow their interests to develop
If your child is interested in an activity, encourage them to develop it. If they display a fondness for music, ask them if they’d like to learn to play an instrument. Encourage them to develop projects of their own, and better yet, try to get involved in it. Help them learn more about what they are interested in. Give them contrastive feedback; teach them how to improve what they’re interested in. On a parent-child relationship scale try to score well.
Keeping a child motivated might seem difficult, but it is far easier than most people think. It is so important that a child is motivated at all times. Don’t shy away from failure, have a strong relationship with your child and let their curiosity foster! Most of all, be an inspiration to them.
The Article is contributed by Zoya Springwala.