Motivating children is often the most important and most difficult part of teaching. Whether your child is being taught in a traditional classroom environment or is being homeschooled, ensuring your child stays motivated can be almost impossible at times.
No matter how hard we try, if our children aren’t engaged and interested in their studies, they will struggle to progress.
So how do we motivate our children? If someone asked you how you motivate your child, how would you answer?
As parents, we do our best to support our kids as they learn and it is our responsibility to keep them on track and help them to achieve their best.
Motivating children can take many different forms because every child is different. What motivates one child may not motivate another and motivations can change as a child ages.
In this article, we will take a closer look at how to motivate children and how to answer the question of what motivates your child.
Factors That Affect Motivation
To answer the question of what motivates your child, you need to take a few factors into consideration. Let’s take a look at these.
This is one of the biggest factors in motivating your child. Toddlers are motivated by different things than teenagers and you need to consider the age of your child.
For example, a toddler may be motivated to stay on track by making things more playful and giving them extra toys. However, this same approach is unlikely to work on a teenager so you will need to change your approach.
The key to motivating your child is to appeal to them directly. Think about what your child is interested in and what makes them happy.
Children that are interested in sports might be motivated by the promise of going to a game or getting some new sporting equipment.
Kids that love video games might be motivated by the promise of a couple of hours of promised gaming time.
Motivation also depends on the specific situation. For example, a kid that loves science might be motivated by the opportunity to have fun with some science experiments.
The same kid, however, may need some serious motivation to finish their math equations.
When it comes to motivating your child, there is no single answer or method that is always sure to work. Explaining what motivates your child is rarely a quick and easy answer!
Types Of Motivation
Before we detail some methods for motivating children, we will take a quick look at the different types of motivation.
All humans have these needs and they cover what we need to survive, such as food, water, sleep, and shelter.
Of course, these aren’t serious concerns for your child as all of these should be provided by you, but they can still be great motivators. You can keep your child on track with promises of treats or special meals, for example.
This covers concepts such as love, affection, and friendship. Children need large amounts of these to have a happy and healthy childhood.
Like adults, kids want to feel happy, secure, valued, and appreciated. This is why encouragement and praise can be great motivators for kids.
Your kid may occasionally pretend to be lazy and disinterested in their studies, but that doesn’t prevent them from having cognitive needs.
All kids need to be stimulated and challenged and get a thrill from mastering something difficult.
How To Motivate Your Child
Here are some methods you can use to motivate your child. These can also be good answers when asked what motivates your child!
Setting a goal can help with a child’s cognitive needs. It’s important that the goal is tricky but achievable as this will motivate them to put in the effort needed.
Whenever your child accomplishes their goal or performs particularly well on a task or test, let them know! Give them praise and tell them you’re proud of their work. You may even want to give them a reward as well.
Take An Interest
Don’t be passive about your child’s interests and development. Ask them what they are doing and let them explain their interests. Spend time with them and show that you care about what they care about.
The keyword here is friendly! A little competition between children isn’t a bad thing as long as it remains healthy and supportive.
Don’t make your child feel like failure isn’t an option but do support them so that they can outperform their peers. Teach your child that winning is great, but also how to lose with grace.
There will be times that your child will lose their motivation because things appear to be too difficult. They may lose their self-confidence and decide not to try.
As their parent, it’s your job to remain positive when your child can’t be themselves. Keep a positive attitude and encourage them to try again.
We touched on this a little earlier, but children are not beyond a little bribery! Set them a goal or task and when they successfully complete it, reward them with something they love.
In this article, we took a deep dive into motivating children and how to answer the question of what motivates your child.
We looked at how age, personality, and situation can affect what motivates a child and introduced the different types of motivation.
We also introduced several methods to motivate your child. Some of these methods may work with your child but others may not so you will have to try different things to see what works.
You may even find that different motivations work at different times as well.
We hope that the information in this article will help with motivating your child.