Each stage of your child’s development comes with its joys and challenges. Some are easily resolved and only temporary, while others seem to last forever and have no solution. One of the most difficult challenge many parents face is how to motive their child. Parents are well aware of how important it is to do well in school. So, what should you do if your child isn’t staying engaged in school? We’ve highlighted the three best ways to help your child get motivated and stay engaged in his or her studies. Here are our top 3 tips:
1) Focus on the reward
Positive feelings are strong motivators. Many students haven’t gone through real successes and may not have set goals, which is why it can be difficult for them to feel like success is tangible. They’re also still young and may have the impression that time is limitless, and wasting sometime early on is no big deal. But as any adult will know, this isn’t true.
Although you can’t force them to understand the consequences of their actions, you can help them realise how rewarding it can be to set and accomplish goals. Helping them imagine how hard work can have a fantastic payoff can be done in many ways and is up to you and your child. If the benefits of a top results aren’t motivating enough for your child yet, you could try setting up a reward (dinner out? Ice cream? Gift? Etc.) to show your child how proud you are of him or her.
It’s important that you child knows he or she can succeed and that you believe it’s possible. If they can feel that you believe in them, they will start to believe it themselves. The younger they experience success, the more likely they will continue to aim for it. Parents expectations plays a huge role in a child’s approach and outcome, which leads us to our second point.
2) Set up clear expectations
When children have clear expectations, it allows them to work towards goals more easily. When the boundaries and goals are clear and stable, a child will feel more secure and can work towards a set challenge with confidence. They don’t have a lot of past experience to draw on, which is why a parent must be there to guide a child based on their wisdom.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you need to forcefully push your past onto your child’s present. It simply means that you understand the effort, time and dedication required. You understand that learning from mistakes is key and that standing back up after falling is more important than how many times you fell. These may be cliché sayings, but they are known for a reason.
Children may not have enough life experience to understand this, which is why you are here to help by setting expectations and guiding them through each challenge. Knowing you are there to help and guide your child is what will allow your child to feel secure and supported, and therefore confident enough to tackle any challenge. You are there to provide the structure and support. Clear expectations can include doing well at school, putting in consistent effort to do homework, choosing an extracurricular (such as a sport or musical instrument) and sticking to it for at least a year (showing the importance of dedication) or any other goal you think is important for your child to achieve.
3) Allow your child to have some autonomy
Although it’s important to be there for your child, encouraging the reward and setting the expectation, it’s also important for your child to feel somewhat independent. If the expectations feel more like pressure, all your good intentions could backfire.
A good approach, though sometimes challenging, is to make sure your child is aware that there are expectations that must be met, but not feel too stressed about being perfect or meeting your demands. It has to be a balance between listening to you, and feeling like the reward is for their own benefit. For example, if you know how important it is for your child to read, and you want him or her to spend some free time reading, then it’s worth keeping in mind that there’s a fine line between expectation and pressure. Too much pressure can lead to resentment, which will then be counterproductive for your child’s development and motivation.
By making this activity fun, and allowing your child to choose the book, you can make it seem like a joint project. If your goal is to have your child put in more effort into his or her homework and achieve higher marks, then setting up certain rules (like no TV before the work is done) to keep your child organised, could help your child develop important homework habits. In addition, agreeing on a reward once that exam is done or a high mark is achieved should help your child feel more motivate and learn how to work towards a goal.
These suggestions are here to help you get started. They are ideas to help you motivate your child and come up with creative ways to set goals and expectations. We wanted to address this topic since it’s an issue that many of our parents ask us about and we know how important it is for your child to be engaged in their education.
If you have any questions or concerns and would like to speak to one of our education consultants, don’t hesitate to contact us at 02030867311 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.