A self-motivated kid is unstoppable. His dreams are limitless; he can be a pilot on Monday, an artist on Tuesday, a doctor on Wednesday, a daddy on Thursday, an Engineer on Friday…. and the cycle goes on.
This enthusiasm makes them eager and more persistent to take on challenging tasks.
Parents have a tremendous impact on children’s desire to dream big and learn.
How You Can Help
1) Expand on what the child is learning, seeing or doing.
– If they are reading a story book reluctuntantly ask them who their best character is and why. If you ask with interest without making it seem like an interview, you will be amazed at how much they share.
2) Help them feel competent.
– Build on their competence as a self motivator. Nothing motivates children more than knowing that they can figure out something new. They just cant wait to try it again unlike situations where things are done for them.
3) Use encouragement instead of praise.
– Children know when they are competent at simple tasks like tying their shoes but as they grow older they need more feedback to develop their skills
– Be specific with your acknowledgement. Point out what they have achieved. This is more encouraging than a general well done.
– Give them an opportunity to demostrate what they have learned if they want to. This also helps create conversation.
4) Help them when they are discouraged
– No matter how much you encourage your children they are bound to feel incompetent or, discouraged from time to time. Sometimes its because they don’t recognise their role in the success. They may say “i got lucky, the teacher did it.. ”
Its up to you to remind them that they kept trying even when they were tired.
5) Avoid saying “That’s Easy”
– If you are struggling with a task and someone says thats easy you feel stupid and incompetent
6) Model enthusiasm for learning.
– Enthusiasm for learning is contagious, children can pick it from you. Reading a book or magazine for pleasure sends a message that reading can be fun instead of a routine.
7) Give children some control over their work
– Sometimes we are eager for our children to learn and do well in school that we control the way they approach certain tasks. (Especially if the child isn’t doing very well)
Children begin to internalize good study habits if they are give control of their work
CC: Kathy Seal