In our world today, children learn how to use gadgets even before they start talking. When they grow up, modern technologies have already heavily permeated their life. But how can you motivate your children to develop themselves in a world so full of entertainment?
What Does a Child Want?
To motivate a child to learn and develop, you must first think about what the child wants. In fact, their wishes are quite clear and often contradictory. For example, a child wants to be praised by parents, but also wants to play all day long. A child wants to be recognized for his/her unique personality, yet at the same time they seek care and approval from their parents. After all, a child wants to remain a child, and more than anything else in the world, any child dreams about growing up and getting big. How to give our children a good and happy childhood, without corralling them into a rigid framework, but not indulging all their whims either?
This is where you need a stable and clear motivation for kids, the one that will allow them to develop comfortably and successfully.
It is interesting! In order to build the right system of encouragement and control, let’s examine the basic scientific principles of how to inspire children.
What Motivates Your Child?
Motivations can be external and internal:
- A child is trying to get something for himself or herself.
- A child wants to be appreciated by other people, for example, by his or her parents.
When you communicate with your children, it is crucial to understand the purpose of his/her actions, try understanding why your child is doing the things he is doing. Does the child want it for himself (to get an award or just to spend time for pleasure) or does he expect to receive praise from you?
The second type of motivation is much more convenient for parents, because it is easier for them to control. Do not give your child praises or encouragement all the time, and next time she will try her best to do what others want of her.
But the first type of motivation is also very important from the perspective of formation of psychological habits of the child. A logical chain must be formed and fixed in his consciousness: “I wanted – I worked – I got” – in that exact sequence. Such thinking is formed at an early age and remains for the rest of one’s life. Even now, you can easily identify those people among your acquaintances whose parents haven’t given them a clear understanding of that relation. They often fail in their careers and very quickly give up everything they begin to do.
It is important! All of the above does not mean that the child’s study motivation or self-development should originate from within him only, but not from a parent’s disagreement with the child or resentment towards him. But it is always very important to maintain a balance and feel when the child needs to be given additional motivation to finish what he started, and when he should be shown compassion and be allowed to abandon a particular task.
How Exactly Can You Motivate a Child?
Besides the fact that motivation can be internal and external, it is divided into two other most important subtypes:
- Achievement motivation
- Avoidance motivation
Again, it is important for a parent to understand why a child should strive to achieve a certain goal. Does she expect to get something good (a gift, care, attention, rest) or is she trying to get away from something bad (punishment, loss of a gift or candy)?
When we set a task for a child, it is first necessary to answer the question why she should want it internally.
We’ll let you in on a secret: No child does anything with a goal in mind to upset his or her parents. They only do it because they are interested in it or it’s pleasant for them.
If you look at any task from the child’s perspective, you can formulate it much more precisely.
It is very dangerous to combine the motivation of achievement and avoidance. For example:
Tidy up your room and you’ll get ice cream. No game time otherwise!
Let’s find out what the child exactly hears in that situation:
- The ice cream is already mine, but to get it, I have to tidy up my room.
- If I don’t do the tidying, the game time will be taken away from me.
- I want ice cream and I want to play, but I don’t want to tidy up.
In just a split second, the child’s thoughts are occupied with the desire for ice cream, resentment for the lost game time, and hatred for tidying.
Instead, the pure avoidance motivation (do the tidying, otherwise no game time) could give the child much more energy to focus on tidying. Achievement motivation (do the cleaning and get ice cream) would even allow the child to do it with some pleasure.
But the best way to work is to stir the child’s inner motivation:
Oh, how messy is your room. Don’t you want to clean it up?
Such a calm remark, repeated several times without flying off the handle can be a good motivation to tidying up. And after all done and dusted, it is very profitable to draw the child’s attention to the results:
How good and cozy your room looks now. Does it feel good? Do you like it? –
I REALLY like it!
Let your encouragement of your kids be by no means related to what the child did or didn’t do. If a child gets the encouragement for no special reason, she will know that she hasn’t done her job for some reward, but she did it to feel better. With that motivation, children can achieve a lot while they are still in their childhood years.
Today there are a huge number of apps for gadgets that help to build up a child motivation system. They are not only interesting, but also really useful solutions that help to develop a child’s ability to concentrate and achieve their goals. But you have to choose them very carefully and thoughtfully, checking their content yourself before installing on your child’s gadget. Those apps should not contain anxiety or violence.
These educational games and tasks encourage children to concentrate, persevere, and achieve a desired goal. But along with pleasure from the process and joy from the result, they give a child the most important skills of consistency and persistence in achieving a goal.
Care, attention, and a systematic approach – that is what motivates a child to do well in school, to achieve more, and eventually to lead a happy and fulfilling life as adults. The secret to success lies in the power of your thoughts and intentions. After all, those behavioral patterns that we embed in our children, even at their very early age, become the basis for all further development and character formation of theirs. Let the main motivation of your child be not fear or desire for a reward, but a sincere interest and passion that brings them pleasure in the end.