Getting your child to do certain things that you may want them to do for their own benefit is often times quite a challenge. Activities such as brushing their teeth, cleaning up their mess, or doing their homework are considered crucial, but to some children, they consider those as more of a boring chore with no real reward.
Some kids are self-motivated while some are a little less. The latter types of children oftentimes need a little bit of a push and shove from time to time to get them up and running again.
Instinctively, the parent may resort to the usual approach of rewarding the child for every good job he performs, and applying a negative consequence for every mistake they do. On the contrary, regulating the rewards and punishment system and focusing more on training his internal motivation for his own betterment will yield better results.
Let’s find out how to achieve this monumental task in four simple ways below.
Know when to use rewards
Rewards are a sure-fire way of motivating people to do certain activities. However, if the behavior has become dependent on the reward, the performance of the activities will stop, if the rewards are stopped as well. Additionally, through these continued rewards, at some point along the road, when you ask your child to do something, they will be unwilling to perform the task unless they will be given compensation for their service.
What then should you do instead? While we’re not completely eliminating physical rewards from the table, it should be used in moderation.
On the contrary, emphasize to the child the positive effects of performing a certain activity that will make them feel good about themselves inside and give them a sense of fulfillment, which is also called “intrinsic motivation.”
For example, overly rewarding a child for performing well in school, may motivate him to study harder and in turn get him better grades, but it may also yield a negative effect of the child thinking that the only reason they study is to get a physical reward from the parent and not an appreciation of the beauty of knowledge.
Praise them for their efforts
Everyone loves to be appreciated for their efforts now and then, especially children. Words of encouragement, when used properly, can be a powerful tool for motivation.
Consistent, sincere, and honest praises will improve their self-esteem and can go a long way in encouraging them to continuously perform an activity without fear of being mocked or jeered at by others, which can discourage them from performing or even just trying out new activities.
To add, comparison praises should be avoided. No one really likes being compared to someone else more superior, more so amongst children. These kinds of praises shouldn’t even be called as praises since they can demoralize children if they fail in a certain activity and they are thus more likely to avoid challenges or stop learning new activities that require skills greater than what they possess, in fear of failure.
Be considerate of their abilities
You can’t really ask a fish to climb a tree or a monkey to fly and the same principle goes over with children. Some children are just more talented than others in a certain activity yet may find difficulty in another.
Each child has their own unique set of abilities and it’s up to the parent to gauge their child’s strengths and weaknesses. Try to observe what activities your children like or dislike then mentally evaluate if they will be up to the task of what you want them to do.
To motivate them even further, give a helping hand in activities that they may find difficult. Encourage them to not fear failure but rather learn from it then praise them sincerely and honestly for their efforts. Finally, correct their mistakes and give advice on what other ways they are able to effectively perform that task if possible.