Finding out what motivates your kids is not an easy task. Every parent is faced with this problem and convincing your kids to do things that they might not feel like doing is sometimes challenging. Learning how to motivate your kids is an important step towards becoming a great parent but more importantly, it will help them be successful in life. With the right motivation, the kids will be able to finish their homework in time and take care of their chores. If you are looking for the best motivational techniques, then you have arrived at the right place. Today I am going to show you what are the best ways to keep kids motivated.
#1 Giving Out Rewards is Not Good for the Long Term
This might come as a surprise, but giving out rewards is not always a good idea to motivate kids. This motivation method is considered a “temporary solution” by experts and the reason behind this is that what are you going to do when you run out of rewards?
“It is true that rewards will motivate people to do activities. But what happens is the behavior becomes dependent on the rewards and will stop when the rewards stop,” states Edward Deci is a Ph.D professor of psychology at the University of Rochester.
Think of it this way, would you be motivated to go to work if you didn’t get paid? This is why giving out rewards is not the way to do motivate your kids.
#2 Recognize Personal Achievements
One of the best ways to make your kids feel great for doing something that they were not necessarily feeling motivated about is to recognize their personal achievements. Most of the time, children desire to be viewed as competent and successful in all activities. This is why praising them for their hard work and making them feel good about themselves is always a better option than giving out rewards.
The tricky part about motivating your kids by recognizing their personal achievements is to be careful not to turn this into praise. If you find yourself giving praise to your kids for everything they do, they will soon stop feeling the sense accomplishment when dealing with bigger tasks. You should expect excellence because offering unearned praise will lead to losing overall motivation.
#3 Set Goals
Hands down, the fastest way to make someone feel motivated is to set short-term goals. This works for kids as well. Obviously, you don’t want your kids to be forced into one direction and the goals that you set for them should have a “loose grip”. What I mean by this is that you should set goals for them to work towards, but you should give them enough freedom to show their character strengths and what they like.
If you are not sure what goals you should set for your kids, then my advice would be to write down with pen on paper how you would like them to be when they grow up. Do you want them to be hard workers? Then, your goals should be focused on short-term goals that will teach them how good it feels to take care of chores in time.
#4 One-on-One Talks
Who else knows better what motivates your kids other than them? Kids can sometimes be difficult to “crack” because not all of them like talking openly about their feelings. This is where one-on-one talks come in. You should have meaningful conversations with your kids and learn what they like, what drives them and what makes them curios. Dr. Kennedy-Moore has a great way of explaining the importance of meaningful talks with kids.
The doctor picks a member from the audience and she tells him that she will give him $1,000 if he does a backflip. When the audience member declines to do the impossible task, Dr. Kennedy-Moore says: “Look how stubborn he is! I guess I need to be more firm with him”.
This why motivating your kids to do something that they excel at is more important than forcing them to focus on things that they don’t necessarily like or enjoy doing.
If there is one thing that all parents will agree about, then it has to be the fact that no one is ever fully prepared for the job. Being a parent is the most difficult job in the world and learning how to do it right is a long process. As a conclusion, the best way to find out what motivates your kids is to talk to them and let them show you what drives them.
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