Brain Gain or Brain Drain?
An unmotivated mind is a passive mind. A brain that is turned on and ready for learning will actively engage in what it is being taught, rather than sitting idly and not letting anything sink in. As a parent we often want to protect our children from failure, but taking the easy road will not lead your child down the path of discovery and learning. We must teach our children that engaging in battle is fun, that trying difficult things is like an adventure, and failure is not a reason to give up but the way we learn best. By readying our minds to learn difficult material, stay focused, and truly engage in the material we are learning, we rise to the challenge and will reap the rewards.
Small Challenges and Rewards
Our job as parents is to guide children to finding their own answers to failures. Initially, you can help this process along by creating small challenges and offering occasional rewards for trying. A chocolate bar, a trip to the movies, stickers, or just simple praise can all be effective ways to help a child be motivated to learn. Obviously the best kind of motivation is one that comes from within, so be sure not to overindulge your child with presents for learning. But getting a good mark on a challenging test, completing a project a week early, or receiving all A’s on a report card definitely calls for some rewards. The confidence and self-esteem your child builds as they complete difficult tasks will eventually be reward enough.