Motivating Children To Do Their Best: Tips For Unmotivated Learners
Keeping kids motivated in school isn’t always an easy task.
While some students are natural self-motivators, many children struggle to find the motivation needed to do their best.
So, how can parents motivate their child to learn?
It starts with understanding the reasons why a child may not be giving his or her best effort.
Why Isn’t My Child Motivated?
Lack of motivation can come down to a number of things, including:
- Low self-confidence
- Fear of failure
- Lack of comprehension
- Trouble focusing
- Poor organization skills
Your goal is to help your child become a self-motivated student. To do this, it’s important to help your child build motivation in a positive way, and avoid trying to “force” your child to do better.
Always avoid approaches that the child could construe as negative, like lost privileges. This could cause your child to become even more overwhelmed and frustrated with schoolwork.
Keep reading to discover the best strategies to help parents turn an unmotivated child into a self-motivated learner.
11 Ways Parents Can Motivate Children To Learn (& Do Their Best)
- Encourage a positive learning atmosphere
- Find what he or she is passionate about
- Focus on the learning experience
- Make learning engaging
- Use different learning techniques
- Talk about what he or she is learning
- Help your child stay organized
- Set goals to work toward
- Find ways to reduce stress
- Celebrate achievements with rewards
- Make it a competition
Encourage motivation by making your home a learning-friendly environment. Help boost motivation at home by creating an organized study space with everything your child needs to get to work. Make your child’s workspace extra motivating by hanging his or her accomplishments on the wall or fridge.
Help your child explore his or her interests and find things he or she is passionate about (including activities outside of the classroom). Getting involved in things that interest your child will encourage him or her to find motivation that can also be used in his or her schoolwork.
Have conversations with your child about what he or she is learning in school. Ask your child what he or she finds most interesting, what he or she had the most fun learning, and so on. This can help you identify the areas that interest your child and give insights into how he or she prefers to learn—which can help you (and your child’s teacher) find ways to boost your child’s motivation to learn.
Homework and studying are both big motivation-killers for students. Help your child overcome the study slump by making learning more engaging with fun activities and games. Create colorful flashcards, make up your own stories or rhymes, or create a game that incorporates what your child is studying.
Every student learns differently, and each student has his or her own strengths. Work with your child to figure out how he or she learns best. Is it by writing down ideas? Talking about them aloud? Getting hands-on with the material? Once your child know what works best, learning will become easier (and more fun), helping boost motivation.
Grades are important, but focusing on them too much can turn into a source of stress for students. Rather than only asking your child about his or her grades, ask your child to teach you what he or she learned in school today. Reflecting with your child on what he or she is learning can help spark an interest in your child to learn more about a topic, rather than just making it about grades.
There’s nothing worse than trying to get down to work with a disorganized binder of notes or cluttered workstation. Take time with your child to create an organization system he or she can use to stay organized. This will help improve his or her motivation to get down to work (not to mention improve his or her focus!)
Help your child create goals and set checkpoints where he or she will be rewarded for his or her progress. Show excitement when your child reaches a checkpoint. This can help build a positive energy that will encourage your child to keep working toward new goals.
Often, lack of motivation is really just the way your child is dealing with overwhelming stress (whether it’s a bad grade, too much homework, or an upcoming test). Help your child reduce this stress by creating a plan, sticking to a schedule, and making time for fun activities outside the classroom.
Getting started is the first step to building more motivation. Help boost your child’s motivation by celebrating his or her achievements, both big and small. Once your child sees what he or she can accomplish with hard work and a positive attitude, it will be easier for him or her to build motivation in the future.
Set up a progress sheet where your child collects stickers whenever he or she reaches a goal or completes a task (like an assignment or test). Once your child has a certain number, he or she can trade them in for something special.