What’s wrong with your kid and why isn’t he or she as motivated as they were last semester? As a parent, you realize that something is wrong. Let us examine first what might be the cause and then look at ways we can assist in motivating your child in school.
Look for causes
Your kid may have ADHD. If the problem is ADHD, a great place to start reading about it is here.
Or there may be problems with vision. He may have trouble with reading. That means that if he is asked to read something aloud, he feels that the task is far too demanding. Having some sort of learning disability or minor handicap is no joke. Motivating your kid becomes an uphill task.
Watch out for these signs
• He/she feels stupid so does not want to even try
• Seeks attention by goofing around
• He is in denial and says that he couldn’t care less
• May resort to bullying a vulnerable kid
The role emotions play in motivating your kid
Once strong emotions start to take over, our brains refuse to function. How many times have we been paralyzed by fear? We can also think of times when anger, frustration, and sadness took over. This is why we need to find out if any of these emotions are at the root of the problem of poor motivation.
What are the factors which can power up self-motivation?
Experts tell us that motivating a kid to learn will happen when:-
• They feel that they can make a choice
• They are in control of how and what they learn
• They are confident that they can learn
• They feel loved and supported by teachers and parents
The 4 things you must know to guide your kid
1. Your kid refuses to get up in time for school. No need to yell at him through the bedroom door. A much better approach is to tell him or her that you want them to get up and prepare for school. If this request (spoken and not shouted) meets with no response, apply the usual sanctions.
2. Give your kid guidance on what needs to be done. If he is failing in grades, find out what the problem is. Then encourage him to finish at least one piece of homework. You will have to adopt various roles here. You can be the coach and encourage. Or you may have to remind him of the sanctions. You can also play the role of the teacher if that is appropriate when motivating a child to do homework.
3. Make sure that there are plenty of extracurricular activities for your kid. Anything from sports to extra time spent with friends. Motivating your child can be more effective when the routine is varied and this helps in getting homework done too.
4. Ensure that you are liaising with the school and the teachers and this is a great way that you can exchange views on what progress your kid is making. It can also guide you and the teacher to identify problem areas.
Are we expecting too much from our kids?
We should let them know that we are concerned. But we can discuss this in a matter of fact way, without getting emotionally involved. We can omit the words like ‘disappointed’, ‘discouraged’ and so on.