Every parent wishes the best for their kids and hopes that they reach their full potential one day. However, not all children are born with the motivation to achieve. Many are happy to coast through a happy and chill childhood.
But if you ask any kid, many will share their desire to please their parents. They work really hard at their academics, but they are just not inspired or motivated to win or score As.
What Motivates Your Child to Succeed?
Children are motivated to succeed when they enjoy the activity or learning process. No amount of nagging, scolding, pushing or dangling of “carrot” is going to do the trick.
Many parents try to achieve cooperation from their kids through fear, punishment or bribery. However, these means are temporary and flitting. Examples of such extrinsic motivation include yelling at a child for doing poorly in academics or sports or threatening to take away their gadgets as punishment.
Promising your child a new toy in exchange for good behaviour or game time for good results can quickly backfire on you as these bribes loses their enticement swiftly. These extrinsic motivations are not as effective as intrinsic motivations, which refers to doing something for the pure enjoyment.
So, if you want to motivate your child to succeed and inspire them to do their best, make sure they enjoy the activity or learning process.
What Can Parents Do to Help Their Kids To Do Their Best?
A child’s desire to succeed starts with how they are being nurtured at home. As parents, we are the central figures in our children’s lives and play a major role in creating in them the desire to want to succeed.
Fortunately, inspiration and motivation are learned characteristics. Here are some ways we can guide our children to reach their full potential by instilling in them the beliefs, values and habits to succeed.
1. Inspire instead of Control
Inspire your kids to do their best instead of controlling their behaviours and outcome. For instance, show them how to learn a new skill and master it. Pique their curiosity in science or mathematics by showing them the different ways they are utilised in our everyday lives.
2. Harness your child’s Individual Passions
Show enthusiasm for your child’s interests and encourage her to explore subjects that fascinate her.
If your child loves dinosaurs, explore all avenues on the topic. Or if your child loves to cook, find different recipes to cook together or watch cooking shows to demonstrate your support.
Consider your child’s capabilities when you expose a new interest. Learn to back off if your child displays no interest or talent in the area.
3. Have Meaningful Conversations
Display your interest in what he is learning, not his grades or test scores. Ask him to teach you what he has heard, read or watched about the subject in school. Discuss how he could go further in his exploration of the subject or solutions to some challenges he might be facing with the subject. This will help your child develop critical thinking skills which are essential to inspire him to do his best.
4. Express Appreciation For Your Child’s “Best”
Everyone has a different perception of what is “best”. When children feel that their “best” is not good enough for their parents, this frustration can lead them to give up or stop trying.
So, when your child says he has done his best, be sure to appreciate the effort put in, and encourage him/her to persist. This appeals to their sense of continuation, which in turn will motivate your child to work towards success.
5. Help Them Decide And Let Them Decide
Build his sense of responsibility by allowing him to choose extracurricular activities, assigning him chores, and asking his input on family decisions.
At the same time, kids need some guidance from parents on some decisions like skipping out on practices or quitting an activity because it is getting hard.
Explain and help your child identify why an activity (eg. practice session) is important. Understanding that practice is a necessary part of achieving mastery and allowing them to make the decision to push through the “challenge” inculcates the value of self-determination, another key motivation towards success.
6. Reward Achievements
Celebrate your child’s achievements, no matter how small. Participating in a swim meet and coming in fourth or completing a book report calls for a special treat.
Everyone likes receiving rewards. Rewarding achievements motivates your child to continue doing their best and strive for success.
7. Get Involved
You can inspire your kids to do their best by getting onboard with their interested activities. Volunteer in your child’s dance or sports activities so you can help to coach or practice with your child. Remember to check in regularly to make sure she’s not feeling overloaded. If she is, help her prioritise her schedule. Be mindful not to be controlling.
There you have it – seven ways to inspire your kids to do their best. Tell us if you tried any of the above methods and how you fare in motivating your kids to succeed.