Motivating children to do things they don’t want to do can be difficult, but you can help them learn self-motivation by showing them the rewards for their accomplishments. These rewards don’t have to be gifts or prizes, but children can learn to accomplish tasks for the sense of pride these rewards can bring.
The Barriers to Motivation
If children don’t seem motivated to learn new tasks or schoolwork, there may be barriers they’re not discussing with anyone. Children who don’t read or write well may be too embarrassed to admit their difficulties — especially when facing criticism in school or at home, despite trying to do their best. This can often lead to outward signs of frustration, such as anger or misbehaving in school.
Other motivation barriers may exist at home. If parents seem to not care about whether their children are doing well at school or if they don’t follow through on promises they make to their children, then kids may not care about learning or trying to accomplish tasks at home. Children often take their cues from the adults in their lives, so if the adults don’t seem to care what happens with their children, why should the children care?
Ways to Motivate Children
There are many positive ways to motivate children in both the classroom and at home. Refrain from using punishment as a motivator. This can lead children to learn to resent the task their teacher or parents are trying to get them to accomplish. While punishment may work for a while, it can make children so frustrated over time that they lash out when they’re having a hard time accomplishing tasks or learning difficult subjects.
Take the time to find out why your child doesn’t feel motivated to learn something or try a new skill. It could be that they are afraid of being laughed at if they fail, or that they may be having difficulty reading, writing, or using another skill in class that their friends have an easy time with. Talk to your child about their lack of motivation to find out the real reason behind it.