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The Secrets to Raising a Smarter Child
- By Inderbir Sandhu, Ph.D


Motivating Children to Achieve - Practical Methods

By Andrew Loh

Teaching motivation to your children could be a challenging act, because you are trying to transform your children's mind towards acquiring a new skill or knowledge. Teaching motivation is playing with your children's mind and soul. With teaching achievement motivation exercises, you will be empowering your children to get better things in life or achieve better goals. In many cases, parents may find it very difficult to make their children learn motivational techniques, because understanding their minds is always difficult. However, you can still do that by using an array of specialized techniques.

Children may fail to get good grades or perform better in their classrooms due to a number of reasons. However, these causes or reasons always revolve around two motivational bases. In classrooms, children may develop a desire to succeed just because of two reasons:

  • They do not want to fail in their class and

  • They do not want to look bad in front of their peers.

Hence, children put their best efforts to develop an emphasis on getting extrinsic rewards. However, this attitude could be a little negative, as they want to show someone that they are capable; in fact, children may never develop an intrinsic motivation, because of these external rewards. On the flipside, most children tend to develop an external motivation, either from their teachers, peers or parents which could be detrimental in the end. When children work for external rewards, the experience could be temporary and short lived.

On the other hand, intrinsic or internal motivation is very difficult to teach, because it is internal and invisible. It is more of a perception than reality. Schools always lay an emphasis on their students achieving better marks and grades, which unduly place a stress on them to work on their external motivation. External motivation in children could have a number of disadvantages like:

  • Children always work for their external rewards.

  • Interest in classroom lessons could be temporary and superficial.

  • With external motivation, children always believe that learning is something that they do for someone else, rather than their own self improvement.

  • External motivation may not teach your children the importance of success in life.

On the other hand, teaching children internal motivation can help them realize that it is very crucial for achieving external success. Pre- and primary- schools are the times, when your children develop a number of ideas about their school and their programs. This is the time when you should try to teach them the importance of internal motivation, which urges them to achieve tangible things in their classrooms and out of it.

Educational experts and psychologists agree that young children also need external motivation in equal measures to develop fine tuned internal motivation. This means that both parents and teachers should attempt to develop the habit of enhancing internal motivation by using the principles of 6 P's. These principles are as follows:

Praise: More often praising from parents and teachers could be overwhelming and overpowering. What your children need is sincere praising that helps them focus on putting an additional effort. Never ever, over do this part, as it could be counter-productive.

Power: Give an opportunity to your children to make their own choices. This simple gesture could provide them a sense of autonomy and independence. When you give those options and enough freedom, they will be motivation-driven persons, who will lean on the positive side of learning.

Projects: Projects and assignments could be amazing tools that can help enhance increased levels of internal motivation. Good projects and assignments can help your children develop inquisitiveness and curiosity which are very good for increasing motivational levels.

People: Make sure that you develop personal relationship with your children. Urge them to develop personal relationship with their teachers and peers as well.

Prizes and rewards: Prizes and rewards are the external tools to develop external motivation. However, when used wisely, they can be very effective in developing internal motivation. Never ever, announce your rewards to cajole children to finish their work. Do not announce your rewards before your children finish their work.

Prestige: Children, who develop intrinsic motivation, always demand prestige and recognition. Provide enough opportunities to showcase your children's talent and skills in front of others.

Additional tips to motivate your children to achieve:

  • Provide an extremely caring and supportive ambience, where your children feel that you are showing your respect to their individuality and strengths.

  • Show that you believe in your children's ability to perform.

  • Help your children understand the importance of goals and the process of achieving them.

  • Help your children to make rules about their classroom performances.

  • Help your children understand their strengths and weaknesses; however, do not concentrate on their weaknesses.

  • Understand your children's talents, skills, goals and aspirations.

  • See that you treat your children in a fair manner.

  • Make sure that you assist your children see that failure is not due to their lack of ability, but it is because of ineffective and ineffective study methods.

  • Help your children understand the importance of time management skills.

  • Never embarrass or ridicule your children in front of others.

The most visible indicator of enhancing achievement motivation level is the emotion. When your children are motivated within their mind and soul, they tend to show a positive display of emotion. When your children develop better achievement levels, they also show full satisfaction with their achievements which eventually leads to better learning retention. 

Featured Resource

Drive: 9 Ways to Motivate Your Kids to Achieve
By Janine Walker Caffrey, Ed.D

Expert advice on helping children, teens, and young adults become self-starters, successful learners, and involved citizens of the world. The quality of drive provides the momentum for a person to dream and achieve, creating a unique, independent life. Without it, a person is like a rudderless boat, drifting around a flat lake.

In Drive, nationally renowned educator Dr. Janine Caffrey shows how to inspire your children and develop this vital characteristic. How do I get my child excited about learning? To enroll in a good college? To move out of the house? To create his own life? Designed to assist parents, educators, and counselors to get kids of all ages off the couch and into the world, Drive outlines nine specific steps proven to beat boredom and foster self-motivation and resourcefulness.


Featured Resource

Child Development

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