11 Ways on How to Motivate Kids

Moving your child from phenomenal potential to successful achievement.

As a good parent or caregiver, you want your child to become an achiever. If you’ve worked with children or you have a child, one time or another you’ve attempted to motivate them to do something. You can see a bigger picture than they can and long for them to achieve greatness; but dealing with their lack of interest can be a miserable challenge.

Every child has phenomenal potential. Because I want to see children achieve short and long term goals and reach their fullest potential, I have compiled a list of 11 ways how to motivate your kids.

#1 Reward your child using extrinsic motivation

#2 Instil intrinsic motivation for long-term results

#3 Be involved in your child’s life

#4 Encourage their creative ideas

#5 Give your child time and space to be creative

#6 Give one task at a time

#7 Expect great things from your child

#8 Teach your kids that it’s OK to make mistakes

#9 Provide your child with a healthy lifestyle to induce healthy energy

#10 Build a healthy self image in your child

#11 Lead by example

#1 Reward your child using extrinsic motivation

According to the English Oxford Living Dictionaries, motivation means “to provide (someone) with a reason for doing something.”

There are primarily two types of motivation — extrinsic and intrinsic. With extrinsic motivation, the child is driven by an outside source to achieve any given task. A reward such as an ice cream date, better grades, or happy parents and teachers can motivate your child to complete a project or task. In the case of completing homework, the child could be motivated to finish because he doesn’t want his teacher to yell at him.

Although this method can work for some, it does not produce the long-term effects that intrinsic motivation does.

#2 Instill intrinsic motivation for long-term results

The second type of motivation is intrinsic motivation; it drives the child or even an adult to accomplish a goal for an internal reason. Whenever a child is interested in something or sees the long-lasting benefit of applying a certain habit, he becomes intrinsically motivated to focus on his goals.

When your child sees that finishing his homework on time builds a sense of accomplishment, he develops intrinsic motivation. Instilling this takes diligence on your part since the reward is not tangible and sometimes not even immediate, but the long-lasting results will develop highly motivated adults.

One outstanding example that practiced intrinsic motivation is Michael Jordan. He didn’t give up because he was inwardly driven to achieve greater goals.

Plant the concept of intrinsic motivation in your child to drive them to achieve higher and not settle for the ordinary.

#3 Be involved in your child’s life

In any given situation, your child needs to have the assurance that you care deeply about every part of their little world — the seemingly minute details, their deepest interests, and the big events that occur in their lives. If you are actively involved in your child’s life, he is more likely to be motivated to do what you ask them to do. (10 Ways to Motivate Your Child )

Kids that are noticed or cuddled will have a warm sense of security that will drive them to accomplish great things. Sending a note of encouragement in a lunch box could make all the difference with his performance at school.

#4 Encourage their creative ideas

Your children have ever-flowing fountains of ideas. As you spend time with them, they will open up and share their inner worlds with you. You may not always understand or even agree with them; but it is crucial that you as their super-hero listen to them and encourage their dreams and ideas rather than belittle or disregard them.

Children whose ideas are disregarded or belittled have next to no motivation to set their minds to accomplish much of anything. On the contrary, if you use their ideas to guide them, you will give them the wings to explore new opportunities and discover what they genuinely love to do.

#5 Give your child time and space to be creative

Not only do kids need freedom to express their creativity, kids also need time and space to execute their ideas. In our busy, hands-on world, we want everything done quickly and we tend to hover; however, if children are given time and space to think, they are likely to surprise you with how they determine plans and goals to let their creativity shine. If they feel rushed, they will lack focus and motivation to do their best or sometimes even try at all.

#6 Give one task at a time

Giving your child one task at a time gives great results. If a child has too many tasks thrown at them at the same time, they become overwhelmed and sometimes even confused as to what is expected of them. They can become unmotivated and tempted to throw in the towel altogether.

Teach your kids that success is built by laying one brick at a time — one step at a time. Big things don’t blossom overnight. Reaching the small goals brings encouragement to continue and motivates successful habits.

If your children are taught to focus on the one task at hand and stay committed until it’s done, not only will they have the motivation to start the project but also they will have greater motivation to complete it.

#7 Expect great things from your child

You don’t want to raise the bar unrealistically high; but, you don’t want to limit their potential either. Communicating to your child that you believe they have the ability to achieve big things drives them to take responsibility to meet and go beyond your expectations.

So many of us look back and wish our parents had believed in us. Use that to build a new legacy and empower your words as you motivate your child to reach new levels of accomplishment.

Watch this video to see how Steve Harvey demonstrates his love and belief in his son’s abilities:

#8 Teach your kids that it’s OK to make mistakes

Some children won’t even start a project until they have the perfect plan laid out in their minds; some won’t start because they have been shamed for being unsuccessful.

People in general find it hard to pursue a goal or project for the fear of failure. Motivate your child to try in spite of the fear and use each failure as a teachable moment. Telling them how Edison invented the light bulb can be an incentive for them not to give up when they don’t succeed the first time.

We learn from our mistakes. You should see failure as a stepping stone to success and communicate the same to your kids. Your child needs to know you are the safe person they can run to after a failed attempt and have the assurance that you will love them regardless of their performance.

#9 Provide your child with a healthy lifestyle to induce healthy energy

A tired, under-nourished child can come across as uninterested, whiny or even rebellious. A child who gets enough sleep, eats nutritious food and exercises in fresh air will be more likely to have motivation to live life to the fullest. They will have the energy to not only perform but also push to higher limits. They will be less moody and more willing to participate in the activities you ask of them.

#10 Build a healthy self image in your child

Children with a healthy self image can tap into their intrinsic motivation more easily than if their spirit is wounded. You can teach them to speak and think positive thoughts about themselves. If the child believes he is somebody special, he can more easily get himself to accomplish goals. Confidence goes a long way to driving a person to achieve higher and attain better.

#11 Lead by example

Motivate your children by reprogramming your own way of thinking in order that you can be an outflow of positivity to inspire your children. As you make changes in your own life, your kids will see the results and be motivated to think positively as well.

Be actively intentional in creating positive thinking patterns for yourself and your kids. Speak positively to them and around them.

If you want your child to achieve great things, show them how by bravely pursuing your own dreams. Calling a child to clean up will have more successful results if they see that you clean up after yourself also.

You are your child’s biggest motivation.

Children will rise to your expectations when they feel loved and understood. Since they soak up their environments like a sponge, it’s highly important to practice these and other tips on motivation to create healthy environments for our kids and pave the way to develop successful adults. With positive thinking patterns and specific goal-planning, they can be motivated to push themselves past their said limitations.

Have you enjoyed this list of ways to motivate your kids? Drop a note in the comments to let us know what you think. If you liked the tips, be sure to click share.

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