School is back in session for many kids, and starting up again soon for others. Thus, effectively finding ways to motivate kids may be on your mind. While its true that giving your kids a nudge can help in almost every aspect of their life, sometimes it can feel easier said than done.
Unfortunately, if you feel like you aren’t able to effectively motivate kids, your household can become a place of nagging, yelling, and frustration for everyone!
Take a little bit of stress off yourself and your kids by practicing some tried and true ways to get them motivated. These techniques aren’t just for school – they’re useful and effective every day, year-round!
Praise Over Punishment
Yelling at your kids and nagging them to do anything can actually cause adverse effects. That kind of communication can harm their self-esteem and self-worth. As a result, they’re actually less likely to do what you want them to do, because they already think they’ve messed up or unable to please you.
Instead of criticising your child for not doing something well, find a different way of communicating your wishes or hopes for them. Reinforcing their self-esteem and letting them know they matter, will help facilitate positive changes. Children who feel better about themselves want to please their parents. They want to do the right thing, and are more open to ideas parents may have for their time or activities. When you’re able to praise the little things and re-word the way you “nag” about things, you can motivate kids by sparking an internal fire in them to get things done and try new things.
Be Descriptive with Your Child
One thing parents often get wrong when praising their children is a use of generalities. Instead of just saying “good job,” make the reward specific to your child. Again, this confirms your appreciation of their effort and their self-worth. It lets them know you’re paying attention and that you genuinely care.
Being descriptive works in a multitude of situations with kids and young adults. Use specific phrases to encourage your child, such as: “You finished all your homework before dinner! You’re working so hard.”
Kids don’t often hear the words “thank you” from their parents. But, it can make a big difference. The next time your child cleans their room without nagging r demands t, show your gratitude. It doesn’t take a huge gesture; a simple “thank you” can go a long way from a parent to a child.
Words of gratitude can be used any time a child does something that makes your life easier. In turn, it’ll probably make their life easier, too.
Again, children want to please. By saying “thank you” to them, you’re making them feel good about their choices. In turn, they’ll want to keep doing those things on their own.
Don’t Say Anything
One final point to put into practice is very important: sometimes you simply need to be still and quiet. Unfortunately, this is one of the hardest suggestions for parents to actually follow. It’s in a parent’s nature to step in when their child does something wrong or makes a mistake.
But, if you take a step back and allow your child to work out the mistake themselves, they’ll become more internally motivated.
They’re also less likely to repeat the same mistake again because they remember how it made them feel or the consequences that went with it.
While stepping in is important at times, if a situation arises where a child can learn from the mistake on their own, give them the opportunity to do so.
If you’re a natural nagger and you want to motivate kids to do things, take a step back. Reevaluate why you’re yelling or nagging so much. Prioritize your relationship over the desire to bend your child’s will in any direction. Then, use some of the tips in this article to affirm and encourage your child. Motivation may not be as difficult as you think from that angle.
Still not sure how to stop the nagging cycle and connect with your child? Do worries about your child’s inner drive still persist? Please contact us, and we’ll be happy to offer more guidance and support.