How to Motivate Children to Achieve - Catalyzing an Internal Urge to Succeed in Life
By Andrew Loh
The main goal of boosting motivation among children is to help them
perform better in their classroom studies and later achieve unlimited
success both in professional and personal life. An appropriate level of
motivation would lead to an optimal brain growth and development.
Children should develop intrinsic motivation to achieve success and
satisfaction in life. A majority of children often develop an extrinsic
type of motivation that demands external rewards from external sources
like parents and teachers. Externally influenced motivation is not
permanent, and it lasts just for moments because the mind seeks constant
supply of rewards from entities that asked children to do some work.
Note: Children should develop their own and internally developed
and sustained motivation to carry out any tasks. They should not do any
work because it brings praise and rewards from their parents.
In almost all cases of parenting, difficulties usually crop up
when parents supply external rewards and motivation instead of helping
their children develop internal motivation. All external rewards always
replace internal satisfaction and sense of achievement. External rewards
may come in the form of candy, sweets, ice cream, money, praise or a
promise to allow children to watch their favorite cartoon show. External
rewards lead to dissipation in existing motivational levels in children,
a slow destruction in self-image and self-esteem.
You can deploy several strategies and techniques to help children develop intrinsic
motivation. Here are some of them:
Allow children to explore their skills and talents by
providing an ambiance of adventure, thrill and excitement. This would
assist them develop freethinking and cause/effect relationship.
Teach the character of persistence
by giving more time to work on assigned tasks. Monitor their progress by
asking them probing questions from time to time. However, do not
interrupt unnecessarily to disturb their concentration and work flow.
Allow them to develop the concept of independent thinking.
Let your children be children and do not curtail their playtime unless
it is needed. Let the playtime be unorganized and unstructured to allow
your children develop independent play activities.
should be given many options and choices to streamline their learning
process. Let children choose the activity of choice and try to work on it.
Soon after finishing a successful task, ask your children
questions like “What did you feel when you finished doing that job”,
“Did you feel satisfaction of doing a good job?” or “What do you feel
when you finish such tasks on your own and without me telling you to do it”.
Excitement and thrill are viral and infectious! Children
should develop a deep enthusiasm to work on any task given by your or
their teachers. Unlimited excitement spreads like a colony of viruses
and your children should be able to continue with the same level of
enthusiasm until the task is finished successfully.
Provide enough freedom for your children to express their opinions and feelings.
You should try to know whether they are facing any internal problem that
is related to decision making and choosing options.
Children should try to learn new things and explore new vistas.
This will also help them become independent and learn by doing with self-effort and
What are creative rewards?
Unnecessary rewards and praises are detrimental to children. Create a
strategy of handing rewards based on some specific indicators. Here are
some useful strategies to hand out rewards to children based on their
behavior and performance:
Note: Let your children earn their
rewards. Any reward, given to your children, should be based on their
attitude to behavior and work.
Attitude may include characters like politeness, kindness, cooperation, complaisance with
your instruction, work ethics and accepting challenges. On the other
hand, behavioral characters may include working on a task to its
completion, timeliness, correctness and dedication to work. Make sure
that you give rewards only once in a week. Always give rewards in kind
and not in cash. Let children take a new challenge every week and show
you the result. As soon as project or task is finished, note it down in
a book, and show the entry to children to motivate them to work on the
next. Convene a weekend meeting and announce results in front of your
children. Tell them why working on their own is a better alternative
than seeking a favor from you.
Motivation in children is an inbuilt mechanism to achieve specific goals and objectives. Mostly,
children should be responsible to their own actions and mindset to boost
motivation to higher levels. Some children are gifted and they possess
an extraordinarily higher level of motivation. On the other hand, many
other children need consistent prodding and pushing to work on their
tasks, homework assignments and projects. With a proper approach and a
result-oriented strategy, parents may boost motivation in their children.
Drive: 9 Ways to Motivate Your Kids to Achieve
By Janine Walker Caffrey, Ed.D
Dr. Janine Walker Caffrey is the author of Drive: 9 Ways to Motivate Your Kids to Achieve.
She believes that parenting should be relatively simple, and a whole lot of fun! She learned
how to develop drive through her experiences raising her own two children who are now highly
driven adults. She holds a bachelor's degree in education, a master's in educational administration,
and a doctorate in educational leadership.
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.