6 ways to motivate a child


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6 ways motivate a child

“You are not interested in anything”, “do something at least already” – such words can often be heard from parents. What can we do to make our children interesting?

We want the child to show interest, but interest in what? We want him to do something, but what exactly? “Anything, just to sit in front of the TV” – this is not the best answer. A few tips on how we can help children feel an interest in something are provided by Alan Kazdin, Ph.D. and director of the Yale Center for Parenting and a childcare clinic.

1. Set a goal

Make a clear list of the activities you would like to involve your child in. An excellent option is the so-called “trial exercises”. A child could get an idea of ​​such things as dancing, sports, musical instruments, science, gardening. You will understand what exactly causes the child’s interest, which could be studied more deeply.

She loves animals? Does he love martial arts films? Why? Try to find out as clearly as possible what the essence of the possible interest is. As a result, she can go, say, as a volunteer to an animal shelter or start learning to ride a horse. And he might want to learn more about kung fu or how to make films.

2. Set requirements

It is very useful to establish reasonable and not too complicated requirements for the child as early as possible. For example, agree on the affairs that he must perform at home. This will not render you much assistance in the household, but it will be extremely useful for relationships. And it’s so much easier for a child to understand what you expect from him.

Motivation can be developed like any habit. When you constantly expect a child to fulfill some duties, which become more and more with age, this accustoms him to the idea that activity and participation in life is a completely normal thing. This awareness can become a powerful force, opposing passivity and loss of interest.

3. Show by personal example

Parents are often prone to teachings and moralizing conversations and pay much less attention to the possibility of influencing their children by their own example. But it is a personal example of parents that is especially important. You can use your own life model to develop the character, interests of the child and his motivation.

For example, if you like to do something outside the home, then take it with you whenever possible. Museums, social or political events, sports, volunteering – no matter what. The main thing is that you enjoy it. Taking a child with you, you, firstly, motivate him, and secondly, strengthen your relationship.

Of course, the joint execution of ordinary household chores, for example, shopping at the grocery store, cleaning, also serve this purpose. But now we are talking about something else: to engage the child in activities that will help him determine his own interests, develop skills, gain knowledge and skills. They fuel his desire to do something outside the home. And your direct participation influences his perception.

4. Develop skills

Many skills can be developed in a child without a personal example. But it is important to help him acquire new knowledge and skills, introduce him to new activities. Perhaps he will do something for many more years and this will bear fruit in the form of his social involvement.

For example, music lessons are not only about learning to play a musical instrument. Participating in concerts, a school orchestra, he will make new acquaintances from among the musicians, and this will motivate him to develop.

6 ways to motivate a child

5. Give hidden clues

How to persuade a passive child to show interest in at least something? This should be done carefully, in no case not crushing, using any opportunity. We often don’t even realize the little things and details that affect our decisions and actions. The brain is constantly busy processing information, and most often this happens on an unconscious level.

“During the research, we observed how the scanned brain responds to certain stimuli, but the object of the study usually answered the question“ What happened? ”Answered:“ Nothing, ”says Alan Kazdin. “During our research, we also found out that if a hint is shown too quickly for a subject to notice it, then the subconscious mind still uses it to make decisions.” For example, the faint smell of detergents makes people start cleaning up their desktops. But if you ask them why they did this, they will not say about the smell, but rather will bring some convincing arguments that are completely unrelated to him. “

Books, magazines, musical instruments, ready to play … Let these (motivating) objects always be in the field of vision of the child. This does not require much effort, even if they simply lie where they are very easy to notice. This technique promises a serious result, but it is important to allow the child to interact with such clues.

Just imagine: your daughter just glanced at the magazine, and you burst into the room and start exclaiming: “Oh, did you see these photos? They are amazing, right? I booked a ticket for us to go there for the weekend! ”Most likely, this will kill any interest. Let your child figure out what to do with this clue. Use the power of personal example to unobtrusively show how this is done.

6. Encourage communication

Encourage your child when he invites friends home. Then your home will become a central place and will influence the child over time. When they reach adolescence, children often separate you from their friends. But if you are ready to accept his new world, you have a chance to avoid such a rejection. In addition, you can observe and protect him without behaving like a little one with him.

In this case, the teenager is also easier to resist when peers will have a negative impact on him. If you plan on doing something outside the home, let your child invite friends. Gradually, the need for your participation will disappear, because the child will begin to choose where to go, he will have his own preferences.

If you accept his friends in your family, you will take the first step to maintaining close relations for many years, without suppressing it and not forcing you to choose between you and communication with peers.

Book on the topic

6 ways to motivate a child

“Psychology of the development of motivation” by Vitis Viliunas

Why do we act this way and not otherwise? What makes us achieve our goal? Why are we ready to overcome obstacles? In the theory of Vitis Viliunas, heterogeneous ideas about such a complex and multi-level subject as the human motivational sphere are synthesized. The author considers a variety of factors influencing her, from momentary little things to distant life goals, and illustrates classical and modern research with life examples familiar to each of us.

Text: Elena Muravyova
Photo Source: Getty images

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