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10 ways to properly motivate your child

10 ways to properly motivate your

10 ways to properly motivate your child

Any parent knows that perhaps the most difficult thing in a relationship with a child is not to force, but to motivate him to do something. Recently we wrote about how children cannot be motivated. Let's continue the topic and figure it out - and what is still possible, it is useful and correct to motivate them. Which buttons should be pressed - says Ksenia Buksha.

A little theory first (really little, so don't be discouraged). Any motivation system works when there is a stable chain:

Any opening of this circuit leads to the fact that motivation does not work.


1. A child with dysgraphia tries to write correctly, but until the brain matures and certain corrective work is carried out, he will not succeed. The rules are pointless to teach. The chain is already open at the first arrow.

2. The child knows that if he tries, he can wash the dishes well, but he is simply bored with this result - there is nothing interesting or pleasant in it. The chain is open at the second arrow.

3. The child has poor control over impulses, or he does not believe in himself at all. He knows that if he tries, he will do, and he likes it when he succeeds, but his emotions “do not remember” that the effort is followed by a pleasant result, and the cycle of motivation is not formed. The last third arrow is very weak and constantly opens.

Now let's see how we can fix these arrows so that they always work.

1. Caring

Sometimes, to support the arrows of motivation, you just need to be in contact with the child and properly take care of his needs. In order to increase motivation, you need to help with homework. For writing papers, there is a biology homework help that can help you with this. This will increase your child's motivation.

Real story. Dima could not do his homework himself, although he understands well and examples are easy for him. But he was constantly distracted, as a result, the case was delayed for a long time, and the result was not very good.

What is the problem and how can you take care of Dima here? The task of "making homework" is too big for Dima's unstable attention. As a result, the very first arrow is broken - Dima cannot try to make it work. It means that we need to cut this work for him into edible pieces. Mom starts the timer for 15 minutes and all this time sits silently next to the child. Dima sees that there is only a short time left to sit, and the ticking of the arrow itself reminds him that it is necessary to decide further. Exactly 15 minutes later, the timer rings, Dima runs to the kitchen, jumps to the music for five minutes, and then returns to the task. Mom does not persuade, does not train, she just silently sits next to and sets a framework.

Very quickly, Dima began to do his homework in 45 minutes, and a year later he learned to use the alarm clock himself. Now he does his homework without a mother and without reminders, which seemed fantastic to everyone.

Another example. The boy did not want to go to the pool. Mom managed to find out that the point is in swimming trunks! They were of the wrong style, and the boy was ashamed of them. The problem was solved. Three years later, the grown-up boy again refused to go swimming. Mom did the research again and realized that the older guy in the group was trolling the boy. Transferred to another group, and again began to swim with pleasure. But finding out what the matter was was not so easy. And there would be no trust and contact - and taking care would not work, and the motivation for swimming withers away.

2. Joint activities

When we do something with the child, the arrows work better, because we can subtly make the part that the child does not succeed in, and vary the part that he does himself. If, for example, you and your child are doing homework together, then the child's effectiveness will increase. For writing written papers there is to help you with writing. This will increase your child's motivation.

This is especially relevant when the problem is with the first arrow (I try => it works) or with faith in myself (it works => it works again). But even if the child simply does not want to do some boring piece of work or study, joint activities can also help - well, simply because it is not so boring together. Then the child will get used to it, get involved and remember that a boring piece is always followed by an interesting one (and if not, you should think about whether it is possible to achieve the result in another way), or that boring work can be done quickly in order to quickly move on to more pleasant things.

3. Small rewards

"For every beautiful letter - one highlight."

It works much better than "for every pretty page - cake".

And much, immeasurably better than "for a five in a quarter - a gadget."

Even if our child is smart beyond his years, it doesn't matter: it is still difficult for him to endure too long distances from one arrow to another. Small, very small rewards act not as a reward (which is scary to lose and for which you need to jump up and down for a long time), but as a fun tradition, like a game. Which, of course, cannot be elevated to an absolute and played in all seriousness. The highlight is a cute detail, a guarantee that what happens (for example, difficult spelling training) takes place in an atmosphere of mutual trust and acceptance. Which in itself is motivation.

4. Our approval and disapproval

With this, all psychologists urge not to overdo it. The fact is that, ideally, an adult should be more or less independent of the assessments of others. And if you put him on the constant “well done” and “no, I don’t love you, I didn’t try well” (I exaggerate, but there is such a subtext) - he will always seek the approval of people. Psychologists are right. But if used in moderation, this method is effective and not harmful. First of all, where it is not about success, but about good and evil. We can and should even praise a small child for good deeds and scold for evil, and since our opinion is important to him, he will get used to distinguish between good and evil and then he will be able to do it himself.

Not everything is so strict and with achievements. It is possible to praise a child for what he has achieved with difficulty, to tell him about his progress, about how much better he has become reading or climbing. It works! Motivates! It is only important that there is no direct relationship: "it turned out - praised", otherwise, instead of motivation, you will get the fear of failure.

5. Paradoxical awards

This is when a person expected that they would start stupidly forcing him, and they talked to him kindly, got into a position, helped. Or when a person tried for a long time, and although he had bad results (did not enter, failed, failed, did not learn), and after that the parents consoled with something good (better non-material: good words, a trip, a trip to a cafe, but you can unexpected little gift). This is always remembered. Of course, here you need to feel well how our encouragement will work in this case. The point is that the person himself was upset and ready to give up everything, and we supported him. When a person did not care about the result, the paradoxical reward for failure will not work.

6. "I did it!"

"Happened!" "Done!" "Eureka!" Is a feeling for those who have experienced it, in itself the strongest motivator to experience it again. This is excitement, euphoria from success, discovery, achievement. The brain itself gives itself a reward - a portion of endorphins, remembers a pleasant experience and longs to repeat it. Now he is ready to endure longer failures, boredom and difficulties, because he already knows that this will be followed by a reward. This is how our brain trains itself. What can we do to make this chain anchored? More often arrange situations in which the child himself takes the decisive step. It's easy with kids - they, for example, do not notice prompts and are very happy when they guess the correct answer (everyone remembers these riddles in rhyme on New Year's holidays in kindergartens). With an older child, it's a little more difficult, but if you try, it's quite achievable. It is only necessary to calculate the load in such a way that he really gives all the best, but at the same time does not give up and does not get blown away. The assignment should be difficult, but not overwhelming. By the way, good coaches are good at this - they say about such people that “sport brings up”. But other activities, where there is this "made!" and there is someone who can set the task correctly.

7. Support for intrinsic motivation

A person, for example, wants to play the violin. But too lazy to study for an hour a day, give up when difficulties. And yet there are no successes (this “did it!”) - concerts are still not a stone's throw away. How to be? Supporting internal motivation means that a person gradually learns to enjoy small, internal victories (learned a beautiful play), and so that this pleasure is so great that it helps to endure periods when it turns out badly. And here there is room for our imagination: stories about the greats, who also did not always succeed, and stories from their own lives, and creating an atmosphere, and listening to music, and conversations "around" it. Gradually, the image of “yourself as a violinist” begins to form (it is not necessary to become a musician later, but while you are playing, you are a violinist!), “Yourself as a judoka”, “yourself as a cat-lover”, who always changes the tray on time. That is, the external becomes internal and it is already somehow awkward when I have not worked out today or have not served the cat.

Like all other motivations, this one is not universal and will not work for everyone. Also, in the example of music or judo, three-quarters of success is a good teacher. But we are also important.

8. Collective and family motivation

It is actually a powerful tool, provided that the children value their group membership. Just as the car seat is much safer when put on the base, so collective motivation works much better if in everyday life these same collective and family values ​​bring us joy. If our family “accepted” a lot of things that the child loves, then he will normally accept the fact that we have “not accepted” much of what is allowed to his peers, or that more is demanded from him than from them. If at the same time the parents behave intelligently (they do not belittle those who do not follow the same rules as ours), the child will not feel like an outcast or suffer in any way.

But it is very important to keep the balance between pleasant and healthy traditions. Smart believing parents know about this, who teach different children to church in different ways: “Someone at four years old can defend the entire service, while someone at seven just needs to be led to the bowl and then taken away”.

Outside the family, collective motivation also works, and we can remind about it, but only in a positive way, not “you let the guys and the coach down”, but “so that your team plays better”.

9. Justice

As children get a little older, they become interested in fairness, rules and laws. This interest can be used to motivate people to do different things that are not very desirable, boring or difficult. For example, not everyone likes to help around the house, do physical therapy, sit with younger brothers or sisters. You don't always want to behave yourself, especially when others are behaving badly. A sense of justice can come to the rescue and create motivation where there was none. This will only happen when it comes to both responsibilities and rights! It is fair that if everyone lives in an apartment, then everyone also does the cleaning - to the best of their ability. But it is also true that if Lesha has been gluing wallpaper all day, now his holy right is to sit on the forums about Harry Potter all evening, and we will not touch him. A conversation about justice will be incomplete and untrue, if you do not remember about injustice, which is very much in life and which we can smooth out on our own. And I'm not only and not so much about charity or volunteering, but rather about how we help each other. It’s unfair that you have diabetes and you have to prick yourself with a needle all the time, but we really sympathize with you and can, as a sign of solidarity, until you get used to, together with you, the whole family, measure each other’s sugar.

Thus, justice becomes a prop for all three arrows.

10. Planning for the future

Works only with older teenagers, and even then not with all. But if it works, then you don't have to worry about everything else. But it will work if: do not replace the child's goal with your own; do not discourage ("what kind of dancer you are, you have to start early, and you are awkward and irregular"); our goal is to think over, together with the teenager, a sequence of steps, each of which should be understandable and commensurate; having thought through them, we do not press: a person has every right to change his mind at any stage of the process, this is an absolutely normal phenomenon that should not disappoint us. On the contrary, it is quite surprising when this method works. But it works for some! Sometimes very unexpected. Therefore, we are writing about him.

And a few more examples to illustrate:

Going to the store for a great-grandmother: family values ​​and justice.

Additionally, learn English: depending on the situation - care (to understand what exactly is difficult and boring, it is easier and more interesting to do it); joint activities and support for intrinsic motivation (together to watch an exciting TV series in the language); planning the future (if knowledge of the language plays an important role in it).

To play out the already actually lost team tournament is a collective motivation.

Solve math problems: if it doesn't work out - care, joint activities, small rewards. When it turns out - the internal "did!" If tasks become an important part of life - support for intrinsic motivation, planning for the future.

Refraining from fights and lies: care (understand why he fights and lies, and help achieve this goal differently); our approval and disapproval; if the reason is impulsivity - small rewards; collective and family motivation (“we do not fight and do not lie, and you will not”); justice.

Make it so that he is willing to sit with his little brother: care, joint activities (show the teenager how it is not boring to play with the baby); family motivation.

To learn what there are no talents for: care, joint activities, paradoxical awards, "did it!"