What motivates our children?

We all want our children to succeed. Whether it’s with their school work, sport, music, socialising or in general life skills, we all want the best for them.

However, motivating children to complete tasks can sometimes be challenging. Keeping them on task and motivating them is part of how we help them grow and learn. As parents and teachers, we know that the trusting bond we have with our children supports them to set goals and work towards their God given potential. Our relationships with our children provide a framework that supports and influences them to keep going and maintain motivation.

We know that as their motivation increases so does their attention, effort, and success.

Supporting our students to increase and stay focussed on a task and apply effort helps them to better process new information which in turn will impact their success. Through this focus and success our children make progress and develop a love of learning.

In an article “The Secret to Raising Smart Kids“, published in Scientific American, research psychologist Carol Dweck explains how we can help kids be successful. She suggests this is done NOT by praising children for their ability or outcome but instead praising for EFFORT. As Carol Dweck says we need to encourage a “GROWTH MINDSET” in our children.

The article says…

 “Many people assume that intelligence or ability is a key to success. Teaching people to have a “growth mindset,” which encourages a focus on “process”, produces high achievers in school and in life. Parents and teachers can engender a growth mind-set in children by praising them for their persistence or strategies.”

So, what can we do to help? We can … get our children to think… What do they want to achieve? What is important to them? Then encourage them to go for it. Resist doing it for them… but stick with them until the journeys end. Let them know that you are there for them, you will support them to keep going.

Encouraging our children to use this effective effort is purposeful and targeted. It’s focused, and when they are striving to complete a task, they will pause and think carefully through the process. When they do this, they are problem-solving. They will research, tinker, figure out what isn’t working and change their strategy. They don’t stop until they work it out. They are persistent and feel amazing!

Praising them for their EFFORT, DEDICATION and PERSISTENCE… far more than just result helps your child because they have total control over their level of effort. As your child associates these positive emotions with their effort, they will start to feel that they have control over their success.

Effort, dedication and persistence are the keys to a positive growth mindset.