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Every person/ child requires motivation to do
something or repeat a behavior. In short motivation is the steering factor for
a behavior or act. The same basic rule applies to children as well.
When children are not intrinsically motivated,
external motivating factor needs to be created for smoother learning.
Here are a few ideas that can be used –
- Chose a motivator which your child likes. An item which does not interest your child is unlikely to motivate him/her. Try to establish their likes and dislikes.
- Set simple and achievable goals for your child. It gives the child an idea about what is expected and how much needs to be achieved. A simple goal could be keeping the toys in the cupboard before dinner time or saying a full sentence while communicating.
- To achieve a goal, a plan is essential. Make a Step-by-step plan. Aid your child with strategies and ideas to achieve the goal. Example – visual aids or writing the steps down. Allow your child to explore their own ideas, yet provide your support and feedback.
- Rewarding is the best way to motivate your child. The motivator could be anything that your child likes or enjoys doing. A candy, a game on the tablet/laptop, simple scribbling etc. However, reward the child in accordance to the goal achieved. One hour of play cannot be given for 2 completed activities. Furthermore, use more innovative activities like coloring, painting, art & craft activities, clay model building, Legos etc.
- Some kids enjoy more of movement activities. For such kids dancing, skipping, swinging or a game of hide and seek could be the motivator.
- Encourage them. Let your child know that they have the ability to achieve the goal, and you believe that they can. This will drive the child to give his best. Do not resort to negative comments as this will de- motivate your child.
- Encourage healthy competition. Children sometime like doing better than their peers or siblings. Although, know where to draw the line. Have a Quiz competition. This could be done for older kids or siblings. Use their goals to frame questions. Give them little prizes for every correct response.
- Get them excited about achieving the goal. Make the process fun. Show that you’re excited as well. Play treasure hunt to keep them excited. Ask the child to say a word ten times and lead them to the treasure. The ultimate goal/end could be a bigger prize.
- Acknowledge and Appreciate your child’s efforts. Irrespective of whether the goal is achieved, appreciate your child’s efforts. Let them know that their hard work made you happy. This will motivate your child to maintain his/her efforts.
- Do not be judgmental!!! Do not keep telling the child ‘good’ or ‘bad’ at all times. When the child does not have the dagger of being judged at all times, he/she is more likely to explore new things/skills/ways etc.
- Use token system for bigger rewards. Use a sticky note or Velcro stars as tokens. Let the child know he needs to achieve 10 stars in the entire day to play a game in the tablet at night. Or if the goals are bigger, keep a target of 50-60 stars in the entire week to watch a movie in the weekend.
- Some kids enjoy doing work their parents do. Example, cooking in the kitchen, or repairing a chair. For such kids, use this opportunity to reward them. Let them roll the chapatti dough, or turn the screw of a chair, or cut vegetables/ paper etc. (Keep the dangers in mind before proceeding with the activity).