Staying motivated can be a challenge even for adults, let alone kids who are just starting to learn how to be organized, responsible, and productive. They can easily get distracted by something that seems simply more fun, so they could use a bit of guidance from time to time. Therefore, this year, make your New Year’s resolution about your child and do your best to help them stay (or become) more motivated and healthy. If you don’t know how, here are some ideas.
How motivation works
First things first, you need to understand how motivation works in order to be able to motivate your child in the right way. For example, if they are studying for a certain subject because you’ve promised to buy them a new laptop if they get an A, then they are not really interested in learning – they only care about the external prize. On the other hand, if they are playing football every day because they want to be a professional football player, then they are actually interested in improving themselves, and such motivation can last much longer. In other words, the reason for their effort influences their motivation.
Also, instead of setting long-term goals and focusing on them, your child should start with the short-term, precise, clear, and more easily achievable ones. This way, they will be able to track their progress and see the results of their hard work, which will make them want to work even harder.
Focus on the effort, not the result
In order to motivate your child, it’s important to focus on their effort, not just the result. If you show them that you appreciate their hard work, you can change their whole perspective on everything they do. It can also help them become less anxious about failing, because they will be more focused on doing their best instead of being the best, and thus, will be more likely to succeed.
Encourage their interests
First, show your child that you care about their interests – ask about their day, and pay attention when they talk to you, especially when you notice that they are really excited about something. Once you know what they care about, encourage them to dedicate to it. For instance, if they are into drawing, playing sports, or taking care of abandoned animals, there are many interesting extracurricular activities that can help them focus on the things they love and develop their skills. By helping them express themselves through their hobbies and interests and create goals around them, you will also help them become more motivated to achieve those goals.
Motivate them to be more active
Nowadays, most kids spend too much time in front of their screens, and needless to say, it’s not very healthy. However, nobody can deny that it’s fun, so you need to find a more fun alternative in order to make them more physically active. The best way to do so is to teach by example – make time for sports, and start playing yourself. Before you know it, your child will be asking to join you because they will see how much fun you’re having. Another great idea, although a bit more demanding, is to get them a dog. Almost every child wants to have a dog, and not only can dogs improve your child’s emotional health, but they can also keep them outside for hours.
As mentioned before, bribing your children with material gifts is not the right way to motivate them. In some cases, it can even lead to your child refusing to do anything without such rewards. Instead, reward them in an emotional manner – praise them, encourage them, hug them, and spend quality time with them. Again, do so when you can see that they’ve worked hard for something, not just when they get a good grade or win the first prize in some school competition. This type of motivation is much more powerful as it will show your child that you truly care about them, and not just about what they can achieve.
Improve their diet
Regardless of what they are doing, your child won’t be able to stay motivated for long if they are feeling tired or stressed out. This is why it’s essential that you keep your child healthy by making sure they are getting all the vitamins they need. Unfortunately, most kids prefer junk food, so in order to encourage them to actually eat healthier, try to include them in the process of choosing and preparing their food. This way, they will be able to make their own healthier choices. Also, replace their unhealthy snacks with the healthier ones that are just as tasty, like popcorn, nuts, and fruit. A healthy child has more energy and concentration, and as such, is more capable of gaining and maintaining their motivation.
Since your child is still forming valuable long-lasting habits, you as their parent should do your best to teach them some good ones. If they can’t find their motivation, or if they lose it too quickly, they won’t be able to find stability in their life and lead a healthy lifestyle regardless of all their positive qualities. With that in mind, find the right way to motivate them, teach them how to maintain that motivation, and you will surely be setting them on the right path.