Help the development of the site, sharing the article with friends!

Problems with motivation in children usually begin when they start primary school. It is a period of changing the main activity in their lives, which was playing in kindergarten, to learning at school. This has a number of consequences for young people - they are faced with many more requirements and obligations than before.

Some children have a hard time meeting these challenges because they don't have the skills yet. Others cope with their new responsibilities, but feel tense and stressed. Of course, there are also those that smoothly and almost painlessly enter a new period in their lives. What they have in common is the greater or lesser effort that they have to put in to meet new challenges, i.e. they need motivation, because motivation is nothing else than the driving force behind us.

Why do we need motivation?

It is the motivation that makes us behave in a certain way in a given situation. Motivation should be perceived not as a trait that is either there or not, but rather as a certain kind of energy that always accompanies a child, but is sometimes stronger and sometimes weaker, and is sometimes not necessarily directed at the activity that parents are currently interested in. Therefore, there are no children without motivation, it is worth remembering not to stick labels to children: "You are lazy, you are not motivated". Such assigning roles to anyone always has negative effects - on the one hand, it limits parents, preventing them from perceiving the full picture of their child, and on the other hand, the consolation, hearing from loved ones that they are lazy, unmotivated or naughty, stiffens in these behaviors.

Internal and external motivation

Motivation is classified in various ways, but in the context of motivating children to act, the most useful is the division into external and internal motivation. External motivation is everything that motivates us from the outside, i.e. rewards, school grades, money, but also pen alties and negative consequences. However, if the motive for action is our internal predispositions or interests, then we are driven by internal motivation. It is often associated with the performance of an activity from which we derive satisfaction and joy, but not only - motivationthe inner pushes us to actions that are less pleasant, but related to our values, in which we see meaning.

Rewards and pen alties

During school education, children are usually motivated externally: grades, stamps, comments, etc. This often causes fear in them and often makes them reluctant to learn. Motivating with punishments and rewards can be effective, but it has consequences, including the child misses the higher goal of his actions. Because what is the purpose of studying? For grades? Why is she cleaning her room? So as not to get a pen alty? It must be admitted that such an approach rather shallow certain experiences and do not root higher values ​​in a young person. The problem also arises when the existing rewards no longer work, and this often happens because the appetite grows with eating. After a while, the children begin to force things from their parents in this way.

Developing internal motivation in a child is a difficult process and spread over time, but we can create a friendly environment for it. It is worth doing this, because although the world is full of external motivators and people often act under their influence, the ability to awaken internal motivation gives satisfaction, stimulates curiosity, creativity, increases the sense of happiness and enriches life.

How to support the development of internal motivation in a child?

  • First: let's refrain from trying to "improve" the child. If a parent shows the child that they are constantly doing something wrong, or corrects them afterwards, it embeds in them the belief that they are not good enough to gain parental approval. In this way, we also take away the child's sense of agency, we show him that he has little control over what is happening around him, and this demotivates. In such a situation, there is a much greater chance that the child will rebel and will not want to cooperate with us at all.
  • Second: let's listen to what the children have to tell us. Listening to the other person is not easy at all, and listening to a child who is often tainted by strong emotions requires a lot of commitment and patience from the parent. Thanks to this, we can get to know the motives of our kids' actions, which are often completely different from our imaginations. Knowing that we know what our child is thinking before we let him / her speak can get us into trouble and undermine the trust our child has in us.
  • Third: let's take care of the child's self-esteem. Correct self-esteem is also associated with a sense of security and acceptance, builds courage and independence, and allows for creative thinking, which is necessary for the development of internal motivation.

On the topic of motivationI will also mention something that is always relevant: children imitate the adults who are important to them. If we cultivate intrinsic motivation, we will become more credible to children. Looking at a parent who can act with enthusiasm, commitment and faith in what they are doing, the child will naturally begin to adopt this attitude.

Let's take care of the basics

Remember, however, that even the best gardener will not create a beautiful and he althy garden on poisoned soil. If your child has problems with motivation, you should first consider what is causing it. Let us be sensitive to it, especially now, when education takes place remotely (or sometimes remotely, sometimes stationary), and students have been deprived of many previous entertainment, direct contact with teachers, and sometimes also the support of their peers. It is a difficult time for children and adolescents, and the lack of motivation may be the result of more serious disorders.

What is worth paying attention to, how to support a child, where to look for help - see the next article by Dominika Maron

Help the development of the site, sharing the article with friends!