One of the facts that I found out in my research is that a child’s academic success after a certain age depends a lot on the child’s self-motivation, passion and effort but before this child gets to that level, the onus is on parents to create an environment that will motivate and help develop self-motivation for the child.
Have you ever wondered sometimes you try so hard to encourage your child to do something that will be beneficial to them and you’re like “honey you can do that….go for it…. And she just looks at you with that funny face and says… what? Oh please mommy….” I have gone through this many times and occasionally it could get tiring. To get your child to be self-motivated is where you want her to be because this is one of the components of success that will drive a child to excel and go far and beyond. A sell-motivated child will pick her homework before being told, take up the challenging task on the plate, show serious efforts and concentration, have a positive attitude towards learning and work etc.
So how do I get my child to be self-motivated?
#1 GRANDMA AKINTAN’s ADVICE- COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR CHILD………TALK! TALK! and TALK!
My mom told me one day when discussing the challenges of parenting….she said “Yejide, you are going to do a lot of talking to your children. It’s good to chastise them when they’ve done something wrong but don’t let that be the only time you talk to them. Set a specific time aside to just talk so you can get to know them and what they like or don’t like”. I’m not so sure she read this in a book like we do these days but after raising six children, I suppose she is speaking from experience. When I began reading for this, communication is one of the elements that tops the list. Speaking to your child is very important, but before speaking to your child, have a topic in mind to start with. This will probably lead into other areas. Be kind and honest in your approach. Find out what her interests and abilities are.
#2 OCCASIONALLY, ALLOW HER TO DO A SELF EXAMINATION ON HERSELF AND PROVIDE YOUR OWN OPINION. She will probably tell you what she is good or not so good at. Where your child’s strength lies will probably be the area she will shine. Do not dismiss her comments and observations. Lately I learned something (which I implemented) from a friend who always tells her children that she is available to support their academics. I began practicing this with my children and low and behold one day we were driving to school and conversing like we always do and Bimi told me “mommy, I need help with social studies”. It was her first year of taking social studies so I understood where she was coming from. I was so happy she recognized that she needed help and told me herself. When I told her after school that she needed to do some extra studying in social studies, she was like “oh….yea mommy”!
#3. SET EXPECTATIONS BY HELPING HER SET REALISTIC, ACHIEVABLE, MEASURABLE GOALS. Write and paste this goal somewhere it can be seen. Then set a path on how it will be achieved. Example “Elizabeth, you need to move your math grade from C to B. You will review math problem 20mins every day after school. You will take math enrichment class 2 times a week with Ms. Emmanuel. Mommy will test Elizabeth every Friday evening on what she learned during the week”. This example sets the goal, puts a plan in place on how to achieve and measure the goal. An example of a goal that is vague is “Elizabeth by the end of this semester, you need to do better in math”. “What do you mean by better?” Elizabeth will be confused on what this is and will not know how to do it.
Here are five steps you can adopt to help your child accomplish her goals
#4 ENCOURAGE YOUR CHILD TO BE RESILIENT
Resilience is not achieved overnight. If a child does not build it into her DNA while growing up, it will be a struggle in adulthood. Resilient children are problem solvers because they don’t give up. They stick with problems long enough to get a solution and that is what the world is looking for.
Empathize with your child. Tell her you understand what she is going through and provide a better alternative or reasonable choices to a bad situation. If your approach in dealing with a situation is not working, change it. Don’t yell louder because you think your child is not listening. Support your child’s interests and talents. This will build self-confidence and resilience.
On this note I put my pen down. I have learned so much from this write-up.
Have a great week ahead and don’t forget to drop me a line or two in the reply box below. I want to know which part of this series you like most…oh and please add your own word of advice……… 😉
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Thanks to The Parent Institute®, a division of NIS