The Secret to Motivating Your Child – How to Encourage Children

We all do it and we THINK that it works. But what happens when the money, trophies, and candy are all gone. In this video, we discuss how to motivate your child without bribing them.

We know rewards can motivate people. But does it last? Unfortunately not. In the long term, if the rewards stop, the behavior stops. Personally I’m really not a fan of reward charts, stars, or anything else that looks like bribery. So how do we motivate our children without giving them rewards?

Here are 7 ways you can motivate your kids without rewards:

#1 Talk to Them – Talk about the importance of the activity. For example: “It’s important to have your room clean so you can find things when you need it.” Or “If you want to get better at something, practice will help. But that’s up to you”. Don’t use words like “have to” “must” or ” should”.

#2 – Use Positive Reinforcement – When they do something that may require motivation, make a big deal about it. “Wow son, I really appreciate you taking out the trash this morning.” or “I saw you put away your dish after dinner. That was really helpful”

#3- Offer choices – and both choices are acceptable to you. Kids like being in control and when they are young, love to test it. Offer them choices to help motivate them in the right direction: “Would you rather take a bath or a shower tonight?” Would you like to do your homework reading with me or by yourself? It gives them a sense of control but still requires them to do what is needed.

#4 – Set Goals – Let your child set their own goals with your guidance. Ask them what they want to accomplish and be ok with it. When they reach their goal, use positive re-inforcement with a statement such as “You did it! You reached your goal”. That’s it. No candy needed.

#5 – Understand their capabilities – Don’t always assume it’s a motivation issue. They may be having difficulty with something which is causing them to not be motivated. Maybe they just don’t understand the math problem. or they don’t have confidence in their skills on the sports field. Be mindful of other potential factors

#6 – Make it a Competition – Healthy competition is good. Make sure they understand not to be negative toward the person they are competing against. For example: Let’s see who can put away the most toys in 3 minutes. There is nothing wrong with being competitive. Make it fun and friendly.

#7 – Model the behavior – Monkey See – Monkey Do. If you want your child to clean up after themselves, you better be doing the same. If you want them to eat healthy, you better be doing the same.

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