“School is so boring.”
“I don’t feel like doing anything.”
“I don’t want to go, I’d rather play Xbox.”
“I just don’t care.”
“It’s too hard. I’m quitting.”
We’ve all heard them. Sometimes we can’t seem to get our kids to do anything and it drives us crazy! They sit on their phones and only emerge from their room for dinner before disappearing again in to the depths of their ‘caves’. But don’t fret – you are not alone. We understand completely what you are going through and see it all the time – however, the good news is that things can change! Here are 7 ways to motivate even the most unmotivated child.
1. Have realistic expectations of your child. Not every child will get straight A’s or be the star player on their soccer team. Not every child will get an incredible ATAR and go on to get a PHD at University. It is really important that we as driven moms and dads are careful not to impose our personalities on our children and expect they will be just like us.
2. Be a model of motivation. Your personal example is key to motivating your child. If you are glued to the TV, you can’t expect your child to want to go out in the back yard and play sports. If you constantly complain about work, what message is that sending to your child? Your child needs to see you loving your work, exercising, and celebrating goals achieved.
3. Make sure your child breaks a mental and physical “sweat.” Your child may think, “Why do chores when mum will do them?” Or, “no need to mow the lawn. We’ve got a lawn guy to do it.” Or, “Why should I write the paper when my tutor will do it for me?” A well-developed and motivated child needs to do some physical labor around the house. He also needs to learn how to think on his own.
4. Give your child a “prize”. A reward, such as money or points towards a bigger gift can work well. A weekly allowance may be appropriate if all chores are done with excellence. More credit for the mobile or data plan can be rewarded to the child who reads an extra book each month.
5. Be a cheerleader. Children need constant affirmation. Cheer them on in everything they do…“Good shot,” “Way to go.” “I’m so proud of you.” “Awesome performance.” Always, always encourage your kids.
6. Dream with your child. Ignite her dream of being a musician; take her to see an orchestra. Fire up his interest in reading; get him some books on things he is interested in like the outdoors or sports. Encourage his interest in business matters; teach him about investing.
7. Help your child set and own goals. If it’s your goal for your child, he will be less likely to pursue it. If your child owns his goal, he is much more likely to achieve it.