8 Ways You Can Motivate Your Children To Learn

Motivate Your Children To LearnWorried about how you can motivate your children to learn and do their school work? Check out these tips to inspire your kids.

Remember back on how happy you were when you first had your kids? While all those sleepless nights and being in constant caregiving mode was exhausting, you still felt like the happiest person in the world. After all, you had your little bundle of joy.

However, as time goes by, your toddler turns to a preschooler. And then to a little human being with their own thoughts and preferences….and their own mighty wills.

As a result, it becomes tougher to motivate your kids to do all the things you know would be best for them. For example… doing their school work and staying motivated to learn new things at school.

If this resonates with you, I’m here to help with some helpful ways to motivate your children to learn.

As you might know, I’m a bestselling author, award winning designer and happiness researcher. I wrote a book called Happy Habits.

In my research, I learned a lot about how to make sure you develop positive habits which lead to your best life – by embracing specific principles of “habit formation.” 

In this article I will be sharing the specific habits needed to motivate your kids to learn.

8 Ways You Can Motivate Your Children To Learn

Being a parent is not for the weak willed. As time passes, it becomes harder and harder to control the various ways your children eat, sleep or behave in general.  While you are still responsible for bringing them up, their tiny souls have developed thoughts of their own, over which you have no control.

While they depend on you, they don’t belong to you. The more you try to mold them according to your wishes, the more it looks like they are pushing you away.

And navigating through this labyrinth becomes even harder when trying to motivate children (of any age) to study and learn.

Making your children want to learn something …while not appearing pushy… becomes a recurring struggle.

If you are facing this struggle and wondering how to find a balance, read on to find out how you can motivate your child to learn.

1. Find Out the Barrier to Their Learning

Children are born with immense potential, they have a natural tendency to learn and explore the world around them. Despite that, sometimes children might not seem motivated to learn or even try new things. And oftentimes there are valid reasons for not wanting to learn and no matter how much you try to get them engaged in learning, if you don’t know the reason, all effort will be futile.

Maybe it is the anxiety about class or school that’s stopping them from learning. Or perhaps, the learning style is not just suitable for them, or maybe the learning material is just too challenging for them. Whatever is the reason, you need to be actively engaged with your child to find that out.

Learn what their strengths are and what’s putting them off from trying.  Sample of child’s strengths and weaknesses can be assessed by observing their interaction style and natural tendency. To determine the root cause of their learning barrier, you can-

  • Accompany them in homework
  • Discuss school with them
  • Talk about their interest and dislikes

2. Focus On the Process Not the Result

What’s the first thing you ask your kids when they come home from school? Is it about their grade? Or about any test they had to take that day? While you might have good intentions while asking these questions, this is also a subtle way of ingraining your child with the matter of mentality- success or failure, not their effort.

You might be unaware of how these innocuous questions can fundamentally change their attitude towards studies or even life in general.  They will learn to prioritize results over the effort. And this will lead them to devastation if their hard work doesn’t pay off.

To make them understand that the process is much more important than the result, you can

  • Praise their effort over a grade, medal, or award. If you praise only the result they will grow up to be result-oriented. The fear of failure will stop them from trying the things that are challenging to them.
  • Don’t display their grades on your refrigerator or even on your social media, but with something creative they made
  • Do not promise them rewards or gifts if they achieve certain grades, rather reward them for trying

3. Talk About School

Talking about school doesn’t just mean asking how school was and being done with that. Let the children express themselves, they will be forthcoming when they feel they have a listening ear and will feel you care about their day.

Besides, kids grow faster than you think, and before you know it, your children will develop their world, where you are only a stranger. So cherish the time while they are still trying to engage you with their world, don’t limit this interaction with the school, class, or grade only. 

Let them take the lead in the conversation, and you will be amazed by their perspective of the world. Be inquisitive about their day and if they share what they have learned at school, try listening; kids love it when they feel smarter than you. Even if you are a busy parent it will only take a few minutes of your day to share this special bond with them.

4. Read Together

Getting children interested in reading is the best thing a parent can do in their childhood. From their infant age, read to your children for at least 30 minutes every day. As they grow up, read together; and increase the reading time. To encourage them in reading, you can

  • Stock your home with reading materials
  • Develop your reading habit. Kids naturally try to imitate what adults do and if they find you reading they will be tempted to try
  • Devise new word games while you read together, it will make reading times more fun
  • Take turns in reading, tell them to read to you from something they like
  • Create a reading plan together and reward your kids if they check all the books from your list
  • Use extra reading activities to improve your reading skills and comprehension.

5. Develop a Positive Attitude

Develop a positive atmosphere in your household. Try nurturing this attitude- it is okay to fail as long as they learn from the failures, and failure is the best teacher in the world. Kids are very intuitive about sensing your intention and if they feel you only care about the result they will shut down.

To develop a positive attitude, you can-

  • Avoid comparing their performance with others
  • Share with them your failures and how you still kept going
  • Avoid berating them if they make mistakes
  • Encourage them to try new subjects even if they don’t excel at it

6. Help Them Manage Distraction

When you were a kid you didn’t have much distraction stopping you from doing what’s important. With TVs, computers, games, and social media, being a child is different from what it was only a decade ago. When you have more options than you focus on information more than you can process, you have difficulties handling even the bare basics.

And added to that, is the parents’ high expectations just because their children have all these amenities and modern facilities at their disposal, only cause the children to falter. To help them manage distraction you can

  • Substitute the gadget with books
  • Limit their screen time
  • Encourage outdoor play
  • Spend more time together playing or building a project

7. Let Them Take the Lead

We often feel motivated when we have some control. And kids are no different from that. When they find they have some control over what they do or what they read, they are more interested in participating. To let them take the lead, you can

  • Let them make their routine or study plan
  • Give your kids a choice in what they want to read that week
  • If they are assigned a project, let them come up with their ideas
  • Don’t focus on what you expect from your kids, let them develop their own goals and help to achieve them.

8. Don’t Over-Parent

There is a vast difference between being invested in your kids’ life and being obsessed with parenting. Just think if your boss was controlling your every move, would you like it? You will feel bitter about the situation or the boss? And the same thing can happen with your kids if you hover over them at every turn and not provide them their space.

Find a balance between being pushy or being completely unconcerned. Avoid micromanaging every aspect of their life. You are not homework police or a home tutor who just cares about getting stuff done. Let them know that their performance and education matter to you, but you trust them to achieve something better than they think they can do.

The Bottom Line On Motivating Children To Learn

As Saint-Exupery had said, all grown-ups were children once, but very few remember being one!

We parents tend to forget how it is to be a child in this world. How disconnected it might feel when it seems like you are living on a different wavelength than the grown-ups.  And this results in us trying to shape them in our world, trying to make them see everything from our perspective. But, it should be the other way around. 

If you want to motivate your kids in learning, you have to understand them first. While it’s true that every kid is different, as a parent the least you can do is not try to make them like you. Rather, you should try to be like them, and you will be amazed at how easy it becomes to connect with them.

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