A healthy does of self confidence is important to each of us. You can help give your children a head start by teaching them the value of self-motivation. While children have a natural sense of curiosity, being able to self-motivate is a capacity that can fade away unless it is properly encouraged and developed. Learn how to help your children love learning and growing more than grades.
Many of these ideas can also be applied to other family members, colleagues at work, and even to ourselves.
Developing and Expanding Emotional Intelligence
For many years, experts thought cognitive intelligence was the deciding factor in academic success and other achievements in life, but now greater weight is being given to emotional intelligence. Children with an inner drive to work hard usually have the edge. Studies suggest students fueled by intrinsic (internal) motivation think more logically and apply their knowledge and skills more effectively than students who do not.
1. Focus on character.
- Give your children opportunities to develop traits like patience, resilience, and persistence.
- Communicate your values by putting them into action in your own life.
- Nothing speaks volumes to our children like the way in which we conduct ourselves when “no one is looking.”
2. Provide your children with context.
- Discuss what you believe and why you believe it.
- When your children understand the purpose behind cleaning their room and completing their homework, they are more likely to cooperate.
3. Set age-appropriate goals.
- Age-appropriate challenges give children something to work toward.
- Be specific and put their objectives in writing, just as you would for yourself.
- Celebrate their progress and keep looking ahead.
4. Boost their confidence.
- Empower your children with a strong sense of self-worth and optimism.
- Let them know that they are capable and worthy of amazing things.
5. Strengthen their relationships.
- Feeling connected can inspire any one of us to contribute to our family and community.
- For some children, social activities may increase their interest in household tasks and school subjects that they used to find boring.
6. Offer clear choices.
- Show your children that they have options.
- Teach them the importance, and consequences, of making choices.
- Deciding whether to spend their allowance money on a new video game or save up for a skateboard will introduce them to the advantages of delayed gratification.
7. Take calculated risks.
- Children who feel secure are more likely to seize promising opportunities.
- Praise your children for taking initiative and effort regardless of the immediate outcome. In this way they will learn from small setbacks rather than continually holding themselves back.
8. Encourage their curiosity.
- Teaching self-motivation can seem like a daunting task, but children make a great audience. They are already inquisitive and adventurous.
- Your job is to guide their energy in a positive direction.
You have a amazing influence in your children’s lives, for positive, and negative. Create within your home an environment that guides them toward satisfying their own expectations.
9. Begin early.
- Look back at your child’s determination to start talking and walking.
- Your support will reinforce that inner fire and help them hold on when life becomes more complicated.
10. Limit rewards.
- Studies show that external rewards can actually dampen our enthusiasm, even for tasks we enjoy.
- Save special rewards for special situations.
11. Help them find a hobby.
- Devoting leisure time to enriching activities is a great teaching tool and opportunity.
- Observe your child’s natural talents and see what their interests gravitate toward.
- Suggest outings and projects that will take advantage of their strengths.
12. Give honest feedback.
- Open and ongoing communications build trust.
- Ask probing questions and listen closely to what your child thinks, and how they think.
- Perhaps they are e pleased with how they are doing in school or maybe they need additional resources like tutoring so they can catch up and get re-engaged.
13. Be their role model.
- The more self-motivated you are, the more likely you will be to pass those qualities on to your children.
- Whether you are returning to school to pick up another degree or certificate, or spending your weekends volunteering at an animal shelter, your children will pick up on your example.
Raise children who are eager and hungry to learn and to work hard.
Building up their self-motivation will prepare them to accomplish more and experience greater fulfillment in their own lives.