We all want the best for our kids. We do whatever we can and think is right to help them grow, develop and become satisfied and successful and in those efforts we often struggle with our kids’ motivation. This is rather unfortunate, since motivation is something that is the foundation of every progress. It seems to be much easier to provide moral and financial support, as well as encouragement, at times than deal with a lack of motivation in our kids. The task is made even more challenging by the fact that many children simply feel frustrated and overwhelmed when dealing with academic tasks. Luckily, even though the process is difficult, it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Children respond well to various types of incentives and encouragement and a great majority of them enjoy being creative. So, how can we use this trait of theirs to reach the result we strive for?
You may think that conversation is not strictly related to learning, but talking to your kid actually hones their communication and cognitive skills. Focus on what interests your kid and tell them what you know about the subject and ask them if they know something more, for example. If they ask you a question to which you don’t know the answer, promise to look it up as soon as you can and make sure you keep that promise. Also, you may ask them to “help” you with looking up some information online. They’ll be happy to oblige and feel proud, while their curiosity will surely awaken.
Encourage creative activities
There are times when kids feel bored out of their minds and they almost instantly turn to their phones, tablets or consoles. You might want to offer a more creative alternative to them in those situations. It can be anything from drawing to baking and decorating cookies. Being creative is a wonderful way to learn and boost one’s self-esteem. To make it even more fun, you can invite your kid’s friends and organize a series of creative activities that can help them learn from each other and compete in a fun and friendly way. This will teach them an invaluable lesson about the importance of working in a team and they may be the next young scholars who will further the research on anything from the importance of plasmacytoid dendritic cells to CP violation.
Accept that grades aren’t everything
Grades do say a lot about a student’s effort and achievement, but they don’t always paint a realistic picture. This is especially true when it comes to those kids interested in arts or subjects that are not taught at school. So, instead of being constantly worried about your kid getting a low grade and stressing them about the grades, teach them that grades are not everything, though they are important for their future education and employment.
Keep challenging them
While routines are necessary, since they provide structure to our existence, we need to broaden our horizons, leave our comfort zone and learn something different if we are to succeed. That’s why we need to constantly challenge our kids with new subject matter, hobbies, classes, games… So, once they’ve learnt the basics of chess, they might want to try learning to waltz. Yoga can be replaced or complemented by skiing or scuba diving. That will mean that their minds will face something unfamiliar and they’ll have to resort to everything they’ve learnt so far to find a way to master a new skill or gain new knowledge.
Varying the approach
When it comes to varying, it’s not limited to the subject matter only, but it also includes the ways your kid can approach the material at hand. Just like you can learn to make a new dish by reading a recipe or watching a clip on YouTube, you should encourage your kid to explore different ways in which they learn. There are targeted lessons paired with videos, for instance, available online and you can suggest to you kid that, once they feel confident enough, they create a similar tutorial themselves, but you don’t have to make it public if they don’t want you to. In some cases, you could help your kid elevate their learning with the help of technology. VR can be really great if they need to learn about human anatomy, since they’ll have to engage all their senses, while being able to “practice” without risk of harm.
It’s important to remember that learning is more than a process. It’s also a mindset which allows kids to go beyond the traditional methods. The more real-life experience, technology and stimulation of all their senses there is, the more creative they’ll become, which will help them acquire new skills and knowledge. That would mean that you’ve done a great job as a parent or teacher.