Motivation

Motivation

What you as parents can do

  • Encourage celebration for achievement (for school and other activities) that is realistic and not overblown; small rewards can assist children to recognise they have achieved well, but it is important that any reward is proportional to avoid creating unrealistic expectations in the future.
  • Support your child in setting SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time Limited goals) for their own development and also in achieving school work outcomes. Encourage them to set a timeline and check that they reach milestones to ensure that plans are followed and good habits are reinforced.
  • Encourage your child to find ways in which they can deal with things by themselves, not relying on others to help. Start small when this is very difficult and rehearse ways they can cope if they find something difficult (like making a phone call to find out the time of a bus or a train for example).  Do not do it for them.
  • Try to talk through any new things that are on the horizon for your child; help them to anticipate possible problems and consider some ways of getting around them.  Anticipate what success will ‘look like’ and how it might be celebrated.
  • Try and find a role model for them, who they respect, amongst your wider family or friendship group.
  • When things go wrong, discuss with your child what happened, what they might try to do instead and give encouragement to them to try again.
  • Encourage your child to focus for longer and longer periods of time, initially on tasks that they don’t mind doing (this may well be nothing to do with school) and offer a small, preferably cost-free but valued, reward for achieving longer periods of focus.
  • Limit use of television as a source of casual (rather than planned) entertainment
  • Encourage participation in a wide range of activities, sporting or otherwise, which will demand focus in a context that your child finds fun.
  • Talk about things that have happened to them or that they have seen and try to get them to reflect on what happened and how it could happen differently another time. Keep it small at first and get into deeper issues as they get the feel for reflection.

 

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