If you have children, you know how hard it can be at times to get them to do the things they should. Between after school activities, video games, cell phones, and computers, convincing your kids to take care of their household chores and other responsibilities can be a real challenge.
The truth is, not every method of motivation will work with your child. Also, what works for one child may be detrimental to another! As parents, it’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting to be a friend to your child, but your goal is to be their leader, teacher, and motivator, too!
Here are a few things you can try to help motivate your kids to get things done:
- Kids love praise. Your kids want your attention and praise. If they know that doing the things they’re supposed to do will bring them praise, they’re more likely to do those things. You’re their parent and they want to make you proud of them. By encouraging them and praising them frequently, you’re reinforcing good behavior.
- Offer rewards. Often, children are motivated by rewards. The rewards don’t have to be large or involve money. You can reward your children by spending time with them doing an activity they enjoy, reading to them, playing games with them or curling up and watching a movie together. All of these rewards are positive motivators for your children. They’ll be much more eager to do their household chores if the reward is something they can look forward to.
- Lead by example. If your kids see you doing nothing all day long, they’ll feel as if it’s okay for them to do the same thing. Remember that your children are like a sponge and they look up to you and want to emulate you. Show your kids that regular tasks can be rewarding. For example, seeing a bunch of separate ingredients transform into cookies that get compliments can give your child a confidence boost to help out again next time!
- Fear of consequences. There’s a big difference between consequences and punishment. When your children don’t do the things they’re supposed to do, you can teach them how their actions or inactions can have a negative impact on their lives and the lives of others. Take something away for a short period and explain why you’re doing it and how they can earn it back. This example of natural and logical consequences is essential preparation for adult life.
- Show love. Your children need and want your love and devotion. Get involved in their lives. If your child is really interested in something, do it with them! Showing children you appreciate them and respect their choices will build a deeper bond between you. When you ask them to get something done, they’ll be more likely to do it because of the mutual respect between you.
Motivating your children isn’t always easy.It takes dedication and consistency to provide the example and direction needed to build a child’s character.
While it may seem easier to throw in the towel and do things yourself, standing steadfast and finding new ways to motivate your kids is much more likely to help him become a productive, responsible adult.
As a parent, it’s your job to mold your children into caring, responsible and respectful adults. Remember, children are people too and are motivated by the same things that motivate anyone else.
Things like love, attention, pleasure, rewards and recognition top the list of things children crave in their lives. Heaping these essential motivators onto your children will provide great rewards throughout their lives.