How Do I Motivate My Child?

Posted by Denise Lee on November 03, 2017

No one knows your child more intuitively than you do. That’s why, as a mum, you are best able to provide the best opportunities and create the best moments to motivate and encourage your child. As your child faces each new challenge in school and in life, it’s important to understand how motivation can positively affect your child.

What is motivation?

In a nutshell, motivation is largely classified into two main categories: extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation.

Extrinsic motivation refers to behaviour that is fuelled by external factors like rewards or grades and intrinsic motivation refers to behaviour that is driven by your child’s satisfaction for accomplishing a specific task or achieving a particular goal.

How Do I Motivate My Child? Why Is Motivation Important?

Often, the fixation on grades can make learning seem like a chore. Finding the right ways to motivate your child can help him or her overcome this hurdle.

For your primary school child, it is important to recognise that learning occurs every day — within or beyond the classroom.

As the June holidays approach, find out how both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation can make this post-exam period a great time of fun and productive reflection.

1. Get To The Heart Of The Matter

Intrinsic motivation can be a powerful force when it comes to empowering your child to find success in school and in life. By understanding the key things that give your child a sense of satisfaction, you can help him or her find that positive push to work on areas of weakness and achieve those personal and academic goals.

Perhaps your child derives pleasure from receiving recognition for effort, or loves to explore a subject, hobby or sport that he or she is interested in. Communicating with your child on what makes him or her committed to pursuing excellence can help your child stay motivated. 

You might consider fuelling this intrinsic motivation by praising your child’s efforts by saying, “You’ve been working hard at your piano lessons — that’s amazing!” or “Since you love astronomy, let’s work on a special holiday project together as a family.”

Related Article: 3 Tips To Help Your Child Manage Upper Primary

2. Build A Positive Environment

Extrinsic motivation in the form of praise and encouragement can help your child find that extra ‘push’ to keep going. When your child knows that he or she has your support, it becomes a motivation for him or her to achieve anything. 

You might say, “I’m proud of the way you’re looking at how to improve on your language precision.” Or “I love your good attitude towards pursuing this new sport — it’s not easy, but you’re doing great!”

While some parents offer rewards for achieving a specific goal, you might consider framing a reward like a gift or a fun outing as a symbol of attaining success. This positive association helps your child understand that working hard leads to good outcomes and that the reward is just one form of you showing your loving approval.

Related Article: My Child Dislikes Homework… What Do I Do?

3. Outline Those Outcomes

Helping your primary school child see the bigger picture can be difficult, especially because of his or her young age. Nevertheless, helping your child draw links between what they are doing day-to-day and how that can benefit them in later years can be a wonderful form of motivation.

This is where sharing personal anecdotes can come in. For example, you might share, “Learning about percentage was tough for me too, but I kept working on it and now, it’s easy to work out prices during a sale!” or “Studying adds to your brain’s power! The more you learn, the more you have to see you through the challenges in life — it’s important for you and I’m here to support you.”

Motivating and Empowering Students To Achieve In School and In Life

At The Learning Lab, your child is at the centre of the learning experience.

It is important to us that your child has the key dispositions to seek success — that’s why we help him or her set concrete, achievable personal and academic goals at every level and guide him or her on the steps that need to be taken.

Registration for Term 3 - 2018 programmes has begun

The Learning Lab is now available at 9 locations, including the Northeast at Seletar Mall, from June 2018.

If you have any enquiries about our programmes, please email us at enquiry@thelearninglab.com.sg or call us at 6733 8711 and we will be happy to assist you.