|Motivating Your Child To Achieve
Motivation to learn comes from one thing: meaningfulness. Meaningfulness creates interest, and interest will draw the child to the learning experience. Some teachers fail to create meaningfulness for children. A teacher who has failed to explain why a subject is important has actually contributed to the demotivation of the student. Fortunately, parents can remedy the situation. You can create meaningfulness for your child regarding any subject matter. Meaningfulness in school is created from four factors: enjoyment, goals, friends, and parental interest.
One way to create interest in an academic subject is to start by listing what your child is interested in. Does he like motorcycles? Is she excited about painting? After you have listed a few things across the top of the page, list underneath each area of interest an academic subject that somehow relates. For example, reading can be done with any subject; math is involved with keeping sports statistics; geometry is an important part of art. Finally, think of people you know and places you can go that will introduce your child to his area of interest and the related academic subject. For instance, a mechanic can, with your cues, talk to your child about the importance of math and physics involved in an engine.
Once your child has a goal, meaningfulness will follow. There are some important do's and don'ts about goal setting that you must remember. First, the child must take ownership of the goal. He won't be very motivated if you simply hand him a goal to do better in school. He must feel a part of the goal-setting process.
If it looks like your child is not going to achieve the goal, come alongside and help him achieve. Be sure that the goal is reasonable. The most important thing is that he experience lots of successes. Smaller goals and more frequent rewards are good.
Peer pressure can steer a young person in the right direction if the peers are going in the right direction. Positive peer pressure can be very powerful. Your child can be motivated academically by the healthy influence of good friends. Take an active role in promoting closeness between your child and those friends who are good influences. Suggest an outing together. Take them to a fun movie or a ball game. If your child's friends are interested in doing well in school, there is a stronger chance that your child's interest in school will increase as well.
A very important ingredient for motivating your child to learn is your own interest in the subject. This is more than just making sure his homework is done. Your child will be motivated toward an academic subject if you show genuine interest in the subject. We all know of the boy who grows up loving baseball because Dad played ball as a boy and talks about it all the time, watches it on TV, and encourages his son to play in Little League. The same can be true for academics. Are you genuinely interested in history, math or science? Your example is very important. You can show interest by reading a book on the subject, by renting a video that dramatizes the subject, by talking about how important it is in everyday life, and by visiting places that relate to the subject. Research shows that parents are the most influential teachers in the lives of their children. The question is, what are you teaching your child by your example toward academic subjects?