Motivation 
 
Motivation
Here are a few ideas and suggestions for you to do with your children to encourage motivation:
 
  • When a child comes to you with a problem, don't fix it.  Instead, support him or her to help them understand the problem.  Offer encouragement to generate his or her own solutions.
  • Give the child input into the decision making process and don't always decide important matters for him or her.  This will help the child accept ownership of the particular task.  Likewise, don't ask for input if you don't plan on using it (or if you don't use a suggestion, explain why it wasn't implemented).
  • Help the student set goals as a means of providing incentive to work and create a vision.
  • Involve others.  The more people that are involved, the more the child will want to do what others are doing and won't want to let them down. People are motivated to work more effectively when they feel like they are part of a team. 
  • Be enthusiastic.  Positive attitudes are contagious!
  • Communicate effectively.  People will be more motivated if they have a clear understanding of exactly what it is that they are to do.
  • Recognize the child for things done well and that will reinforce future behaviors.  A good rule to go by is to praise students in front of others, but reprimand them in private!
  • Lead by example.
  • Phrase the task in terms of a "challenge."  Each time a new level of success is reached, raise the bar a little bit higher (but don't forget to celebrate accomplishments!).
  • Visualize the desired outcome.  Create a picture of what the desired outcome will look like and have this vision before you.
  • Never use threats or sarcasm.  People are not usually motivated by this.
  • Children often are eager and productive if they have pleasurable rewards to look forward to.
  • Many people are most motivated right before a big deadline.  They have a hard time concentrating until that deadline is looming ahead of them.  Knowing this, it helps to set up a series of "mini" deadlines building up to an end result.
  • Don't keep checking in on them and standing over their shoulder.  Instead, make it clear what needs to be done and then cut them loose to do it.  Be available if they need your help or input.
  • Don't expect things to be done exactly your way.  If you allow people to be creative they can often come up with some incredible new ideas.
  • Make it fun.  Work is most enjoyable when it doesn't feel like work at all!
  • Mix it up and keep it stimulating.  Don't ask people to do the same boring tasks all the time.  Variety leads to enthusiasm.
  • Use humor.
  • Don't demand perfection.  It is impossible to obtain all the time.  Instead, encourage them to simply do their best.  When mistakes are made, celebrate them as opportunities for learning!
  • Create a high-visibility location for displaying student work.  Encourage students to select their own best work to be posted.
  • Help students chart and graph progress toward a goal
  • Make the student aware of the value of the material being presented so that it will be meaningful to him or her and he or she will have reason to want to learn it.
  • Be excited about the topic the student is learning.  Be expressive with your face (SMILE!), vary the pitch/ volume/ rate of your speech, and use demonstrative movements of your head/ arms/ hands.
  • Relate your own personal experiences to it.  For example, if the student is learning about the Grand Canyon, share with the student experiences you may have had on a vacation there. 
  • Never compare the student to others.
  • Take the emphasis off of grades on put the emphasis on learning and mastering the information.
  • A student may occasionally say, "I don't care" or "Why bother?"  What they are really saying is that they are afraid that they may fail if they try.
  • Build the student's self-confidence so that they view themselves as talented in the particular skill.
  • Use positive emotions to enhance learning and motivation.  If you can make something fun, exciting, happy, a bit frightening, or even do something unexpected or outrageous, learning will last much longer.
  • Pay attention to the student's particular strengths and limitations.  Reward the strengths and strengthen the weak spots.
  • Don't solely communicate "bad news" or criticisms.  Be sure to contact them when they do good things as well!
  • Have the student work with an adult mentor, or someone that he or she has identified as having a positive relationship with, to regularly "check in" with the student and make sure things are going okay.
  • Understand that competition is a motivator only for those who win.  If you do use competition, make sure it ends in a win-win situation.
  • Don't do what you've delegated to others before they get a chance to do it themselves.
  • Take the time to get to know the student.  He or she will have a lot more motivation if they believe that you genuinely care about them.  Cordially greet them, share personal conversations, follow-up with them about things going on in their lives, and encourage them often.  Don't show favoritism.
 
 
 
 
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