“If I could only get my son to be excited about doing homework, the way he’s excited to play that new video game!” The problem of how to motivate kids to learn and get better grades in school is usually a painful experience for any parent.
Kids are smart, they aren’t lazy, and they seem to be enthusiastic about almost everything – except school. They have an amazing capacity to learn but they just aren’t interested in studying. You, being a parent and knowing how important education is, have tried everything to motivate your child to achieve greater academic success, but all measures seem to be counterproductive; the more you push – the more they resist and things are getting worse and worse. So, what can you do to motivate kids to learn and help them realize studying can be a positive experience?
Getting kids interested in learning
– It’s all about the fun. You know how your kids can sit in front of a computer or a TV for hours? That’s the key – they are interested in it! Children have to be interested in learning, otherwise pushing them to study will be equal to pushing them to do things they dislike and it will inevitably create negative effects. Try to get your child interested in subjects he has to learn, i.e. by incorporating the subject into an amazing story, his interests or hobbies. Use humor and jokes; include learning through games or interactive study software. Kids have a bad attitude toward studying mostly because they connect bad experiences from school or from home with it. If they are having fun while learning, they will have less aversion toward it and express less resistance toward studying.
-Choosing the right time. Although structure and routine are irreplaceable factors in the equation for successful studying, learn to recognize the best time your child is ready to learn. Your attempts to motivate kids to learn will be counterproductive if kids are tired, hungry or in a bad mood. Once they are relaxed and able to pay attention, you can start getting them interested in studying.
-Positive peer pressure. Kids will be interested in asking questions, reading and studying if they have friends who do it also. If you are motivating you child to learn, call her best friend to come over and share the studying experience; this way it will be more fun, and when kids learn through fun – they learn faster and remember more.
-Let the words fly. Encouraging healthy communication is the best way to motivate kids to learn better. Remember – it’s all about the fun. Keep an open dialog, encourage them to ask questions, to explore, to offer opinions, feelings and thoughts.
-Be patient. If you want to successfully motivate kids to learn, you have to have control over your own behavior. You must understand this – your role is to guide, not to impose. Shouting, nagging, threatening, in short – losing your temper, will accomplish nothing other than creating new “battlefronts” between you and your kids. Our emotions rub off on our kids; be positive and pause to calm your thoughts and emotions.
Kids are different and each child will learn in his own way and his own tempo. What we can do as parents to motivate kids to learn is guide them and help them realize learning can be a positive experience. If kids get the sense that studying doesn’t necessarily mean torture, they will build upon this positive experience in the future and have a better chance for higher academic achievement.