Hey Mom, How Do You Motivate Your Kids? - A Guest Post By Lynn Banis

Monday, August 9, 2010

All parents would love to raise kids who were self-motivated to do the right things and to do them in the right way. We spend eighteen years trying to instill self-motivation within them. Our child rearing techniques make me wonder what in the world we are thinking. Read the list of them below and then wonder with me how in the world any of them turn out to be self-motivation at all. Its beyond me...

Have you ever heard yourself or someone else say or do one of the following to your kids?
Eat your dinner and you can have some dessert.
Do your chores first and then you can go out to play.
Earn A's on your report card and I will give you $ for each one you earn.
Be good and we will go get some ice cream.
Do what I ask and you can have some candy.
Clean up your room and you can have a snack.
I'll pay you if you help rake the leaves up on the lawn.
Wash the car and you can take it on your date tonight.
Make the team and you can ______________.
Major in what I want and I will be proud of you.
Behave or _________________.

What do all of the phrases above have in common? That is right. They all provide a "motivation" that is outside of the child. None of them, and they are so common and easy to say, instill a sense of internal desire to do well and that is what self-motivation is all about. It has nothing to do with motivation that is offered from the outside or rewards and punishments.
How do you do it then? It is very difficult to encourage self-motivation per se, but it is possible to help your child build a strong sense of self and good self-esteem. Both of these traits are instrumental to helping the child develop self-motivation.

Another thing you can do is to encourage children to do things them selves once they know what to do. Ask them how they feel about it before you give your congratulations for their efforts. Let them build a sense of wanting to do things because they feel good about them not because they are going to receive some kind of reward for doing them.

Keep the love going strong. Let children know you love them and support them in the things they try to do. Encourage them to continue to reach and stretch their abilities. As you do these things they will grow in self-motivation and independence.

Lynn Banis, PhD, MCC

The High Performance Coach

Read more posts from the Hey Mom Series here, here and here. Moms work hard and deserve encouragement! Please share this post with other Moms you know.

Lynn is a Master Certified Coach with years of experiences helping moms through tough situations. She would love to answer your questions on a weekly basis. What are you struggling with? What questions do you have about getting through the day? Leave her a few comments with your questions and concerns and she will be happy to write about them in future posts. To find out more about Lynn and how she can help you live your passion, visit her at: www.discoverypointcoaching.com/blog





Alicia said...

I am guilty of saying 99% of those!!!

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