As you will know, motivation is a complex issue. It is complex even when we think of motivating ourselves when we have the benefit of knowing what we think as well as observing what we do. It becomes more complex when considering the motivation of someone else – in this case our child.
Someone rightly said that we judge ourselves by our intentions but others by their behaviour. Therefore it is difficult to fully know what could be holding our child back from achieving their best – but we can easily observe their actions/behaviours.
As our children grow we naturally want to protect them from the harshness of life. We don’t just say be careful crossing the road but we hold their hand to make sure they stay safe. No caring parent would allow their child to touch a hot stove while just telling them not to.
However, as they grow older this is not necessarily the best approach to take, depending of course on the topic under discussion. Even as adults I am not expecting you to stand by as they put themselves in danger, but if we continue to shield them from life’s natural consequences then we are not serving their best interests. Assuming they will not be permanently scarred then a wise parent allows their son/daughter to face the consequences of their under achievement / lack of motivation and purpose.
If they refuse to prepare for a test or exam then stop nagging them rather allow them to face the consequences of a low grade. This might then lead to a reallocation of study group, new teacher, moving out from the same class as their friends etc. Their life will not be irreparably damaged but it will create a huge learning opportunity for them.
It will also provide a valuable lesson about life – in the real adult world our action and our inactions carry natural consequences. It is better that they learn the lesson early by getting a lower grade than by losing their job and income in later life.
[Tip #43 from 101 Practical Ways to Motivate Your Child ]