How to Raise a Motivated Child
I feel one of the most important things we can do for our children is to teach them to develop their own internal sense of motivation. Sure we can impose consequences or correction while they are in our homes to keep them on track, but what about after they leave our homes? Don’t we want them to be hardworking adults who can achieve greatness?
Their own personal sense of motivation is an essential ingredient in this equation.
Did you realize that you play an important role in your child being able to develop this trait? Let me show you.
- First, our kids learn by watching us. This is not a new concept to you, I’m sure, but it cannot be left out here. Kids learn from what we do much more often than they do from what we say. This is one of reasons I make lists, plan ahead, make good use of my time, and make mindful choices in my daily life. I work hard in everything I do, as does my husband, because this is what is needed, but also because we as parents set the example that our children have a high likelihood of following.
- Second, we must clearly define our expectations. I will admit that I struggle with this. I am guilty of expecting that my children (or husband) will just know what I mean somehow. I have had to really focus on this one. I have made progress, but I have a long way to go. These expectations would include everything from performance in school and in work around the house, but also in the less obvious areas of family relationships and longterm goal planning.
- Third, we must help our children develop perspective, especially as they are teens. Teens need special care, but when I remember being a teen way back when I know that I was always my own worst critic, and I imposed higher expectations on myself than anyone else ever could. Perfectionist, type-A person right here, in case you didn’t already pick up on that 😉 This has been a challenge for me this year as my oldest has had a rough go on accomplishing her own lofty goals. We have had many a conversation about keeping things in perspective and looking to the future for a time when things could be much different.
- Fourth, and I saved the best for last, we must develop a strong relationship with our kids. There are so many ways to do this like this, and this, and this, but you already have this under control, at least partially since you are reading a blog about intentionally living while loving those around you. A strong relationship with you as their mom is the backbone to their own development of self-esteem. We have all experienced feeling like a failure, which can keep us from moving forward. But you know what to do, just keep doing it!
If you are looking to have children who are motivated to do their best within the realm of normal expectations, you can’t do it for them, but you can come alongside them to give them the tools they need. Following these steps in living and parenting intentionally is a great start!
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