Here are some ways you can build that kind of motivation for success in your child:
1. Teach your child to set goals. Start small: learning the capitals of five states, reading for 15 minutes, tying a shoe. Write down your child's goals and post them where she can see them. Then check them off when she has achieved them.
2. Help your child learn positive self-talk. For young children, you might read The Little Engine That Could and discuss how the engine's positive attitude helped achieve the goal.
For older children, watch professional athletes in action. Many of them talk to themselves throughout a game, saying things like, "I'm going to hit this next one out of the park."
3. Take school seriously. Review homework every day. Ask questions about what went on in school and listen to the answers. When your children see that you think school is important, they'll soon think so, too.
4. Help your child do something for someone else. Kids gain a real sense of accomplishment helping others. Give your child a chance to share his time or talents with someone who needs them.
5. Keep track of your child's progress. Post schoolwork on the refrigerator. Keep a chart of how your child helps around the house. Talk about your child's good soccer game at the dinner table or riding in the car.
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