He struggled and stumbled. But finally,
he took a step all by himself.
He didn’t do it to earn stickers on a chart. He did it because he wanted to. That’s internal motivation, and it’s something all kids are born with.
But somehow, that doesn’t always translate to their schoolwork. The same child who will practice free throws for hours gets bored after five minutes of math problems.
Sometimes, parents offer rewards—more TV, more playtime. But those external rewards only work for a little while. A better way is to tap into your child’s internal motivation:
• Praise your child’s efforts. Talk about how hard your child has worked, and how proud you are that he stuck with it.
• Be a good role model yourself. The way you deal with success or failure will teach your child powerful lessons.
• Limit rewards. A smile or a hug is enough most of the time.
• Help your child solve problems. Don’t be too quick to rescue him. If he’s stuck, ask how he might find the answer.
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