They are not learning to receive a particular grade, a payment or a parent’s approval. They are learning because they love it.
Most people are motivated to learn for both internal and external (learning to receive a grade or other reward) reasons. But internal motivation is what creates lifelong learning.
To foster internal motivation:
• Praise your teen for effort and for understanding the material, rather than just for the grade at the end.
• Help your teen set goals for mastering his subjects. Goals should be set high, but not so high that they are unachievable.
• Encourage your teen to decide how well he’s meeting his goals. He should be honest, “I could do better if I studied another 20 minutes each night.” But he should not himself down, “I’m so stupid.”
• Encourage your teen to make use of his own learning style. For example, people who learn best by hearing often do well when they read material out loud.
• Let your teen know you believe in him. “These problems are very challenging, but you know the concepts and you’ll work it out.”
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