Motivating your Child

According to Tracy Enright (Child Development expert), self-motivation is a trait that is often underrated. It’s more than just getting out of bed in the morning; it can have a huge impact on how well your child does in school. Children are naturally motivated to learn until they’re about 7 years old. After this time, they’ll need the ability to motivate themselves, a vital skill if they are to succeed. It’s true that self-motivation can only come from within, but there are ways you can help your child nurture it, giving them an advantage that will pay off in later life.

Here are eight ways you can help;

Encourage Optimism

Focusing on solutions to problems rather than dwelling on setbacks, combined with having a positive outlook on life. This will encourage your child to adopt the same approach.

Encourage Persistence

Reward effort rather than just success. You will help your child to develop the resilience they’ll need to face failure and to keep trying until they do succeed.

Deal With Failure

Teach your child to accept that sometimes they will fail. Showing them how to lose or win gracefully, will give them the ability to deal with, and move on from, setbacks later in life.

Encourage Interests

Children who have a range of interests will be exposed to different opportunities. Combined with a good work-life balance, this will make the less-interesting tasks they face less demoralizing and easier to face.

Celebrate Achievement

Knowing how to celebrate and enjoy success, both their own and others’, will give your child something positive to aim for.

Make Success Possible

Give your child the opportunity to be successful and experience the positive emotions that go with it. Supporting and guiding them will help build the self-esteem that is vital to self-motivation.

Foster Their Interests

Encouraging a child to learn about things that interest them will allow them to better understand the concepts they learn at school, especially if you’re creative about the way you link their interest to learning. Pacing out the length of their favorite dinosaur or measuring ingredients for baking will help them understand size or volume without it feeling like another mathematics lesson.

Adapt to Their Learning Style

Some children will sit and listen to new information. Others want to pick things up and use them straight away. Adapting to their preferred way of learning will keep learning fun and not a chore.

This week in Assembly, I spoke to the students about having a Growth Mindset. Growth Mindset is the work of well- known Psychologist Carole Dweck. Individuals with a growth mindset believe that their most basic abilities can be developed over time through a strong work ethic. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. Students who embrace growth mindsets genuinely believe they can learn more and grow as an individual if they work hard and persevere. Having a growth mindset also enables students to recognize a particular challenge they are facing and acknowledging that they ‘Can’t do this yet!’ Here is the link shown to students during Assembly.

I have used some of these strategies with my children and have been amazed with the results. I encourage you to do the same.

SAPSASA Swimming Results

Last week, the St John’s Grammar SAPSASA team eagerly took to the pool where they performed extremely well throughout the evening against local schools in the district. Read the detailed results here.

Have a safe and enjoyable long weekend.

Simon McKenzie
Head of Junior School