When the excitement of the first few weeks of school have worn off, does the mood change at your place? Suddenly it is harder to get them out of bed, there are complaints of sore tummies and a general feeling of dragging their feet. It can be really hard to get them out the door on time in the morning, let alone with a smile on their face. So what motivates a child to stay positive about school? Let’s look at what you can do to keep the fun and excitement alive…
What Motivates A Child To Be Excited About School?
School is a whole different world to what kids experience at home. They have to be so independent and take responsibility for a lot. So if they are not that excited about going, it could be any number of reasons causing it. Unless your child opens up and tells you what the problem is, you can’t deal with any specifics. So these are general things that you can do to help keep motivation up for school.
Encourage your child to have friends so that they are not lonely in the playground. Having a friend or two can be all they need to happily get through the day. You want them to choose the right kind of friend, so talk to them about what qualities make a good friend and how friends should treat each other.
If your child does have a special bond with some of the kids, maybe invite them around for a playdate outside of school hours to solidify the bond and allow them to interact in a less pressure filled environment.
Talk About Their Career Goals
Talking about the future can make the present seem more important. Ask your child which career path they might want to follow later in life. Then you can discuss how their schooling now will help them achieve that goal further down the track.
If they aren’t sure what they want to do then you can talk about their favourite subjects and how they might translate into a future career path. Giving them something great to strive for will keep them motivated to try now.
Reward Success And Encourage Excellence
Celebrate your child’s successes - the big ones and the small ones. That doesn't have to mean buying them a gift or taking them out for a meal if you don't want it to. Acknowledging and praising their success is enough. You could also increase their pride in their achievement by phoning Nana, or a favourite Uncle to tell them as well.
Encouraging excellence doesn’t mean pushing them until they are exhausted, or ruling the house with an iron fist. But be clear on your expectations to encourage a hard working attitude. Teach them to care for their own belongings by hanging up their uniform or putting it out for the wash when they get home. Also show them to prioritise their responsibilities by doing their homework before play, TV or device time.
There will be some things that your child is excellent at, and some they will need more practice to master. But always acknowledge that they have tried their best. Trying their best is all you can ask for. Use positive reinforcement to build their own confidence and encourage their academic interests.
Beware Of Put Downs
How you speak to your child becomes their inner voice. So if you are constantly on their case, then they will always be hard on themselves. Nothing might ever be good enough. Try not to criticise your child as it can damage their delicate self esteem. Without good self esteem they will lack confidence in themselves and the drive to try new things.
Encourage Reading, Writing And Maths
You don't only have to be in a classroom to work on these skills. Making reading, writing and math part of your everyday life. Model good habits by reading and writing yourself. Encourage a love of books and the written word by doing it together, even if you are all individually sitting in your own favourite chair with a good book each.
Encourage writing by using a journal, writing shopping lists, emailing, or writing stories. Math is everywhere around if you take the chance to look - write a budget for the supermarket, create a savings plan with your pocket money, or measure up your room for new furniture.
Practicing all of these skills in real life situations will help your child to see the importance of practicing them in school too.
So, what motivates a child to be a excited about school? A positive attitude to most of the aspects that come along with learning!