6 Ways to Motivate Your Child to Learn
How do you motivate a child who doesn’t seem to want to Learn?
As parents, we are invested in our child’s academic life because we know how important it is for their future. Unfortunately, our kids don’t always seem to share our concerns about their future.
1. Don’t Obsess About the Future
When your child seems to have no interest in his life, it’s easy to start fast-forwarding into the future. When he acts like he doesn’t care about anything except video games and his friends, you worry that he won’t be successful or even function on his own. This heightens your anxiety and fear.
But none of us have a crystal ball or can see into the future. Focusing on the negative things your child is doing will only bring the spotlight on them and may set you both up for a power struggle. Instead, focus on your child’s positive traits and help him work on those in the present.
2. Focus on your child’s interests
When learning engages children in areas and subjects of interest, learning becomes fun and children engage in learning. If you really want to help your child to become a good learner, encourage him to explore topics and subjects that fascinate him. If he likes dinosaurs, help him find engaging and interesting books and stories about dinosaurs. Then challenge him to identify his five favorite dinosaurs and explain why he chose each one.
3. Introduce and encourage different types of learning styles
There are seven fundamental learning styles: Visual, Auditory, Verbal, Physical, Logical (mathematical), Social and Solitary. For example, children who are visual learners learn best by seeing how things work. Conversely, children who are auditory learners learn best by listening to things being explained. For young children, it’s beneficial to explore and employ different types of learning styles.
4. Share your enthusiasm for learning
Enthusiasm rubs off, especially when it comes to learning new things. If your child or student sees that you’re sincerely enthusiastic about learning, they’re likely to become enthusiastic about learning. Whether it’s history, science, reading, writing or even math, help him see that learning is a journey of exciting new discoveries. Take every opportunity – without being overwhelming or overbearing – to discover new information with him. As your child sees the joy and excitement learning brings to your life, he’ll begin to share your enthusiasm for learning new things as well.
5. Focus on what he’s learning, not his performance
Instead of asking your child how he did on his math test as soon as he gets home from school, have him teach you what he learned in math today. Focus on what your child is learning, as opposed to how he is performing. While performance is important, focusing on his learning experience will (1) communicate to your child that actual learning is more important than test grades, (2) results are not the most important thing, (3) you’re more concerned about him than you are about his performance and (4) by focusing on his learning experience that day you’ll provide him the opportunity to put into his own words his lesson and solidify what he’s learned.
6. Focus on strengths
Focusing on strengths can be difficult when there is so much your child struggles academically. Notwithstanding, focusing on your child’s strengths is vital to healthy emotional and academic development and progress. Focusing on your child’s strengths is another form of positive reinforcement that will motivate him to keep learning. Conversely, focusing on your child’s weaknesses does nothing but cause discouragement, distress and a lack of desire to learn.
For all of these tips, start from where your child is. What I mean is that, in many cases, your child may have a long way to go, and you don’t want to overwhelm him by trying to work on too many issues at once.