How to Motivate Your Children

How to Motivate Your Child Without Rewards Or Punishment

How to motivate your kids without rewards or punishment.

Wondering how to motivate your child without rewards or punishment? I’ve got you covered! Stick around till the end of this post. Because I will be sharing some helpful tips on how to motivate your child without rewards or punishment.

Many parents worry about how to motivate their children to do different activities. On many occasions we hear:

  • he/she doesn’t like anything’
  • ‘they seem to have to be forced’
  • ‘if I don’t give them anything in return they don’t do things’.

Most of the time and, especially during the school year, the motivation to study can be what worries parents the most.

And many times we fall into the mistake of punishing or over-rewarding when we want to motivate our children.

However, motivating children can be achieved without rewards or punishment.

  • “If you do your homework quickly and I will buy some cards for you”

It is a strategy that many parents can adopt to motivate children, and although it is an easy and quick resource, it is not effective and does not serve the purposes we have.

Help them set realistic and achievable goals.

how to motivate your child

Motivation is what drives us to do certain actions, to achieve our goals and objectives. And depending on those goals, the motivation will be more or less intense. 

“Research suggests that providing children with a reward for a behavior is almost like telling them that the behavior itself is not much fun.” – psychologytoday

If we use rewards or punishments with children, we are reinforcing a type of extrinsic motivation, that is, it is the external consequences that move the child to perform a task. 

And be careful, this type of motivation is not bad, but it cannot be the only one, since the day the prize disappears, or this is not immediate, the motivation disappears.

Positively reinforce their achievements.

How to Motivate Your Children Without Rewards or Punishment

To motivate the child, it is important to reinforce, which does not mean that an award must necessarily be given. 

We can reinforce in many ways, and emotional reinforcement is almost always the most effective. 

If our child is not very good at math, but he tries hard and gets a 5, we must show him that we are happy and proud and that we are convinced that he can get another 5 again. 

We are evaluating the child’s effort, and adapting the demands on its characteristics.

Something fundamental for the child to be motivated is that the goal or objective that he intends to achieve is realistic and adjusted to his characteristics and abilities at that time. 

Sometimes parents and adults set the bar very high thinking that this is what will motivate the child, but on the contrary, it can be counterproductive.

Have reasonable expectations of them and not demand them for what we want, but for what they can give.

how to motivate your kids

Setting a goal that is too difficult to achieve will not motivate the child anymore, but will make him think that he cannot achieve it.

So it is very important to set achievable goals and gradually increase the difficulty as the child can do more. 

In this way, the child looks capable, and the satisfaction of reaching goals and objectives is what will make us have children motivated by homework.

Take into account their learning styles and abilities.

Take into account their learning styles and abilities

Something very important also when we talk about motivation, is to attend and how children learn. 

No two children are the same, nor do they all learn in the same way, so proposing activities that fit their learning styles is also essential in developing positive motivation towards homework.

This is closely related to school and teaching style, but at home, we can also adapt to those styles, and let the children learn in a way that suits their styles.

More visual children to whom a video or image presentation will help them retain information, children who need to learn by doing or drawing or moving, etc.

Teach them to enjoy success when they achieve it and value the effort of trying something even if they do not succeed.

Teach them to enjoy success

About prizes or punishments to motivate children, it is not so much about giving yourself things or taking them away if they do not do things. 

But rather about positively reinforcing the child and helping him and supporting him to achieve his goals. So that he sees that he is capable and that we trust him. 

And if he achieves his goals, why not give him a small prize?

A surprise, something that is not expected but that makes you see that you have seen what they have achieved. 

For example, if after a school year passing math and doing his homework on his own, you can take him to a theme park or a snack at his favorite place, it is not “harmful”, it is a reward for the effort made. 

Therefore, awards yes, but as a reward for an effort, not as a goal to achieve.

Avoid blackmailing the child as a way to motivate him.

how to motivate your children

As for punishments, better avoid them if we want to motivate a child to perform a task. 

We must avoid falling into the temptation to de-target him from his favorite after-school as a consequence of not reaching a goal. 

Since we can achieve the opposite effect, and increase the child’s doubt and low motivation.

Summary On How to Motivate Your Children Without Rewards or Punishment

How to Motivate Your Children Without Rewards or Punishment

In summary, some guidelines to motivate your children without rewards or punishment can be:

1- Help them set realistic and achievable goals.

2- Propose tasks that stimulate their interest.

3- Positively reinforce their achievements.

4- Have reasonable expectations of them and not demand them for what we want, but for what they can give.

5- Give them autonomy to achieve those goals by themselves.

6- Take into account their learning styles and abilities.

7- Teach them to enjoy success when they achieve it and value the effort of trying something even if they do not succeed.

8- Avoid blackmailing the child as a way to motivate him.

Final Thoughts On How to Motivate Your Children Without Rewards or Punishment

Motivating our kids without rewards or punishment is about teaching them the value of working to achieve goals and enjoying the process. And the own reward that is to achieve what we have offered or the satisfaction of having tried.

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how to motivate your children without rewards or punishment

 How to Motivate Your Children Without Rewards or Punishment

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