The Unmotivated Child
Do you have a unmotivated child? Does your child seem unmotivated to do chores, work, or schoolwork? Every kid has days where they are unmotivated to do things and that is okay. But be careful, this should not be an everyday thing. Sometimes you may hear yourself say, “You are unmotivated to finish your school work!” You might be thinking, “What can I do to get you to do your chores without me nagging you?” Your child might need to learn more structure. Check in with your kid and ask if they understand what they are working on. Do they have questions and can they complete the task at hand?
Do not stress so bad. Every child or adult is motivated by something. Adults may be motivated to go to work because they make money. However, that is not going to be the same for kids though. There are a lot of different ways to motivate your child. Let’s look at a couple.
What Can You Do?
First, you can motivate your child by bribing them. What do they like? Is it chocolate, a sleepover, a night with friends, money, toys. There will be something you can have your child work toward. My children know they are working for money when they are doing their chores. If they do not complete their chores they do not get paid. If your child is really wanting a toy, give them incentives to reach that goal. In my treasure box in our classroom, I have small toys, but I also have pieces of paper with $.25 written on them. If my child gets an A or B on a test, they can pick out of the treasure box. They may pick a tattoo or a yoyo, or they may pick a $.25 token out it. They feel more in control of their reward and they thoroughly enjoy it.
Competition is also a motivator. Play a game with your child. Say, “Let’s see who can get their chores done faster.” If you have multiple kids have them compete against each other. If you have kids like I do, they are always competing against each other anyways.
Try and be positive with your child. Use words of affirmation to encourage them. Teach them they do not always have to receive something to be successful. Children really do respond well to this method. They feel more loved and more secure.
There will always be those times when your child needs to learn about negative consequences though. If your child is being defiant, the other strategies may not work. Your child still needs to know who the parents are. Take charge!
For our family, with having 3 children under the age of 11 years old and one with Autism, I write out lists of things that need to be done. In school, I may write down the steps it takes to accomplish a task. My son used to struggle with his old Math. I cut out a window in a yellow piece of paper and wrote a list of directions he must take to solve the problem. When it comes down to chores, my kids each have a chore chart. It has a list of their chores they can check off as they go. I feel it has eliminated me nagging them about horse playing around. Therefore, they know the faster they get their chores done, the faster they can go play.
Try each of these and see what works best for your kid. I bet you use all of these to help motivate your child. Make sure to check in with your child and see if they need any help or have a question. We are molding these children into what they will grow up to be.
Check out my article Debunking Homeschooling Myths