How to develop self motivation in children?

Parental influence on children in the first 12 years of their lives have a permanent effect. Unfortunately, children come with no user manual. Each child is different from the other. Discuss how to handle emotional and educational needs of your child here.

How to develop self motivation in children?

Postby tisha » Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:41 pm

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.
We, as parents can encourage, nudge and push our children, but to an extent. At the end of the day, those who excel are those who are self motivated.
Inviting parents to share your tips, on nurturing self motivated kids. Your success stories, pains and joys of the journey, set backs, rewards ...

tisha
BrownBelt
BrownBelt
 
Posts: 609
Joined: Sun Apr 11, 2010 9:19 am
Total Likes: 1


Postby tisha » Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:55 pm

Mods, could you kindly move this post to this thread.
http://www.kiasuparents.com/kiasu/forum ... hp?t=20569



Chenonceau wrote:
If you do start the thread, I will try my best to provide some concrete suggestions. They may or may not work in your specific situation but they are specific strategies that are research-based AND that I have used, consciously, planfully and with intent.

One key example is how I have motivated my son to memorize 25 X 800 character Chinese compos. He sat there for 6 to 7 hours a day because he wanted to. Getting him to want to was the challenge. It is easy enough to motivate a child to do things that are inherently enjoyable. That is why, the better way to learn Chinese is to read for pleasure from a young age. However, in many situations, both at work and at home, we need to do what is NECESSARY, not what is ENJOYABLE. What is necessary may not be enjoyable... and this is when you need to be a parent-motivator.

Motivating a child by structuring enjoyable activities is easy. It's the other one that is difficult, and requires skill. But it can be done. The greatest achievements in the world were no walk in the park, nor a laugh through Disneyland.

Parents have commented often enough that lessons may be fun but the child's grades don't seem to have improved after all that ha-ha-ha. The truth is, any notable achievement is the result of a lotta grunt work... and grunt work is rarely enjoyable. Chinese is taught in such fun and interactive ways in schools these days. But when our children are face to face with the exam paper, it's all about performance... and guess what, parents are left with the grunt work. All the P5 and P6 parents are tearing their hair out torn between pity for the children and worry about how they will cope. It is parents (and for those who can afford, tutors) who sit with the kids and do the grunt work. Is it fun? Find me a P5 P6 parent/child team who thinks all the grunt work en route to high performance is pure exhilirating fun.

Is attending meetings back to back fun? Is listening to customers complaining fun? Is making the daily rounds of the wards in a hospital fun? For many people, they aren't. Nonetheless, there are people who are motivated to listen to customer complaints... make the rounds of wards... attend meetings. Where does the drive come from?

Is waking up at night to feed the newborn fun? How come mothers all over the world do it? I certainly don't find the run-up to PSLE fun but I have a lot of drive to help my son. Why? My son HATED Chinese in Nov 2010, I make him memorize compos that has words that even my husband (Chinese educated in Primary school) does not know, and now he likes Chinese. Why? How?

Worse, my son prefers to play Monopoly Deal and mess around with MindStorm Lego, than do SA1 math practices. Yet, in the past week, he has gone through SIX SA1 math practices. Each time, I tell him to do only Paper 2 because Paper 1 is no challenge. Three times, he insisted to do both papers. Why? He looked so tired today, I dictated a break. Took him out to Margarita's and let him play the whole afternoon.

I can't promise that what I share can get your child to the kind of drive levels that both my children possess today. But it will help move your child along... and then, you can work from there. You don't have to be educated or very smart to use these strategies. You just need to be a parent who loves. And every parent loves, so that qualifies everyone.

The thing is, if we all depend on fun learning activities to motivate children, we are very limited in our role as parent-motivators because a lot of what is required to succeed in school, is not fun. If my kids don't make it, it really is because they're dumb, not that they didn't try. And I can live with that thought better than the other one... that they could have made it if they had tried.

tisha
BrownBelt
BrownBelt
 
Posts: 609
Joined: Sun Apr 11, 2010 9:19 am
Total Likes: 1
1 people like this post


Postby 24hr-mum » Fri Mar 25, 2011 9:49 am

well, i certainly welcome suggestions.
tisha, was ur boy already like that (as in dont like to study) when he was k1, k2, ie since young?

my boy, k2, also like that.
u can offer him the reward, he will sit down do a bit. after some time, he slacks. he still wants that reward but he doesnt want to do the work - whc is not even hard work. just so moderate difficulty level.
then i start to use the 'stick' when carrot dont work. after threatening or really caning him, he does the work but wont be for long. he is not consistent. some times, when he is in the mood can do a bit more but generally very difficult to ask him to do work. i already can foresee what kind of student he will be. he very sotong or cant be bothered type. can wear shorts wrong side.sigh..

his intrinsic motivation is drawing and playg toys - gd at memorising all 50 faces of thomas train series. but how to turn that kind of 'skill' into a practical job skill in future? i wonder...

24hr-mum
KiasuGrandMaster
KiasuGrandMaster
 
Posts: 2195
Joined: Mon May 11, 2009 6:49 pm
Total Likes: 0


Postby 24hr-mum » Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:05 am

many a times when u say, if u do something, i gv u something, he will say: no, give me that thing first!

24hr-mum
KiasuGrandMaster
KiasuGrandMaster
 
Posts: 2195
Joined: Mon May 11, 2009 6:49 pm
Total Likes: 0


Postby Laughing » Fri Mar 25, 2011 4:47 pm

Children loves to do thing that they are good at. Those activities do not require any motivation and they will just do it. If they are doing something that they like such as drawing or colouring, you too don' need any carrot to get them do it. The problem is always getting them to something that they are not good at or not interested in...

So for those area, I started to get them to do it in 5 or 10 mins for a start, slowly it will become a routine where no motivation will be require anymore.

Laughing
OrangeBelt
OrangeBelt
 
Posts: 88
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2011 4:59 pm
Total Likes: 0



Postby satyagraha » Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:46 pm

24hr-mum wrote:many a times when u say, if u do something, i gv u something, he will say: no, give me that thing first!


What needs to be done, needs to be done. What is your job, is your job. I never and don't believe in giving tangible rewards to my kids for doing what is their job, only lots of hugs & kisses & praises for job (well) done. Neither will I finish up their job, if they fail to.

Eagerly waiting for words of wisdom from Chenonceau. :D

satyagraha
OrangeBelt
OrangeBelt
 
Posts: 42
Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 1:31 am
Total Likes: 0


Postby rosemummy » Fri Mar 25, 2011 11:50 pm

satyagraha wrote:What needs to be done, needs to be done. What is your job, is your job. I never and don't believe in giving tangible rewards to my kids for doing what is their job, only lots of hugs & kisses & praises for job (well) done. Neither will I finish up their job, if they fail to.

Eagerly waiting for words of wisdom from Chenonceau. :D


I believe in that too. As a matter of principle, I feel that kids should not expect to be rewarded for doing what is their job. And they need the discipline to do it, even if they don't like it. Just that when I act according to my principles, things that need to be done don't get done.

Certainly looking forward to Chenonceau's sharing.

rosemummy
BlueBelt
BlueBelt
 
Posts: 351
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:40 pm
Total Likes: 1


Postby wonderm » Sat Mar 26, 2011 8:18 am

satyagraha wrote:
24hr-mum wrote:many a times when u say, if u do something, i gv u something, he will say: no, give me that thing first!


What needs to be done, needs to be done. What is your job, is your job. I never and don't believe in giving tangible rewards to my kids for doing what is their job, only lots of hugs & kisses & praises for job (well) done. Neither will I finish up their job, if they fail to.

Eagerly waiting for words of wisdom from Chenonceau. :D


I agree. For very young children, if parents say if you do your work, I will give you something, they get the impression they are doing the work "for the parents". That's why we never give any tangible rewards to the kids.

When they do very well in their studies, they are the ones who take out their pocket money to give us the parents and the maid a small treat. We make them understand that they couldn't have achieved what they achieved without the support and help from us.

wonderm
KiasuGrandMaster
KiasuGrandMaster
 
Posts: 1233
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 1:03 pm
Total Likes: 75


Postby Chenonceau » Sun Mar 27, 2011 2:24 pm

So sorry to have made you wait Tisha. I have not had time to log on till now. I have been distraught about my son's SA1 P5 Math paper. He scored 90+ in P4 last year but can only manage at most 40/60 in Paper 2 of the practice P5 SA1 papers. I've been quite miserable, and he has been working so hard and has been so brave that I feel like I should bring him to Canada and apply for citizenship... just so that I don't feel like I have consigned him to child labour (like those children in brick kilns).

Also, I rather think that I have been quite stupid to have put my professional reputation on the line in a public forum such as this. Firstly, I dunno where to start. I can't possibly put down close to 2 decades of consulting experience in motivation here. I don't know where to start. Secondly, psychology is an imprecise science and whatever I write is bound to have its detractors.... and some are more rude than others. So... I am a bit nervous.

As such, please forgive me for sketching some preliminaries as means to protect myself

No Strategy Works in Every Situation
Many parents know that what works with one child in one situation, won't work with another. What works in one family won't work in another. Motivation recipe strategies need to be developed for specific situations. This is important to note upfront because there will be those who will say "I tried this, and it doesn't work"... "I tried that, and it doesn't work".

In some situations I would suggest setting IMPOSSIBLE GOALS.
In others, I would suggest TOO EASY GOALS. In some situations, I would advocate allowing failure to happen. In others, I would say that failure is to be avoided. There is no magic bullet just as there is no magic food. Green tea has been touted as good and healthy but in some situations it leads to an overgrowth of intestinal yeast and results in candidiasis of the gut.

Motivation Strategies Carry No Value Judgment (for me)
It is all too human to pass judgment. We all do it. Such and such a strategy is good/bad. Such and such a food is good/bad. But as a researcher-consultant in human motivation, I approach strategies and foods without trying to judge good/bad. I merely note their observable effects. Coffee is universally acknowledged as bad for health. Nonetheless, people with gallbladder problems can reduce their incidence of gallbladder surgery by 28% by drinking 4 cups of coffee a day. Coffee has that effect. It also has other more well-known effects.

Something is good/bad/right/wrong only with regards to specific situations. As such, please forgive me if I refrain from participating in any longdrawn debate about whether or not a strategy on its own is good/bad/evil/saintly. I'm also not keen to go into the realm of BELIEFS. What readers believe is well and good. Debating what I believe and what you believe is unproductive. Strategies have observable effects or not. They have positive effects in some situations and nefarious ones in others... and sometimes the same strategy has both good and bad effects in the SAME situation. Hence, this is not meant to be an esoteric discussion about beliefs and faith. It's just about strategies with predictable EFFECTS in specific situations... without any attempt at judging the moral value of any strategy.

Simply, if the forum reader's beliefs/values/emotional experience lead him/her to conclude that some of the proposed strategies are bad, it is entirely the forum reader's prerogative.

Situational Diagnosis
I need to know Tisha's situation in more detail. And even then, I would advise caution and some thinkthrough on Tisha's part because I am trying to structure a solution without ever having seen the child, nor observed first hand the interactions between mother and child. Tisha, no one knows your child and your family better than you. Hence, take this as sharing... and hopefully the sharing stimulates some thinking about your situation and helps you see it more clearly. And then, you can experiment carefully.

Tisha, if you don't mind, would you help me by sharing a bit more about your situation?

(1) How old is your child, and gender?
(2) What is the child's personality?
(3) What is your personality/or the personality of the primary caregiver?
(4) What is your child's favourite activity? How does he approach it? How did he start?
(5) What is your child's favourite subject? How does he approach it?
(6) Describe in as much detail as you can, how you get your child to work at home.
(7) Describe your child's siblings (personality) and their approach to school.
(8 ) What are your child's grades like?

Let's start with some of these details? Gee... I am about as nervous sharing the strategies as you probably are, sharing your situation. I know the domain well. I am familiar with the potential drawbacks of every single strategy and some have backfired in my face before, even whilst they have achieved much in other situations. Hence, I know that it is possible to critique every single strategy. Like everything else in this world of ours, every strategy is both good and bad.

Tisha, I hope you don't mind that I got you into this. Do let me know if you're not keen to post this publicly. We can work through PM. And sorry ah.... everyone, I'm just trying to prevent a situation where I might be flamed/negatively judged for sharing. I kinda feel like I am putting my head on the block for people to chop off.

Also, next week will be somewhat busy so I may not respond so fast... but I will respond. As long as I am not flamed for sharing in good faith what I know and have done, I am happy to help other Mommies.

Chenonceau
KiasuGrandMaster
KiasuGrandMaster
 
Posts: 4872
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 11:57 pm
Total Likes: 19


Postby tisha » Sun Mar 27, 2011 5:29 pm

Chenonceau wrote:So sorry to have made you wait Tisha. I have not had time to log on till now. I have been distraught about my son's SA1 P5 Math paper. He scored 90+ in P4 last year but can only manage at most 40/60 in Paper 2 of the practice P5 SA1 papers. I've been quite miserable, and he has been working so hard and has been so brave that I feel like I should bring him to Canada and apply for citizenship... just so that I don't feel like I have consigned him to child labour (like those children in brick kilns).

Take your time. My best wishes to your DS and you for your P5 math battle. Its not easy, I know.
Chenonceau wrote:Also, I rather think that I have been quite stupid to have put my professional reputation on the line in a public forum such as this. Firstly, I dunno where to start. I can't possibly put down close to 2 decades of consulting experience in motivation here. I don't know where to start. Secondly, psychology is an imprecise science and whatever I write is bound to have its detractors.... and some are more rude than others. So... I am a bit nervous.

As such, please forgive me for sketching some preliminaries as means to protect myself
Sure, can understand.
Chenonceau wrote:No Strategy Works in Every Situation
Many parents know that what works with one child in one situation, won't work with another. What works in one family won't work in another. Motivation recipe strategies need to be developed for specific situations. This is important to note upfront because there will be those who will say "I tried this, and it doesn't work"... "I tried that, and it doesn't work".
Agree with you, every situation/child/parent/environment is unique. Nevertheless no harm in trying what has worked for someone.
Chenonceau wrote:In some situations I would suggest setting IMPOSSIBLE GOALS.
In others, I would suggest TOO EASY GOALS. In some situations, I would advocate allowing failure to happen. In others, I would say that failure is to be avoided
. There is no magic bullet just as there is no magic food. Green tea has been touted as good and healthy but in some situations it leads to an overgrowth of intestinal yeast and results in candidiasis of the gut.
Interesting! Looking forward to here more on this.

Motivation Strategies Carry No Value Judgment (for me)
It is all too human to pass judgment. We all do it. Such and such a strategy is good/bad. Such and such a food is good/bad. But as a researcher-consultant in human motivation, I approach strategies and foods without trying to judge good/bad. I merely note their observable effects. Coffee is universally acknowledged as bad for health. Nonetheless, people with gallbladder problems can reduce their incidence of gallbladder surgery by 28% by drinking 4 cups of coffee a day. Coffee has that effect. It also has other more well-known effects.

Something is good/bad/right/wrong only with regards to specific situations. As such, please forgive me if I refrain from participating in any longdrawn debate about whether or not a strategy on its own is good/bad/evil/saintly. I'm also not keen to go into the realm of BELIEFS. What readers believe is well and good. Debating what I believe and what you believe is unproductive. Strategies have observable effects or not. They have positive effects in some situations and nefarious ones in others... and sometimes the same strategy has both good and bad effects in the SAME situation. Hence, this is not meant to be an esoteric discussion about beliefs and faith. It's just about strategies with predictable EFFECTS in specific situations... without any attempt at judging the moral value of any strategy.

Simply, if the forum reader's beliefs/values/emotional experience lead him/her to conclude that some of the proposed strategies are bad, it is entirely the forum reader's prerogative.

Agree. I hope parents participate in this thread with the intention of learning from one another and not get into debates on whose strategy is better. All of us want to help our children to achive their true potential and not all of us are equipped to do it easily. So lets learn from more experienced parents. This is all this thread is about.
Chenonceau wrote:Situational Diagnosis
I need to know Tisha's situation in more detail. And even then, I would advise caution and some thinkthrough on Tisha's part because I am trying to structure a solution without ever having seen the child, nor observed first hand the interactions between mother and child. Tisha, no one knows your child and your family better than you. Hence, take this as sharing... and hopefully the sharing stimulates some thinking about your situation and helps you see it more clearly.And then, you can experiment carefully.


You couldn't have been more correct. I'm like :clubmyself: when I read your Qs. To be honest I'ven't done much reflection on a few of your Qs so far. I need some time to answer them correctly/honestly.
Chenonceau wrote:Tisha, if you don't mind, would you help me by sharing a bit more about your situation?

(1) How old is your child, and gender?
(2) What is the child's personality?
(3) What is your personality/or the personality of the primary caregiver?
(4) What is your child's favourite activity? How does he approach it? How did he start?
(5) What is your child's favourite subject? How does he approach it?
(6) Describe in as much detail as you can, how you get your child to work at home.
(7) Describe your child's siblings (personality) and their approach to school.
(8 ) What are your child's grades like?

Let's start with some of these details? Gee... I am about as nervous sharing the strategies as you probably are, sharing your situation. I know the domain well. I am familiar with the potential drawbacks of every single strategy and some have backfired in my face before, even whilst they have achieved much in other situations. Hence, I know that it is possible to critique every single strategy. Like everything else in this world of ours, every strategy is both good and bad.

Tisha, I hope you don't mind that I got you into this. Do let me know if you're not keen to post this publicly. We can work through PM. And sorry ah.... everyone, I'm just trying to prevent a situation where I might be flamed/negatively judged for sharing. I kinda feel like I am putting my head on the block for people to chop off.
Well, I'm not so comfortale to share a lot of personal info on a public forum. Maybe PM is better. Let me see, can we do a bit of both, meaning I post the key info and send the details as PM. And you could post the more genric tips on the forum and the specific ones as PM? Lets see how it goes? If it doesn't work then we just resort to pm.

Also, next week will be somewhat busy so I may not respond so fast... but I will respond. As long as I am not flamed for sharing in good faith what I know and have done, I am happy to help other Mommies.


No problem, take your time.
:thankyou:

tisha
BrownBelt
BrownBelt
 
Posts: 609
Joined: Sun Apr 11, 2010 9:19 am
Total Likes: 1


Next

Return to Working With Your Child