Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Unmotivated Child

--“I don’t want to do this lesson!” “I hate school!” “Susie, you have to complete your school work. Stop just sitting doing nothing.” “John, I am going to have to take away something you really like if you don’t get your school work done.”

Do you have a child who doesn’t seem to be motivated? Have you heard statements like these before? Maybe you have said things similar to the statements above to your own child. I sure know I have! You are not alone.

There is a difference between a child who is unmotivated to learn anything and a child who is unmotivated to do the things we so diligently try to teach them. Knowing which fits your child will go a long way to solving your problem. It is usually that you and your child have a different idea of what is important as far as motivation is concerned. Most kids are motivated by something, whether it is reading their favorite books, playing the Wii or DS, playing their favorite sport outside…

Examine your expectations for your child. Have you considered their learning style, needs, abilities, interests, or talents when planning his lessons? Also, remember to pick and choose your battles. Some are not worth fighting about.

In short:
  • Consider your child’s areas of strengths and areas of weakness, as well as his learning style when making lesson plans.
  • Include your child in some of the lesson planning or curriculum choosing
  • Measure progress rather than failure. Notice I say progress, not success.
  • Evaluate whether your child needs help with issues of the heart (character, relationships, self-control…) You might need to focus your attention on these so you can later focus on academics, besides, learning will happen while working on issues of the heart, too!

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