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We moms and dads usually want our children to be motivated for everything. It is natural, because when we ourselves feel motivated we experience a kind of inner happiness. So it stands to reason that we want our children to feel that way too. However, have you ever stopped to think exactly what motivation is and how it works? Or how can we encourage our children to feel motivated? We talk about motivation and we propose some games, ideas and phrases to motivate the little ones in the house.
As parents, it is very common to get frustrated because our little one does not like, for example, mathematics. After trying to motivate him in the way we know (or have learned), he still hasn't gotten better at school. ‘But what am I doing wrong?’ We wondered.
Perhaps, out of sheer desperation, we may have even used the classic motivation technique as a last resort: "If you pass, I'll buy you ...". Sometimes it seems to work, suddenly our little one comes home with passing math, but the next term he comes back with a low grade. What is happening?
What happens is that Most parents do not know that motivation is not something that we create in our children, but that it is something that has to come from within. Samira Thoumi, author of the book 'Child Motivation Techniques' which in turn has been used to prepare the report' Motivation in children's learning ', defines motivation as' the cause that drives us, which leads us to do, think, act or be. It is what causes a movement, be it biological, of thought, emotion or feeling. Also, what leads us to assume a behavior or what originates a certain experience '.
For the author, the true motivation is within yourself. What we can do as parents to promote motivation in our children is to act as 'motivational agents', that is, to encourage in them a cognitive development that allows them to be independent and do whatever makes them happy, enjoying their own decisions and sharing your happiness with others.
We cannot expect them to be the way we want them, nor can we expect them to do things the way we think they are done perfectly. Thoumi explains that becoming this motivational figure involves "learning to live better to facilitate better levels of well-being for others."
When we understand this concept of motivation, everything changes, because it is no longer about our children learning to play the piano and being motivated by it, but rather that they experiment and find what they feel good about. The author herself acknowledges that there is no magic formula to motivate, but there are little things we can do to help motivate our children.
Promoting healthy self-esteem, stimulating our children's abilities and positively reinforcing what they do, especially at the beginning of a new activity, are some of the things we can do so that our children live the world around them and their world with motivation .
A good way to encourage motivation in our children are games or inspiring phrases that we can say regularly to our children. Our support must go hand in hand with respect for our children as individuals and taking into account the stage of development they are experiencing. Punishments and short-term rewards do not function as motivators, they can even have the opposite effect.
Once we understand motivation from this perspective, we can look for some ideas to help our children get motivated. If we continue with the example of the child who does not like mathematics, it is important to recognize that we are not going to be able to make him like it overnight, we may even have to assume that they may not be his thing. But that doesn't mean they can't learn them. How to get to achieve it in a way that you like?
The key is to enhance your skills and those things that motivate you and help you turn your own motivation towards mathematics. For example, if you have noticed that your little one likes to teach, you can pretend to be a teacher and a student and have him give you a division class. And if he is a little older, you can suggest tutoring lower grade students.
Besides all this, It is important that you do not focus on motivating your child only in what they do not find motivation. The idea is that you learn to live your own life with motivation, so it is important to reinforce your skills and the areas of your life that you naturally enjoy.
On the other hand, it is super important to foster healthy self-esteem in our children, with which they learn to love and value themselves. As parents we are the main link in the safety of our children until their adulthood, we must ensure that we constantly value their positive qualities to promote their safety.
A nice idea is to create a thank you mailbox, in which each member of the family writes when they want something they want to thank another. When parents thank our children for something, in the end we always have to put the positive quality. For example, 'Thank you for helping me clear the dishes without asking. You are a very supportive and willful child. I love you so much heart ',
At the same time that we improve their self-esteem, we teach them to value what others do and to positively reinforce the acts carried out from personal motivation.
One of the best ways to motivate our children is through play. It can be any game that occurs to you at any given time, for example, if at the time of picking up the toys we use a song our children will do it with pleasure and motivation. Mary Poppins already knew this, right? We can also play some specific games that help our children to see the world with motivation. Here we propose three:
- How am I?
This is a very interesting game for the little ones to identify their positive qualities. On a large cardboard help your son or daughter to draw themselves (you can also draw mom and dad on other cardboard).
In turn, have different positive qualities prepared written on pieces of paper. The little one will see each role and decide if it has to do with him. If so, the quality will be pasted into the body of the drawing. Little by little, you will identify your positive qualities. It can be done with less positive qualities as well, but always with the idea of gentle self-acceptance, without judging and criticizing. In this way, you can recognize what your personality is like, accept it and focus on those positive aspects of it. With older children this game is usually done in groups.
- Motivation glasses
They can be real or imaginary. The idea is that we put on the glasses of motivation and with them we see everything positive that is around. It is not worth the negative or judging anyone, only saying the positive that we see. You can create a positive dialogue or write what we see positive in others and our environment on a cardboard. It is interesting that various family members play this game.
- Statues of emotions
It is a game widely used in performing arts and should be adapted a bit to the ages with which we are playing. There must be one person guiding the activity and two different groups. It is about putting music, walking and dancing freely and when it stops, the first group must stay as statues reflecting an emotion, whatever they want, and the second group must guess what emotion it is. It can be played from 2 people (plus the guide) to large groups of people.
Finally, it is important that as agents of motivation Let's learn to have a positive language, capable of creating in our children a certain understanding of their own motivation. Ideally, it should come out naturally, but if it's not something we've learned to do so far, it may cost us a bit at first. Therefore, some phrases can help us.
You can start trying to say one at the right time, but you can also print them with a nice background and place them somewhere in the house. Little by little, this type of language will become something common for all members of the family. Some examples:
- Dreams are like little plants, you have to water them to see them grow.
- Repeat with me: I want, I can, I am capable.
- The magic is within you, child, if you wish you can make a change.
- Do not see this error as a failure, the important thing is that we have tried, it is also an opportunity to learn.
- I believe in you, there is a voice inside you that says 'yes I can', do you hear it?
- Never forget your dreams, they will guide your way.
- Starting over is not failing, it is giving yourself a new opportunity.
- Do not compare yourself with anyone, you are yourself and that is what counts.
- It is good to have people to admire, take their positive qualities to learn from them, but then write your way, be yourself.
- No matter how high the mountain is, there is always a way to the top.
- What you decide to do, always make you happy.
- Always look for the nice side of things.
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