"School is so boring."
"I don't feel like doing anything."
"I don't want to go, I'd rather play Xbox."
"I just don't care."
"It's too hard. I'm quitting."
I've heard some of those things from my kids over the years. Have you? Words like these indicate a lack of motivation. So, what should you do? Well, author Joe White provided me some invaluable insight in putting together this list. Here are the first three ways to motivate your unmotivated child.
1. Have realistic expectations of your child. Not every child will make straight A's or start on their sports team. Not every child will go to college and get their MBA. "Type A" driven parents like me need to be really careful not to impose their personalities on their children and expect they will be just like us. Also, we should not try to make our dreams their dreams.
2. Be a model of motivation. Your personal example is key to motivating your child. If you are glued to the tube, you can't expect your child to want to go out in the back yard and play sports. If you constantly complain about work, what message is that sending to your child? Your child needs to see you loving your work, exercising and celebrating goals achieved. "5 Ways Parents Can Be a Role Model for Kids" will help you to be the best model you can be for your kids.
3. Make sure your child breaks a mental and physical "sweat." Your child may think, "Why do chores when the housekeeper will do them?" Or, no need to mow the lawn. We've got a lawn guy to do it." Or, "Why should I write the paper when mom will do it for me?" "5 Reasons Your Child Should Work" explains the importance of work. A well-developed and motivated child needs to do some physical labor around the house. He also needs to learn how to think on his own.
4. Give your child a "carrot." A reward such as money for A's or B's can work well. A weekly allowance may be appropriate if all chores are done with excellence. More minutes for the cell phone or data plan can be rewarded to the child who reads an extra book each month.
5. Be a cheerleader. Children need constant affirmation. Cheer them on in everything they do. "Good shot," "Way to go." "I'm so proud of you." "Awesome performance." Always, always encourage your kids. Here's "How to Be Your Child's Biggest Fan."
6. Dream with your child. Ignite her dream of being a musician: Take her to see an orchestra. Fire up his interest in reading: Get him some books on things he's interested in like the outdoors or sports. Encourage her interest in business matters: Teach her about investing.
7. Help your child set and own goals. If a goal is yours rather than your child's, they will be less likely to pursue it. But children who own a goal are much more likely to achieve it.
Mark Merrill is the president of All Pro Dad and Family First , a national non-profit organization. He is also the voice of a daily radio program called The Family Minute.
For the original articles, visit allprodad.com.
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