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How to Motivate Your Children?

kids' motivation

Kids have changeable mood. If today your son wants to be a doctor, there is no guarantee that tomorrow he won’t want to be a truck driver. And, in a year, his new occupation will be a fireman. Can’t say the same about motivation for down-to-earth issues such as doing homework. It’s really hard to keep kids motivated. But there are some motivators for kids. You can get them into creating a kid’s routine chart. It’s fun and it meets children’s needs. 

Some parents also look for external sources of inspiration. They want their children to enter personality-oriented educational institutions for motivating kindergarteners. That’s great but parents should also be involved in building the motivation as well. 

What Is Motivation?

What drives you to succeed? It’s the boost that keeps us goal-oriented. There are two kinds of motivation:

  • Intrinsic;
  • Extrinsic.

Intrinsic motivation is the desire to perform certain actions enjoying the very process. Take, for example, hiking or working out in the gym provided that it’s one’s hobby. People with extrinsic motivation keep doing something to achieve a result. They don’t do it for fun. 

One more example is caring for a pet. Kids who are dog-fanciers have an intrinsic motivation to take care of a puppy. Сhildren who are not so concerned with pets, in turn, may look after them at their parents’ request. In this case, they have an extrinsic motivation – feed a puppy as soon as possible to get back to their own business. 

Moreover, what motivates a child to do well in school is extrinsic motivation. Only a few of them see learning as an exciting activity, and, thus, have intrinsic motivation. 

Motivation for Kids and Adults: the Differences

The things that motivate your child don’t motivate you. Things that matter to you seem trifles to kids. It’s hard to develop intrinsic motivation in kids because they cannot focus on long-term goals. Thus, the approaches to building motivation in kids and adults differ.

Small children don’t even understand the very notion of motivation. But they can feel the desire to do something and feel pleasurable anticipation of an activity. 

What motivates your child (examples):

  • Encouragement;
  • Praise;
  • Someone else’s example;
  • Rewards.


These are the tools of encouraging motivation of the extrinsic type. Now let’s talk about how to start the engine of individual motivation.

children's motivation

Exercises and Activities to Inspire Self-Motivation in Kids

If you don’t know how to motivate kids, here’s my list of useful activities. 

Learn New Things

Babies and toddlers like playing with new things. These things should meet two requirements:

  • be absolutely novel to them;
  • be not too novel (to understand how to use them).

Involve these things into the learning process to boost motivation. It can be books, games, educational toys, etc.

Let Children Interact with Objects

Parents usually prevent children from touching various objects. Yet, they discourage them from exploring the world. Kids learn about object features by throwing and touching them, and even tasting. Parents should only make it clear whether the objects are safe to play with. Older kids reveal their curiosity by asking many questions. If you ignore it, you decrease their inspiration to explore the world too. 

Let Your Kids Be Their Own Boss

Parents fail to motivate kids if they don’t give them a chance to be self-sufficient. For example, don’t prevent 3-years-olds from dressing up themselves. Also, don’t claim that they will be late for kindergarten due to it. You put the kid’s motivation off by taking away the possibility to reveal their skills in dressing up. The same is true for all other activities children want to do themselves. Small kids also like helping with chores. Give them an opportunity even if you will need to fix it later. 

Create a Competitive Atmosphere

Encourage your kid to be the better version of himself. If your son, for instance, came second in a competition, inspire him to be the first next time. However, treat the situation from a kid’s perspective. A child shouldn’t take the win as the only possible outcome. While encouraging him, let a kid know that you love him no matter what place they take. 

Give Free Reign to Kids

The more space a plant has, the more it flourishes. The same is true for children. The reason for poor motivation is that kids are restricted in their choice of activities. If you wonder why your daughter has no desire to learn math, ask her what she would like to occupy herself with. Give her an opportunity to develop her own skills in the sphere she likes. Your children can be very motivated. In case they haven’t revealed that yet, introduce them to a list of fun activities to do at home and outside, with friends or with family

Praise the Process

Persuade kids that trying new things is a great way to look for new hobbies. Still, show understanding in case they give up activities they have tried and disliked. Also, inspire them to take part in competitions and compete for a prize. The key point here is to convince children that the aim is to take part, while the win isn’t obligatory. The reason they compete is to have fun and gain new experiences. 

Be Supportive

Don’t neglect kids’ problems. Support their thoughts and ideas. If your child says that they will become an astronaut, don’t say that it’s impossible. Tell them that they can succeed, as long as they study hard, stay fit, and gain proper education. Also, be attentive to children’s nitty-gritty problems such as accepting body image. It takes their energy. Help kids to overcome such challenges. 

There are many ways to motivate kids. All of them are individually-oriented, so what works miracles for one child is of no use for another. Try each tip to find the most effective way to inspire kids to explore the world. The key is to make them enthusiastic about living life to its fullest. That’s what happiness is.g

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