Motivating a student to study isn’t an easy feat. There are countless distractions that amount to the overall lack of motivation for the child to study. This is significantly true for children who are active and easily distracted by their environment. Most times, students also lack the motivation to study because they think it’s a chore. If you’re a parent and you’re tired of nagging your child to study, you are not alone.
However, it should also be noted that even when parents are sick of nagging their child, methods such as punishing their child if they don’t study simply won’t do. Aside from the negative impact, it can have on your child, it also affects how they see studying. Instead of motivating them further, they will only see studying as a reminder of the strict methods used against them. They will study, but it will not be an enjoyable experience. They will because they have to.
Parents should also consider the time and energy the child also puts into school. After a long day in school, if the parent continues to nag their child about studying again, they will react to this negatively. While parents argue that this is because they want their child to get good grades, the child’s feelings should also be considered. If parents continue to bombard their child with more (may it be practice papers or exercises) after they spent the entire day in school plus homework when they get home, they might get frustrated.
Motivation for students is sometimes not innate. This means that they may need outside forces to help them gain motivation to further their learning. It is especially true for students who are struggling with a subject and those who have low self-esteem. Admittedly, this goes hand in hand. If the student is struggling, they will most likely not understand the lesson and score lower on their quizzes. When this happens, they will feel bad and be discouraged thus, their self-esteem will also plummet.
A child losing their motivation to study can be a very difficult circumstance to work with. Building motivation and confidence has to start with the child. They will need help from other people, but they have to realize this themselves to further work on their motivation. As parents, you shouldn’t just be bystanders during this process. A child will need all the help they can get.
Now, this brings us to the question: How can parents help motivate their children to learn? There are many ways to help the child be motivated in studying. We have gathered a few tips to help parents with this question.
Setting goals is one of the best ways to motivate a child to study. However, when setting goals, make sure that the goal is realistic and achievable. This means that when the parent and child agree on a huge goal, they can divide the goal into smaller sets. This lessens the intimidation factor of the bigger goal and will give the child smaller achievements before reaching the huge goal.
For example, if the child is struggling with their Math and scored a D in their last exam, the parent can help the child by setting up a system to reach the child’s goal. Of course, studying alone wouldn’t just magically help the child get the coveted A. In situations like this, there has to be a reason the child scored low on his/her exam. How about aiming to address the struggle the child is facing first? The parent can hire a tutor for the child to determine which areas they are especially having trouble in. From there on, the tutor and the child can work on the child’s weaknesses and overcome them. It may be a small beginning, but this will amount to the end goal as time goes by.
It’s better to create a step-by-step process for the child rather than nagging the child. Aside from this, working on it slowly will also increase the child’s confidence since the goals are smaller and more achievable. Once the child reaches their first goal, they will also appreciate the feeling of success and will continue to reach for that same feeling again and again. They will then realize their goals and set targets for themselves rather than waiting for their parents to drag them along the path to success.
Words can also affect the child’s motivation to learn. If parents use words of encouragement, the student will be more inspired to learn and work harder since encouraging words also feels good for them. They will also focus more on the things they did right rather than on the mistakes they made. Positive reinforcement in the form of praises and kind words will help the child build up their self-confidence and boost their motivation to study harder. When a child hears “You did well in this test.” or “This is a very comprehensible composition.”, it will help them understand their improvement and aim to do better.
In contrast, harsh words and scolding will demotivate the child from studying. They will become more focused on the mistakes they’ve made and will fixate on them rather than improving themselves. As stated before, this will also cause the child to think of studying as a chore rather than something they can benefit from.
Words aren’t the only form of positive reinforcement parents can give their children. Rewards can also be a form of positive reinforcement. Small rewards can be cooking his/her favorite dish for him/her. It can also be buying them small gifts for their hard work. It could even be watching their favorite movie.
This will help the child understand their parents recognized and appreciated their efforts. Rewards also remind the child that their hard work would be for nothing, as they will gain something at the end of each milestone for them. Thus, they will also work harder towards their goal.
However, parents shouldn’t also give rewards to the child whenever, as that could lead to spoiling the child. Additionally, parents shouldn’t also promise the child a reward if they have no intentions of following through. This will cause the child to not believe in their parents when they talk of rewards the next time and again, loss of any motivation they have built up as they will think their work would be for nothing.
The same as inspiring a child with words and stories of success, parents should also be the model for their child. Remember that children imitate the habits of the surrounding people. This means that when the parent shows behaviors that aren’t favorable, they should also kick them away before the child picks up the habit. If the parent is watching television loudly or playing video games while the child is studying, the child may be distracted and they will also think, “Why should I study when my parent is doing this or that?”
Parents should set examples for their children, especially with behaviors they want to instill in their children as well. Try helping the child when they have homework or helping them figure out answers to difficult questions they come across in their practice papers. Aside from spending time with your child, which also strengthens the parent-child bond, the child will also pick up the enthusiasm for helping from the parent, as well as feel that their parent cares for them.
As parents, you’d think you know your child the best. However, as years will go by, they will spend more time outside of the house and thus, will also grow outside of the immediate perimeter where the parent is. The child will gain more friends, interests, and habits. As parents, it’s also important to show that you take an interest in what the child is doing.
When parents talk to the child for even a few minutes about their new interests or new friends they made, the parent will better understand how to motivate their child. If the child does well in his/her studies, the parent won’t have a hard time thinking of a reward for the child since they already know what their child likes. As such, the child will also become more open to their parents whether it is about trouble in school or a subject or their achievements in sports or their test scores. It pays to know all the things the child will share with their parents.
Much positive reinforcement and management strategies are available as alternatives to disciplining or scolding children. Familytutor, a home tuition in Singapore believes that encouragement and positive reinforcements will help a child grow and develop discipline. After the child builds up his/her confidence and starts making plans for what he/she wants to accomplish, parents will find their job as a parent to be much less demanding. Here, the parent’s role will be more of a mentor and will provide guidance whenever the child runs into difficulties they cannot deal with.
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