How to Motivate Your Child This Summer

Tallahassee Parents,

Will your child be motivated this summer? Want to know how to motivate them?

First, let’s discuss motivation and some of the myths about it. If you have read numerous self-help or books on business, you will find that motivation is a short term feeling and cannot be relied on to get anything accomplished.

It comes and goes as quickly as a Florida afternoon shower, and waiting for motivation to kick in, is like waiting for ship that never set sail in the first place.

So what is “the” answer? There is no one answer, but here are some tips to help.

  • You have to sell the benefits of activities or tasks to your kids, not tell them what they are going to do. Otherwise, your kids will fight you. For example, “If you rake a few piles of leaves for me, I will pay you $15/hour and you can buy that new toy you were telling me about.” This way they are focusing more on $15 and the toy than the work.
  • Give them a purpose that sounds attractive in their eyes, not yours. For example, “Hey son, you need to earn service hours to be eligible for a Bright Futures scholarship, so I signed you up to help with a 10 K race this weekend.” Most likely, a Bright Futures scholarship benefits parents more than the student if they are planning on paying for college. What if you told your child a Bright Futures scholarship would not only save you money, it would give you an opportunity to open a special account or fund for them for after college. This way, once they graduated, they would have a nice amount of money waiting for them to start their new life!

Most likely you get the point and how repackaging something will encourage your child to accomplish new goals or tasks.

Do not forget to give them feedback or reminders in case they forget “why” they are doing something. If you see your child losing focus or drive to complete some of their Bright Future requirements, open a bank account and put in $500 or $1000 and show them what has started and keep them posted on deposits or increase every few months.

Remember motivation goes up and down usually because people lose sight of their purpose or benefit. Motivation occurs when things are new, exciting or have a little mystery to them. When the newness wears off or something gets more difficult, people often want to quit, give up or move on and their motivation goes too.

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