‘How to motivate a child to study hard?’ is perhaps one of the most frequent thoughts, that makes most of the parents restless. Undoubtedly, it is not easy to motivate people, let alone students. It becomes, even harder if the child doesn’t see the importance of the activity or its direct and immediate benefit to them. The situation becomes much worse when the child is stubborn, doesn’t care about anything or hates school or gives up quickly.
As difficult as it may sound or seem, parents and guardians still have to find a way to motivate the students. Most parents and guardians are faced with one similar situation: How to motivate children to study hard, to read and write, to do well in school. Since every child is different, there’s is no shortcut or magic rule that can solve the issue at a glance. It’s only you, the parents, who have to explore what motivates your child to do well, to learn carefully observing their child’s nature and psychology.
But still, in the next part, I’ll try to provide a guideline which will certainly help the parents and guardians prepare their to-do list to motivate and encourage their children to do their best.
How To Motivate A Child To Study Hard
Parents and guardians may come from different walks of life and classes, but one thing they share in common is their concern for their children’s future. This burden can become lighter if parents/ guardians see a bright future for the children. The first step in doing so has children who can study on their own, preferably without supervision. It may be difficult, but it’s possible.
A little push is good enough to get people started on a task, at least in most cases. Motivation is integral in getting them to pursue excellence during the activity.
Motivate A Child Who Hates School: Find Out the Reason & Ensure A Conducive School Environment
The first dynamic to be understood is that of the stakeholders involved in the motivation of a child to study hard. Parents, guardians, teachers and students are the involved stakeholders, and the student is the most central one.
Students spend most their time at schools or educational institutions. It is where they get their attitude from. A fun and welcoming environment are good for students; it gives them that zeal to be at school.
A lot of things go on at schools without teachers or parents noticing. In fear of victimization, children take a vow of silence, usually at the expense of school attendance.
One possible cause is bullying. If a child is being bullied, there is little that the child can do to resolve the matter except stay at home or anywhere else other than school.
Sometimes, children are different from others in their physical appearance. They may be taller or shorter than others. They may have a voice as deep as that of an adult. It causes other children to laugh and make fun of them. It affects a child, and as a result, they will resent attending school.
Let’s face it; some children are not gifted with the brains of Newton or your average student. They just believe that they are not “cut out” for academic success. They don’t see the relevance of being at school.
In this instance, parents and school authorities must work together. Students need to feel safe at school. They need to be taught to take pride in their appearance and appreciate their uniqueness. Do not point a finger at them, but rather, uplift and encourage them.
A Soft Voice to Be Listened To
Children have voices; they need to be heard. They may not shout like politicians, but they have a message to relay. It’s a message that can either make or break their future. Give them the assurance that their opinions count, whether at home or school.
Let them feel important and valued. They will appreciate education as a source of valuable and ‘educated’ ideas. It automatically gets them to study hard. If you do not listen to them, or at least, pretend to do so, you kill them emotionally.
When a student speaks to a parent, guardian or teacher about issues affecting them, they expect a listening ear. If you a child or student, you run the risk of breeding the rebel. From their point of view, there is no need for them to listen to you if you can’t listen to them as a parent. When a child becomes a rebel, not only their school work suffers, their future suffers as well. What’s worse, they may find themselves in bad company. Bad company is nothing but a recipe for disaster.
Is the Squeeze Worth the Juice?
There is nothing more painful than spending your energy, time and effort on something you don’t know the relevance of. The same principle applies to students as well. The involved stakeholders must clearly state the importance of education and study hard. Do not overwhelm them with the dire consequences of not being educated, rather, paint the picture of success driven by education and hard work.
Right Words At the Right Time
Violence is not the first or native language of students; neither is it their second or third. Let their mistakes be a learning curve and their failures a chance to do better. Encourage them to work hard. Be with them every step of the way. Do not throw them in the deep end. Bring them closer, walk with them and carry them if you have to. Avoid condemning them.
When a student makes a mistake, do not always yell at them. Sit down with them. Appreciate the decision or action they took. In the process, show them that there is a better way of doing what they did. Do not belittle them, admire them instead.
Being Actively Involved In A Child’s Educational Life
Parents and guardians need to participate actively in the academic lives of their children. This way, you show that you care for their education and welfare. They will ‘repay’ with hard work and good grades.
Parents or guardians should regularly ask how a child’s day at school was. The guardian must make time to help a child with homework. The interaction should not be tense. The guardian can offer a child some rewards if the child gets good grades. Be realistic about the expectations you have for your child, otherwise, you will only frustrate them when they realize that they cannot meet your target.
“The Compliment Effect”
A student (or adult for that matter) with low self-esteem can never be successful. Don’t tell students how wrong or pathetic they are, instead, preach how hard work in studies can unlock their full potential. A simple compliment, whether out of honesty or not, can go a long way in motivating a student to work hard.
Turning A Student Into A Winner
Give a student a “winner’s” attitude. Show a little faith in them, and that’s enough to make them believe in themselves. When you believe in yourself, not even the Berlin wall can stop you from getting onto the other side. The student will work hard in a desperate bid to prove their salt. We are who we think we are.
Winners are people who never give up, no matter how many chances they have had to give up. Winners are determined to go to the ends of the world in search of success, even if there is no guarantee that they will find it. You child may not have the best of grades, but if they believe that they can make it, they will work hard. Having a winner’s attitude will cause a child to have clear goals of what they want to achieve, and more importantly, how they will achieve this aim.
A child with a winner’s attitude is determined to succeed at all costs.
Be it at home or school, incentives have a way of bringing out the best in humans. Offer students realistic long term and short term incentives. In this way, they will be motivated to study hard, both on long term and short term basis.
You can also offer children incentives for doing their school work without supervision. This way, you are assured that even when you are busy, children do their homework.
Give them incentives for reading books or reading a chapter in a given period of time. This way, you offer children a chance to learn to read.
Great care and caution must be taken when it comes to incentives. Do not make education entirely about incentives. Incentives should only be there to motivate and encourage them, but not the main force that drives them to go to school.
Offer them incentives that you can deliver. If you promise them something and give an excuse later, you are driving yourself away from the child or children. They will not trust and rely on you again.
The children will get back to you by not performing well at school, which defies the overall purpose of incentives.
Balancing School Work and Extramural Activities
School work should not override other activities. It’s only one piece of the puzzle in a child’s life. A healthy balance should be maintained between school work and other activities. In this way, a child will not resent studying hard, but will respect and appreciate it.
Although school work exercises and builds the brain muscles of a child, it doesn’t give them complete social and physical abilities to cope with the daily requirements of living.
A child should be able to socialize with other kids and learn the basics of communication with his or her peers. A child needs friends too. A child needs to communicate with his peers. That kind of interaction teaches him or her something that neither guardians nor the school teaches.
A child should take part in activities that help develop his / her physical well-being. A healthy body is a home to a healthy and productive brain. Parents must motivate the child in sports and exercise to become more aware of his / her surroundings.
In a case of emergency or stampede, a physically active or healthy child has better chances of survival or making it to safety as compared to those who don’t.
If a child is not interested in taking part in physical exercises, find a way to make them see the importance of such activities. Remember, they are still children, and there is still a lot of room to teach them new things.
Children find it easy to try new things when they are in the company of someone they trust. As a guardian or parent, participate in outdoor sports with them. Create a happy atmosphere for them. Do the activities regularly. Do not compete with them. Get dirty with them, laugh with them and in the process, create memories that they will always hold on to.
Education Is Not A Race
Do not compare students; each one is different from the next. Treat them individually. Motivate them accordingly. Show them love.
No two children are the same. If you compare your child to someone else, you are lowering them. You are lowering their self-esteem. If a child doesn’t do well, appreciate the little they achieved, and encourage them to do better.
When a child is compared to someone else, they might hate that child they are being compared to. You plant a seed of hatred between children if you compare them.
It may not be an easy task to motivate children to study, but it’s a necessary step in their development. Once the parent or guardian sets the ball rolling, they must patiently continue to do so until the desired results are achieved. Children are not really that difficult to deal with, with the right attitude and motivation, they can achieve great things. You just have to keep faith in them and have to kindle the confidence in their little hearts.