Do you agree that helping and motivating your children to reach their full potential isn’t always an easy task?
Lack of motivation can lead to a number of consequences. When a child isn’t motivated, he or she will find it difficult to learn and improve in whatever they are learning. Most parents struggle when it comes to academics.
I had a huge struggle with my elder child when it comes to learning Chinese. Partly he was bullied in the Chinese class, which caused him to hate that subject very much.
But, with lots of preparation, effort and patience, we can made it much easier and he started to learn it more willingly.
There were definitely loads of ups and downs along the way and I’m going to share six helpful, simple and practical tips that can help you motivate your children. These ideas are definitely worth reading if you want to give your children the best chance possible at growing up happy and healthy.
1. Be Clear With Your Expectations
We all want what’s best for our children. You love your child and want them to grow up happy and healthy. This is why most parents try to set high standards for their children. When you do this, you send the message that your child is special and has a lot of potentials. You also show them that they should work hard to reach those goals.
Unfortunately, there’s a danger here. Parents often forget that their child is still only a child. They don’t yet completely understand the world and what’s going on around them. This means that your child will sometimes misinterpret what you want from them. If you’re unclear about your expectations for your child, they might not understand them.
This problem can be fixed by being clear with your expectations. This doesn’t mean you need to be repetitive and boring. In fact, you could go for a more lively and informal tone. All you need is to be precise about what you want.
Let me give you an example. I want my children to eat a healthy diet and this means that I want them to eat all the healthy foods that they need in the right amounts. This will ensure that they aren’t undersupplied with nutrients, while also ensuring that they aren’t over-hungry or overfed. In this case, I need to be clear about what I want my children to eat.
At the same time, be a role model too. I do this by talking about the foods I eat and the reasons why I eat them. By practising these kinds of conversations, I can help my children learn about eating and so can you!
2. Blow Off Steam Together
Being parents, we spend a lot of our time worrying about our children. We worry about them now, we worry about their future. We fret about whether or not we’ve done a good job as parents!
As normal as this sounds, it comes with a risk. When we worry about our children, we placed unknowing pressure on our children and ourselves.
It’s important that you blow off steam in a healthy way because worrying about our children’s future and their potential doesn’t help anyone. Removing some of this pressure by blowing off steam together is a good idea. This will allow you to relax and not feel like you need to rush around doing everything.
You can blow off steam together in a few different ways. One way is by taking a trip. Travelling can often be very therapeutic. It can also give you a chance to spend time with your children and blow off some steam together.
Another way to blow off steam is to have a friendly competition with your children. This can help you to let off some steam together, while also having fun.
For me, example, compete to see how many pushups my children can perform. This will also let you see how strong my children are and what their limits are.
3. Set Up Sit-Down Talks Regularly
I find this the most important because getting to know your children better is part of setting your child up for success. This is especially true during the teenage years when the pressures of growing up are at their peak.
Setting up regular face-to-face talks with your child can help you to do this. If you have time during your day, try to find a few minutes in which to talk to your child. Choose a few specific topics, like their interests, friends, schoolwork, etc.
You can also try to choose topics that are related to your child’s life. For example, you could talk about their friends and what they do at school. By doing this, you can help your child to feel more connected to you. You can also help your child feel like they’re important and heard. This will help them to develop a better sense of self.
I find it best during mealtimes to have a casual chat with my children and before bedtime because that’s the most calming moment without many distractions.
4. Show You Care By Taking Part In Important Moments
One of the best ways to build confidence in your child is to take part in their important moments. This is especially true during the teenage years when they’re at their most vulnerable. Take part in your child’s special occasions. This is especially important if your child is a teenager.
Special occasions like their birthday, prom, and university entrance will help to solidify your child’s self-image. These moments will be important for your child’s development. They’ll help to solidify their sense of self and set them up for a successful future. It’s important that you take part in your child’s special occasions, whether they’re important or not. This will give your child a better chance at being happy, and healthy and knowing that their close ones are always there for them.
My children love it when I am there for those moments. The only regret I have was that I got the wrong message from my elder one when he received his primary school leaving results. He wanted to be with him but I read it as he wanted me to be outside the school. That incident left both of us crying and I literally cried myself to sleep for the next few weeks!!
5. Let Them Be Who They Are And Advocate For Themselves
Another important thing to remember when trying to help your child reach their full potential is to let them be who they are.
This is especially important for teenagers, who will often try to be something that they’re not. Teenagers will often try to be the best possible version of themselves, but they don’t yet know who they are. They are still figuring it out.
This means that they might try too hard to be the perfect person, but they don’t know who that is. We can help our children by letting them be who they are.
Let them be themselves. This doesn’t mean that we have to let them get away with anything. It also doesn’t mean that we need to encourage them to be who they aren’t. We just need to let them be who they are and guide them along if they need any help. Of course, you may give your two cents worth of advice when they asked or when you noticed their struggles.
6. Teach by doing, not just talking
Another helpful thing to remember when helping our children reach their full potential is to use more examples. It is difficult for them to understand or even visualise if we just talk about it.
This is especially true when helping our children with everyday tasks. Try and help them with everyday tasks and I don’t mean spoonfeeding them.
Let’s take your child’s education as an example. It is easy to just hire the best tutor for your children and telling them to score well but what does it mean by score well? How to score well? That’s where we need to show and teach them how we work and get things done. At the same time, show them what are consequences when we take up the responsibility to do the work well and what will happened when we don’t.
When helping your children with these types of tasks, try and use more examples. This will help them to understand what they’re doing better and help them to feel more confident about what they’re doing.
As parents, we tend to have the habit of talking rather than doing. I used to talk a lot and I taught that is the best way to teach. But when I noticed that my children were really frustrated whenever I opened my mouth and sometimes even shut off their ears, that’s when I know they turned a deaf ear because to them I am just nagging away again.
Showing them what I do and infecting them positively is way more effective than talking.
Motivating your child to reach their full potential isn’t always an easy task. Motivating alone is not enough, they need to learn to take full responsibility for themselves as well.
But, with a little bit of preparation and a LOT of patience, you can make it much easier. These tips are definitely worth reading if you want to give your child the best chance possible at growing up happy and healthy.
PS: Is not easy to remember the 6 tips but I have made it easy for you by summarising the 6 key points in 1 PDF file which you can Download 6 Ways to Motivate and Help Your Child Reach Their Potential Poster and place somewhere that is easily accessible. Happy parenting!