How do you get their lazy butts off the couch?
Off their phone?
Off their I-pad?
Off the television?
Off the video games?
Stop and think.
What motivates you?
Yes, you read that right. I feel that a lot of things that motivate us as adults also motivates our children.
If you want to go on vacation, you’ll start saving money for that vacation.
This means that you may have to give up certain things, like going to Starbucks every day, going out to eat at restaurants four to five times a week, or buying that sweater that costs $100.
Or if you want to lose weight, you have to start working out or eating healthier.
Plain and simple.
That weight isn’t going to lose itself.
A lot of parents feel that they just want their child to not be lazy. Instead, we want them to get outside and enjoy the weather or to be more active.
Another example would be to do their chores when they are told to the first time. Some of following suggestions might work better than others.
Everyone is different.
Even if you have more than one child, your second born may not be motivated the same way as your first born and so on.
Everyone loves a good compliment.
“That shirt looks nice on you”
“You did a great job writing up that proposal”
Whether it’s coming from your colleagues, boss, friends, or family, it makes you feel a little bit better.
So compliment your children, it makes them feel good too, whether it’s on their grades, appearance, or for taking out the garbage.
Yes, even if you have just asked them to do a certain chore multiple times, still compliment them by saying “thank you”, I really appreciate that you did that”.
It will make them feel good about doing it and possibly not take as long next time to complete the task.
Don’t say “It’s about time you did what I asked of you”. They will do exactly the opposite of what you want next time.
This will ruin their self-confidence and make them feel like a failure.
Next time you ask them to do something, they will remember how doing that chore made them feel, even if how they felt had nothing to do with the chore itself.
Encouragement is the key to motivation.
Recognize your child’s achievements and celebrate their strengths.
Children are more motivated when given a little bit of humor rather than nagging or lectures.
Stay positive about tasks they have forgotten to do.
I know that this may be hard but here are a few examples
Have you ever heard of the phrase “I am bored”? Of course all parents have.
It’s my favorite saying!
When you hear it, give them something to do.
Don’t give out suggestions on what they could do for fun anymore.
Needless to say, I don’t here the phrase all that often anymore because the kids have learned.
It gets their minds thinking when they are about to say “I am bored” and start to think of something to do.
Usually it’s away from you, in their room or outside, because usually when a child is bored they walk around the house like their a lost puppy.
When you see them doing that ask them if they are bored and the answer is usually always ‘NO’.
Another example would be if your child doesn’t pick up their room.
If you have told them on Tuesday to pick it up and it’s still not picked up by Thursday, this is a problem.
Simply tell them that at 5 o’clock the tornado is coming through.
What this means is, going into their room and making it even more messy.
This may include taking clothes off the hangers or out of the drawers, anything on top of the dresser gets thrown some place else.
(Just make sure not to break anything)
Or you can always do the complete opposite and clean it yourself. This would entail them having nothing left their room because you threw it all in the trash.
They may not think this is funny, but as a parent, it’s hilarious.
Motivate with Pictures
Literally anything that they can see.
Take pictures of them doing what they love to do. Find pictures in magazines and cut them out.
As a summer project, to keep them busy doing something productive, have them create a collage on what motivates them. Hang the pictures around the house or their room and bathroom.
When they wake up, one of the first things that they see is something that will get them pumped up.
It gives them a reminder on what they are working toward without you having to nag them every day.
Making a deal using collateral
Have you ever felt like you are being taken for granted at times but yet want your children to have everything you can afford to give them?
Here are a couple of ways to motivate them to step up, so to speak, of taking charge themselves.
It helps them become more independent and not rely on you as much.
For example, you will drop them off at their friend’s house but they have to find a ride home.
Or, asking them to take the dog out every morning for the week and you will do something for them on the weekend.
It teaches them to not just take but to also give. This is how a healthy relationship should work.
If only one person is doing all the taking and one the giving, the relationship isn’t going to last long. The one giving is going to start resenting the taker.
An example that my husband and I do with our oldest is paying for her car insurance.
She has to be on the A or B honor role in order for this to happen. Otherwise, she has to pay for it herself.
This gives her motivation to get good grades without us having to get on her butt about it. The ball is in her court, so to speak.
Motivation through involvement
Motivating your child through involvement can be a little tricky.
How involved should you be?
Again, This depends on the child.
If you start to get too involved, they might start to see it as nagging or lecturing and it could have the opposite effect of what you are wanting.
When you do it in a positive way, they won’t even realize that you are doing it.
Letting them know that you are there for them, if they need it.
Asking them how they feel about a test that they had taken that day or helping them with a chore that they had to do that week for example.
This also gives you a chance to spend some time with them.
I know that when they get to be teenagers, it seems that you never get to see them anymore.
You are not the cool person to hang out with.
Doing this, gives you quality time and a chance to chat and see how their day went.
They will appreciate this and it will motivate them to do it the next time.
I’m leaving the best for last because I feel as a parent this is the one that gets most of us parents into trouble.
We as parents want what’s best for our children.
We as parents want our children to have what we didn’t have growing up.
And we as parents can often go soft.
This is okay.
But we must motivate our children to follow through with what they said they would do, doing their chores, etc.
We can do this by being a great example for them and following through on what we say as well.
The first step is to agree on what will happen if they don’t follow through. Listening to what they want and how they would like to proceed if they don’t follow through with the task.
Sometimes you may not always agree with what they want the terms to be because deep down you know it still will not get done.
However, listening to them and letting them decide, at times, makes them feel like they were heard and you trust them.
The second step is to make them follow through on their word.
All you have to say is “what was our agreement?”
Let them know that you didn’t one hundred percent agree with the terms but you were trusting that they would keep their word to you.
Look back on all of the times that your children weren’t motivated to do their chores, homework, or whatever it was.
What would motivate you to do that chore?
Think of how your child works or thinks and come up with the best way to motivate them to do it.