In my most recent blog posting I gave four strategies to help a parent motivate a child. Motivating a child can be difficult work for a parent.
One problem with motivating your child is you need to be constantly on the job. So wouldn’t it be great if your child could motivate himself? Well, there’s no reason why a child should not motivate himself. How? The same way an adult does – by learning the skill of motivating himself.
Motivating yourself is a skill that anyone can learn, even a child. Even better, it is something you can learn with your child, and though it may involve more work in the short haul, in the long run, having a child who can motivate himself is more than worth the time. Especially when you add in that you will learn how to motivate yourself.
The first step in learning how to motivate yourself is learning the model for self motivation. Here’s the model:
MOTIVATION = ƒ (VISION, SUCCESSABILITY, ENVIRONMENT).
The model tells us that your motivation is directly impacted by your vision (some special change you want to make in your life), your successability (your confidence in your competence, that is, your ability to make the change) and your environment, both your physical environment (where you will do the work necessary to make the change) and your social environment (the people and organizations available to you).
The model for self motivation tells us that any positive steps your child takes to impact his vision, successability or environment will automatically positively impact his motivation. Reading my other blog entries and reading my book when it become available in April will guide you through the process, but here is a summary.
Vision: If you read my earlier blog, you read that my Mom continually told me I wasn’t working up to my potential. But one of the reasons my mom never got me to work up to my potential was that I had no idea what my potential even looked like. I was never encouraged to dream. My parents never asked me what things I liked to do, or if there was something I might like to try. I don’t blame them; I’m sure they were never asked these questions by their parents either. But I asked them of my children, and you can ask them of yours. This is how a child positively impacts his vision, the first factor, by getting in touch with the things that are truly important to him.
Successability: The more confident a person is that they can make a dream come true, the more likely they are to pursue it, the more motivated they will be in their pursuit. One strategy to helping your child be more confident is to make training opportunities available to him. But let your child have input as to the training you make available for him. If he totally dreads receiving the training, it’s unlikely he will gain the skills he needs. If, on the other hand, he suggests some training or skill development he desires, he will have an investment in being correct and will work harder and longer.
Environment: Give your child some degree of control over the place he does his work. The degree will vary with each child, of course, dependent upon such things as the child’s age and maturity, and factors outside of the control of the child or the parent, but the important thing is that the child feels he has some say, some autonomy, in the decisions that are being made.
Control is a prerequisite to being motivated. Giving control over to our children is something most parents struggle with. But a motivated child is one that will grow into a responsible adult, who knows what is right, and pursues it. He becomes a child any parent would be proud of.