How do you Motivate a Reluctant Learner?

Stuck for ideas on how to motivate your child to perform better in school?  Read on…

Lack of motivation is a common issue with young students who do poorly in school. As parents, we all know it’s important to help inspire your child to put the best effort forth into learning and performing well in school.

Understanding why your child has trouble getting motivated and taking an active role in encouraging him or her to study and complete assignments are key in helping your child succeed.

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Why the Lack of Inspiration?

Don’t assume that your child is “just lazy.” While this might have some truth to it, there could be underlying issues that are hindering them from trying their best. Self-esteem plays a big role in student motivation, while feelings of academic inadequacy often prevent students from really working to their ability. Other students feel anxious about the demands placed on them, either due to a fear of failure or pressure to be the best. This anxiety can be quite paralyzing. It is important to identify the reason behind your child’s lack of motivation so you can get to the source of the problem.

Tackle the Problem Directly

If your child has a stable self-esteem, and doesn’t really feel anxious about school, they just need a reason to work. Delay privileges until homework is done. Offer dinner out, time with friends, movies, video game time, or whatever your child likes as the prize at the end of the schoolwork marathon.

To deal with stress and overwhelmed feelings, break down projects and homework tasks into smaller, manageable segments. Allow kids to take breaks, and let them know it is not necessary for them to be perfect. Emphasize that they ought to try their best, but they shouldn’t feel pressured to outperform a sibling or deliver A+ grades on a daily basis. If they need help with the material they are learning in school, talk to the teacher or hire a tutor who can assist them one on one. Support and understanding go a long way.

Bond with Your Child

Connect with your child on a personal level by talking about their interests and their concerns. Strive to develop a deeper relationship.  From this bond it will become clear to them that (when you stress the importance of studying for that test or finishing that homework assignment) you care about their success. Encourage them to develop talents, make friends, and explore creative interests as well as hit the books. Remember that your son or daughter is a whole person, not just a student.

The Insider's Guide to Education provides insight from an education professional about topics of interest in education. From how to motivate your child to read to study tips and college planning, you will be given insight for students of all ages. The Insider's Guide is sponsored by Estelle Finkel Center for Learning.  The professionals at Estelle Finkel provide tutoring, SAT and ACT test preparation and general tutoring for elementary school, middle school and high school age students in subject areas including reading, writing, math, social studies, Spanish and more.  Visit our website for more information.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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