6 Ways To Get Your Child Motivated At School

by Anita Naik

"School is boring." "These tests don't matter." What's the point of algebra?" "I hate maths." These are just some of the many widespread protests students make about school. If this rings true in your house and you're not seeing the progress you know your child is capable of, here's how to get your child motivated.

Motivation is, of course, key when it comes to keeping your child engaged at school. It helps to energise, direct and tailor their activities to achieve goals. Without it, students become unhappy and disconnected. This is why it's important to motivate them in the right way.

1. Find out what boring means

Words like boring and dull don't explain why students become disengaged in class. Asking your child more specific questions can help you to dig deeper and understand how to motivate them. For instance, are they finding the lessons boring because they don't understand the work? Or is the work too easy and therefore not challenging enough to keep their interest? Maybe the lesson is poorly taught or peer pressure is behind their change in attitude? Identifying the right cause can help you to take the right action.

2. Help them to see what's in it for them

If your teen is bored because he/she does not understand what lessons have to do with life? If so it will be a struggle for them to find the motivation to carry it out their schoolwork. One reality check is to be clear that they are working for themselves, not for you and not for their teachers. Real motivation needs to be intrinsic, which means focusing on their goal whether this is wanting to get into a university of their choice or be accepted for their dream job one day.

3. Use outside tutoring help

Extra one-to-one tuition can also help with student motivation. The right tutor will not only help fine-tune skills and help with subject understanding, but also tackle feelings of negativity and demotivation around a particular subject. This can be beneficial in helping to change a student's mindset for the better.

4. Take the pressure off failing

Most of us motivate ourselves through self-criticism, and every student is aware of the consequences of failing. The side effects of this is a fear of not measuring up, which can then be paralyzing. Motivation comes when you encourage your child to see that it's more important to take risks, try new approaches, and keep going after making a mistake rather than feeling defeated by it (or the idea of it).

5. Make a subject more interesting

Some subjects are boring because they aren't taught in an exciting way, and this is why students become demotivated. What can help here is to widen the subject matter and look for alternate sources that increase motivation for your child. Think YouTube channels, Podcasts and interesting documentaries. These can all help with a variety of subjects from Science to Maths to English Literature.

6. Talk to their Head of Year

Finally, have a meeting with your child's Head of Year as this is an excellent way to get perspective about what may be happening. Find out if your child in the right set or if they need extra help with a specific lesson? Also, ask what your child's teachers think, as this way you can work together to help improve motivation from all angles.

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