SET SMALL STEP-BY-STEP GOALS
A child/teenager may be overwhelmed and may need to focus on the smaller steps to achieving goals, rather than the big end result.
The number one reason students feel unmotivated is that they are overwhelmed by the hugeness of homework and studying. It can often make them feel that there is too much to do to achieve the end result.
Set step by step goals with all areas of homework, for example;
if they have a big assignment and are too overwhelmed to start help them to break it down. Instead of telling them they need to write all afternoon to get this done, try breaking the assignment down into researching the idea (done!), writing a rough draft (done!), polishing it up to final draft (done!) Or divide and vary studying time, some kids concentration can only last a certain length of time before they need a break. As frustrating as this may be for you, it may be the only way they can achieve their goals.
Make sure to remove phones, tablets etc. while they are studying – if they are distracted it is impossible for them to concentrate. If necessary turn off the house Wi-Fi, there may be arguments but it is our job to parent them and set the boundaries. I fully understand this parent job is not easy! I assure you though you will be doing them a huge favor. They need the break from Social Media.
LIGHTEN UP AND STAY IN THE PRESENT
Avoid trying to scare your child into straight A’s. When you hear yourself say, “In order to get into College and get on in life you need to, …………- stop. Adults need to think in the long term. However, students can’t think past the next school holiday, so thinking about something so far in the future isn’t motivating. Maybe instead share what you struggled with in school, try to bring yourself back to his age and remember what you went through. By sharing your experiences, you will let him know he is not alone and also he may well learn by what you did to get through it. You may be very surprised what you remember and even more so by how similar you both may be.
TEACH WHILE TRAVELLING
Your child/teenager may simply be bored with the school routine. Lets face it; we were all in that situation at some point in out schooling.
Try to make learning more interesting – take flash cards in the car, they can cover a multitude of areas – tables, spellings, Counties, Rivers, language vocabulary and much more.
If she is doing a nature project, maybe visit the local farm; go on a family outing to the sea, whatever is necessary. You may be surprised how much fun you have.
ACKNOWLEDGE A JOB WELL DONE
Offering some praise when she gets a job done successfully can have a huge effect on her self-belief. Confidence plays a huge part in your child’s learning. A child who believes ‘he can’, will find it much easier to learn than the child who believes ‘he cant’, ‘he isn’t smart’, ‘he is stupid’.
Be very careful of the comments you make or others make to your child. What someone may say in the heat of an argument can stick. Try to build your child’s self belief. Make it very clear to him that you want him to do his best, not your best, not his cousins best – HIS BEST. Children/teenagers put enough pressure on themselves; they need support, boundaries and praise from us, their parents.
When all else fails and your child seems to have no interest whatsoever – bribes may work. If you pull up your grades at your Christmas exams we will get you… For some children school may not be the be all and end all. They may be very street wise, fantastic with their hands, brilliant at sport – acknowledge all the positives but stress to them if they want to work in the area they love, they will have to pass their exams.