Motivating kids for school
Archie Modequillo (The Freeman) - June 15, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Going back to school after a long vacation is generally not a welcome thing with kids. To most kids, it means less time for play and being with friends. It also means being ‘caged’ in the classroom for whole days.

The ultimate reward of getting an academic degree is yet a farfetched idea to get any kid excited about this early. Thus, parents have got to motivate their kids for school every so often in order to keep the little ones at school. And parents have to keep on it, until the kids come to realize the great importance of going to school for them.

Leslie Davis, in an article at the website, notes: “It is normal for kids, especially teenagers, to give [their parents] an unenthusiastic response when asked about school. Many times kids don’t want to share with their parents what they did during the day, especially if they feel like they have nothing good to tell them. This can be frustrating to parents, who want their children to both communicate with them and get something useful out of the kids’ day at school.”

Quite true, parents are mostly in the dark as to how their kids perform at school or whether the kids have at least learned to like school. Even given the feedback mechanism that the school system has for parents about their kids’ school behavior, still parents are in a quandary on how their kids actually experience school. Parents know that their kids will only stick to their schooling if they can make the kids truly want to go to school.

Motivating a child for school is not always an easy task, Davis adds. And the child may never be as enthusiastic about school as their parents would like them to. Davis goes on to share some things that parents can do to get their child to at least show some interest in their education:

Ask questions and be enthusiastic. Getting your teen motivated for school may be as simple as showing your interest in what they do during the day beyond what they learned in school. Asking your child questions about school, teachers, friends and activities may elicit responses that reveal enthusiasm about some aspect of going to school. Hearing that you have an interest in what they have done during the day may be all the motivation your child needs.

Also ask questions to find out what your teen likes and dislikes about school. There may be something going on at school that is causing your child to be unmotivated. It may be a teacher who is giving them a hard time or a fall-out with a friend. If you are able to uncover the problem and help your unmotivated teen overcome it, your child may be more eager to go to school.

Get them involved in school activities. Kids may find school boring simply because they haven’t become involved with an activity they like. Most schools offer a variety of interesting groups and activities to get involved with. Talk to your kids to find out if they are interested in getting involved with the student newspaper, joining the sports team or becoming part of a volunteer organization. Finding just one activity that gets your child excited may be all that’s needed to get him jumping out of bed and ready for school in the morning.

Teach them the many benefits of education. There is no doubt that your kids know that they need to complete their education. They just may not realize why. Take time to explain to your children the benefits of getting an education and how that will affect their future. Describe the different careers that will be available to them when they are educated versus when they are not, and the different salaries they can earn. A reality check can do wonders for motivation.

If, in doing this, your children show an interest in a specific career path, encourage them to pursue it during high school. If your child is interested in becoming a nurse, they can take extra classes in biology. If it is architecture that your child wants to pursue, sign them up for more art and math classes. Not only will this get your child thinking about career options, it will get them excited about learning something new every day.

Celebrate the kids’ achievements. Letting your child know you are proud of what they accomplish at school can be a huge motivator. Even if it is just completing a routine paper or finishing the finals, reward your child for accomplishments, big or small. Treat them to a movie or ice cream, or give them a reprieve from house chores for the week. These gestures help children realize that you are proud of their efforts.

Set realistic goals for your child. Getting motivated can be difficult for children if the pressure on them to do well is too much. Your child will not be as interested in school if they know you expect them to get straight A’s, read extra books, and be the star player on the basketball team. While it is fine to set high standards for your child, the goals should be realistic.

Again, finding a way to get their children motivated for school is a big task for parents. It certainly needs persistence and, well, creative thinking on how to approach the task positively. Good thing, parents may draw from their own previous experience as school kids themselves in order to effectively assuage their kids’ ‘dislike’ for school.

A liking for school may not develop in the kids overnight, not in a week’s or a month’s or perhaps even a year’s time. But parents shall not tire in trying to develop the attitude in their kids. They shall not stop until they finally see their kids actually try to rush out the door in the morning in order not to be late for class.

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