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10 tips for Motivating Your Lazy Child
Have you got a child who loves the TV or their computer games? Do you have a young teen who spends their Saturday mornings in bed? Motivating some children can be a challenging task as parents well understand. Luckily, there are certain tactics which can spur your child to be less lazy and get off the couch.
This is when people begin to believe they are unable to do things for themselves and that their state or situation is unchangeable. Perhaps you, as a parent, have created this learned helplessness in your child by doing too much for them and being too doting. Learn to put you foot down and get them to realise that they need to do things for themselves.
What do you expect?
Parents sometimes have unusually high expectations of their kids or wish to have their kids follow a certain path. Do not encourage your children or even worse, force them, to do things which they do not enjoy. Nurture their love and encourage them to do what they are good at doing. Take an interest in the hobbies and activities that your kids enjoy. Don’t try and force them to take part in things that you think are ‘good’ for them but they don’t like.
Goal setting and Rewards
This is such an important aspect of motivation for children. Get them, for example, to manage their own tasks and perhaps provide an incentive:
- Intrinsic rewards
Intrinsic rewards are intangible ways of motivating a person. Do not forget how much praise and thanking someone can do to motivate them. There is nothing more disheartening for children then parents who never praise or thank them. When they come to do any task, from sports to house chores, keep in mind their abilities but be willing to challenge them as this will avoid boredom.
- Extrinsic rewards
Extrinsic rewards are tangible rewards, sometimes monetary. We cannot omit to highlight the importance and positive effects of monetary rewards. They can also help a child begin to get an idea of how to manage their money and get used to the idea that earning money means making an effort. If money is tight allow your children that chance to do a favourite activity with you such as bake a cake or play a board game.
Children often love to procrastinate, hoping that things will just fall into place or that you will forget the tasks meted out. Give them something visual and tangible that they can work with – a calendar on the fridge or a time table to make them see their deadlines. Learning time management skills will also hugely benefit them later in life.
Strengths and weaknesses
A lazy child might already know they are lazy and they might be doing it as a defense mechanism. You need to understand the root of the problem. By always pointing out a child’s weaknesses and not their strengths, you are reinforcing their poor self image of under-achiever. Also, do not compare siblings (something which so many parents invariably do without realising the impact): “Look what good grades your sister got”, “Can’t you behave like your brother?” These kinds of comparisons really feed a child’s insecurities and they might be hindering their very individuality.
Learn to accept them
Parents often consider laziness to be a deliberate attempt to provoke them. You might in fact, wonder whether your kid does not tidy up their room simply because they enjoy hearing you ranting on about it. Kids can sometimes be trying to get your attention. Their inability to begin or complete tasks might be part of their plan to get the attention they need.
They do not have to like sports
Children may simple dislike traditional sports played at school. Try seeing if they enjoy alternative recreational activities like hiking, horse riding, gardening or flying a kite. There may be different ways of getting your child active in a way which they enjoy. It might not be a sport per se but it may be something they love.
Lead by example
As role models for your kids, you must remember that they tend to emulate you. If parents are lazy and avoid activity, then kids will tend to follow this path.
If you do have a tendency to sit down a lot in front of the telly, it might be about time you got your family together for some quality, family time outdoors.
Mrs Celina Jones is a free lance writer specializing in the field of genetics and DNA testing. Articles by the author can be found on many blogs and info sites, including the article knowledge base for homeDNAdirect UK . She currently lives in West Sussex, UK with her husband, kids and 2 dogs.