If you have a child who is currently at school and hoping to get into college, it can be a struggle knowing exactly how you can motivate them to try their absolute hardest. However, there are a number of steps that you can take to support them, and these will be discussed in greater detail below.
Being present in your child’s academic life is absolutely crucial to how much they decide to commit to the work that they’re doing. You should ensure that you are helping with homework, discussing what happened in school, and talking to them about subjects they’re passionate about. This is incredibly effective, especially with children who get excited about what you get excited about.
You will want to make this a back and forth conversation because a lot of teenagers don’t like to be asked too many questions, so if you are sharing thoughts about your day at the same time, it will feel more like a genuine conversation.
In the same vein, you might want to give your older kids more space. If you are on top of your child all the time about homework, they will start to set up defenses and become resistant to engaging with work at all.
Talk About Their Goals
It’s important that you speak to your child about what goals they have because then you can cater your support towards actually achieving those goals. For example, if when they finish school, your child wants to get into college on a sports scholarship, you can direct them towards sites such as asmscholarships.com, which have very useful information on how you can obtain a sports scholarship.
Practice Positive Reinforcement
There are lots of parents who are nervous when it comes to rewarding their kids for good work but really, it’s incredibly important to do just that. There are good ways that you can reward your child as a means to encourage them to stay on whatever path they’re on.
Laura Philips, a neuropsychologist at the Child Mind Institute, once said, “kids respond really well to social reinforcers like praises, hugs, high fives, and those kinds of things,” before continuing, “then they start to achieve because it feels good for them.”
Reward Effort, Not Outcome
Your child, like all of us, is going to fail at some things. That is just a matter of fact and a normal part of life. Here, it’s important you do not let your child see this failure as a sign to stop trying. You need to explain to them how everybody has to fall to learn when getting themselves back up and that the effort they put into the work is much more important than the actual outcome of said work. This works the other way, so if your child has good grades in some subjects that come easily and get praise for it, they will think that they do not have to put in effort in that particular subject.