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How to quickly motivate a child who is unmotivated

Instilling a passion for learning is one of the best gifts you can give a childbut how do you encourage your child to learn?

Teaching children to love learning means: you teach them to be flexible, open-minded and adaptable. You help them become problem solvers. Preparing children for anything—by not preparing them for specifics—enables children to deal with the challenges of an unpredictable, ever-changing world.

Praise your child for attempting to learn, and encourage him or her to employ effective study strategies. For example, when studying for a mathematics test, stress that actively solving math problems is good. Not to simply glancing at notes. Focusing on effort and strategies places your child on a path toward competence and the ability to learn.

Look forward, not back. When faced with a grade, whether high or low, the best question a parent can ask a child is, ‘How are you going to use this experience to improve your grade next time?’ The technique of examining how to use the experience (rather than focusing on the grade) works particularly well. This is excellent for children who are perfectionists. Such children can become stuck in a negative feedback loop, obsessing solely on numbers and grades. Helping them shift their focus back to the process can ease that anxiety, particularly when we help them prioritize the aspects of learning they can control.

How do you help and encourage your child to learn?

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Tell them of your own failures and how you overcame them

We take it for granted that success requires hard work and overcoming obstacles, but this is not always obvious to children. If you take time to explain your own experience of a learning curve, you will help children understand the connection between hard work and rewards. They will also see that they are not experiencing their learning curve alone; they are not the first to have gone through the struggle.

My son has lost interest in his studies- what should I do?

Praise effort more than talent – how to motivate a child who is unmotivated

Stanford University’s Carol Dweck PhD., a pioneering researcher in the study of motivation and author of the immensely enlightening book Mindsetreveals that praising children for effort rather than their natural abilities makes them more willing to take on challenges. So, praise your child for attempting to learn, no matter how small the effort. Encouraging them to employ effective study strategies is another tried and trusted technique. For example, when studying for a mathematics test, stress that actively solving maths problems is more beneficial than simply reading the theory. Focusing on effort and easy-to-follow strategies places your child on a path toward competence.

How to teach a child to study independently

For example, to build students’ math confidence, try to foster a classroom atmosphere that is supportive rather than competitive. One good way is by having small groups of students work cooperatively to solve a single problem, using different strategies. For example, in each group, one student could use manipulative blocks, a second could draw a diagram and another could do the Arithmetic Computation

Final words

If your child has lost confidence in learning, there are several strategies you can employ to put them back on the right path. Teach them to love learning, praise them for trying, focus on the practical and share your own experiences. Most of all, a lack of interest now doesn’t have to lead to poor grades in the future. By examining why a child has lost confidence, a parent can understand what needs to be done to regain it and from there rebuild an interest in learning through positive reinforcement.

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