How to Motivate Your Child

Local author and parenting coach, Maggie Stevens offers some advice on how to motivate kids.

Whether it is in spelling, math, music, athletics, the key is to protect that motivation. To stay motivated, your child needs small successes along the way.

Protect Your Child’s Motivation

1. Set Your Own Standards of Success

We did not all learn to walk at the same age or the same speed, but we all eventually mastered it. There is no decree declaring the day, hour or minute that we must know how to read, write or spell. Children learn at their own pace and on their own time. If you push them too hard, they will become discouraged or fail. The goal is to give them just enough to succeed. Introduce more as they are ready.

2. Set Achievable Goals

Here’s an example of how to set goals your child can reach;

In grade school it is common practice for children to be given a weekly spelling list of about twenty words. Some children in the classroom will be able to spell all twenty words with ease, while others will struggle with five. If you are the child who studies the spelling words all week and then blows the test week after week, year after year…are you going to be motivated? No. At some point you give up and quit trying. To find a solution, set achievable goals. Work with your child to figure out how many words he can realistically learn in a week. If it’s five, then do only five. Explain to the teacher that your child is struggling and needs some success to stay motivated. Work out an agreement with your child’s teacher so your child is only required to be tested on five words. Once your child tastes that success, he will confidently ask for additional words as his abilities improve.

3. Make Sure Your Child Gets Positive Feedback

Provide positive reinforcement.

Use this formula: 3 Positives for 1 Negative. This applies to parents, teacher, coaches…every one. For every negative comment, there should be three positive comments.

Protect your children’s motivation so they can progress through life as they are ready!

To ask questions, join the discussion board, or schedule Maggie for a parenting workshop, visit

Parent Fix by Maggie Stevens

Available at:

King’s English Book Shop

Frost’s Books

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