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momchiroto2

Tips on raising self motivated children.

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Please............

I feel that I am always using some sort of bribe or threat (no tv etc) to get them to do things. It is extremely frustrating. I would appreciate some input here.

Thank you.

Shahnaz

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I don't know is my answer! I have 3 kids who are highly motivated and two that just aren't. To me it kind of comes down to personality and maturity. I, however never did the bribe or threat thing much. I do do the nag thing and the 'we need to talk' thing and reserve the threat/bribe for very special occasions, LOL!

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Self Motivated?

 

If you get this one figured out, you may become VERY, VERY rich.:tongue_smilie:

 

With my kids, it was years of torture on my part to remind, remind, remind, remind............... :glare:

 

ETA: Your post immediately brought me back to the chores day. I think I'm mostly looking back at chores. Self motivated to do chores, shower, brush teeth, start the school work you can without mom telling you, pick up after yourself, those types of things. I've come here many times about this and finally accepted that I'm just going to have to do a lot of reminding. BUT, they all *drastically* improve with time.

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Consequences, responsibility, self determination, and meaningful work...

 

:iagree:

 

But I also believe that there's something inside certain people that causes them to motivate themselves without the outside influences. Or is it nature vs. nurture? Even when my kids are motivated to work on something they care about, they don't necessarily work as hard as someone else--why?

 

Fascinated by this topic.

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Consequences, responsibility, self determination, and meaningful work...

 

:iagree:

 

I'll agree and add two things:

 

1. Limit exposure to bad influences. A kid today can look in almost any direction and find approval for sloth and feelings of entitlement. "Oh, lighten up a little! He's just a kid!" That's bad. So are movies and television programs that portray kids as being inept at everything yet inherently smarter than adults.

 

2. Let life offer enough deprivation that they desire to be better off than their parents. Let them understand that they must become very competitive in the areas of skills, work ethic, manners, and initiative if they ever want better stuff than they have now. (This is built-in for some of us, but rich folks have to plan it on purpose.) Once this concept is figured out, you only have to remind them now and then of their own master plan.

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Please............

I feel that I am always using some sort of bribe or threat (no tv etc) to get them to do things. It is extremely frustrating. I would appreciate some input here.

Thank you.

Shahnaz

 

Decide what you really want them to do on their own and build it into your routine. You want them dressed before school? Then make your routine to include breakfast after getting dressed. You want them to pick up the house before dinner? Then have your routine be picking up before dinner. I have more success with my clan if they know the drill. My oldest two are just beginning to voluntarily pick up their designated rooms before evening screen time. The routine system seems to be working.

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I think a lot of it is who they are and some will come with age. My older dd is more motivated than most adults I know. My younger dd just...isn't. :glare:

 

We have lots of talks here about their future and what they want and what they need. We also model working hard for what you want. I just keep expecting good things from them and many times they deliver. My family wasn't big on expectations and I wish they had been - I think they're important.

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Don't bribe or threaten. Be matter of fact about the consequences. The kids don't get to do the fun stuff until their chores or schoolwork are done.

 

Also, I used to have a hard time getting the kids to do anything. I used to tell them clean your room, finish your work, etc. but it never worked. Now, I stay with them until their work is completed.

 

I'm not sure the age of your children, but if it's cleaning their room, go into the room and help them until the room is clean. If it's picking up the family/living room, pick up with them until it's done. If it's doing schoolwork, sit with them and read while they do their work. This keeps my kids on task when they want to talk and play.

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Agreeing with all that has been said so far. It really boils down to personality, maturity, temperament. No amount of nagging, bribing, yelling really helps. They learn to tune you out if they don't feel intrinsically motivated. They have to feel interest, love, and passion to be motivated to do something. I mean, aren't we the same? If I don't feel positively towards something, I do everything I can to avoid doing it ... :glare: Praise is a fabulous motivator.

I recommend:

The Five Love Languages of Children book - find out what their love language is.

 

I haven't read this yet. I think someone here recommended it. The price is good. I guess I should order it, but these days I have little patience for non-fiction. Plus, I have found that my dc are getting a bit better in the motivation department as they're getting older. Mind you, they're still not motivated to do everything well. Again, few/none of us really and truly are. ;)

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Do you mean self-motivation for following an interest/passion, or just for getting things done?

 

I think for both, the biggest factor is modeling it in parents. If parents are highly-motivated, there is a much bigger chance the kids will be too, especially as they get older.

 

As far as motivation for just getting things done, build structure and discipline into your day, and stick with it. Having a fun goal at the end was always helpful when my kids were younger: get ready, make your bed, do a 10-minute chore, and then 20 minutes of free time before school, for example. These little things to look forward to even motivate ME!

 

As far as motivation for something bigger, find something they enjoy and then add to that, build it in to their other activities, find ways where they can pursue it more, and get help getting better at it -- perhaps by taking lessons, etc. This will build their confidence in that activity and motivate them to keep working at it. Set big goals for them, ones that may seem almost out of reach, but then HELP them achieve it. This last one is probably one of the most important ones, at least in our family.

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Thank you all..to the PP I mean self motivation to get things done. I want to instill in them the habits of picking up after themselves, doing the daily chores without having to nag at them..Some days are easier but there are definitely days that I feel all i do is nag or threaten to take away something they enjoy, to get them to do the work. :(

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1. Depends on the age. We started early with positive reinforcement. They have their good days and bad days, just like everyone else. For my littles, a reward jar has made a huge difference. They get a few gems in the jar for doing something that I didn't ask them to do, but is helpful. Once they fill it, they can pick out a toy at the store. For older ds, who didn't get a reward jar, but is helpful when asked, we remind him he gets a lot of privileges around the house if he starts drifting into that middle school reluctance. That usually straightens him out without too much fuss.

 

2. Some kids (like me) are just unorganized and a little sloppier than others. It's taken me a long time to learn organizational skills. I still find myself searching for something I didn't put away. DH was messy until he started living on his own. Sometimes kids grow up to live the opposite of how they were taught.

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:lurk5:

 

Great thread! We are struggling with this right now, and I'm looking for some new strategies before we start up homeschooling again next week.

 

I find that DD14 is the most difficult to motivate, and it seems to be getting worse as she gets older. She used to be the easy one! DS11 is much easier to deal with...all I have to do is let him play the computer when he's finished with his work. Unfortunately, this sometimes makes him rush through his work just so he can play sooner. DD6 adores her older sister, and some of DD14's bad attitude toward schoolwork is rubbing off on her, even on subjects *I know* DD6 likes. :glare:

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"Motivated" to do what?

 

I expect to have to direct my dc to take care of chores as long as they're living at home. :D But I expect them to be self-motivated to do things like personal hygiene, and eventually their own schedules when they start things like community college.

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Thank you all..to the PP I mean self motivation to get things done. I want to instill in them the habits of picking up after themselves, doing the daily chores without having to nag at them..Some days are easier but there are definitely days that I feel all i do is nag or threaten to take away something they enjoy, to get them to do the work. :(

 

Don't nag or threaten.... just make the consequences happen. I have one who was naturally self-motivated and two who weren't, but they have all been taught to be. That's because I don't use incentive systems, etc. They do what needs to be done, or they face consequences. I would rather deal out a difficult punishment once in a while (and you really only have to do it once in a great while if you do it right) than nag all the time; it is beter for our relationship. I remove myself from the equation: they know what the consequnce is, and I make it clear from a young age that I didn't cause it, they did.

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I believe that some people are born self-motivated and some are less so. I have observed lots of people and know this can be really true.

My dh and I are both self-motivated in that we take initiatives and we follow our passions/interests and learn things we need to learn without outside pressure, while our two ds(9, 7) have shown self-motivation in some areas and not in some other areas. As far as doing lessons goes, older one is more motivated to finish and younger one needs lots of reminding. It can be maturity, but I was very motivated since a very early age. The 12 yr old son of my friend's is very self-motivated. I have known him since he was 6 and he has always been very respectful and motivated.

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Consequences, responsibility, self determination, and meaningful work...

 

:iagree: discovering each child's unique "currency" helps too. One of my kids is motivated to bake. I like a clean uncluttered kitchen. She's learned that I'm less likely to let her bake for a while if she doesn't clean up after herself (put ingredients away, wipe counters, wash all the baking dishes).

 

Another likes to go shopping to spend her earned money. And she's discovered that I'm more congenial about driving her or taking her with me if she does her chores completely without complaining.

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Thank you all..to the PP I mean self motivation to get things done. I want to instill in them the habits of picking up after themselves, doing the daily chores without having to nag at them..Some days are easier but there are definitely days that I feel all i do is nag or threaten to take away something they enjoy, to get them to do the work. :(

 

I have had this same conversation with ds11 recently. He will generally, willingly do what he is asked to do. But I swear the house could be on fire and he wouldn't think to put out the fire unless I told him to! I told him yesterday, 'look, we need to get you to start thinking about what needs to be done around you without you being told. Look around. Does something need cleaned or straightened or put away?'

 

It is very frustrating, but I do think it is personality as much as anything. I have a ss who is a year younger than ds and he is soooooooo good to just do what needs to be done. He seems to be a natural server at heart to me.

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I don't know how to encourage something that is supposed to come from inside someone else. I have 1 self-motivated child who has always been an independent soul. I have 1 child who has learned to do things when they need to be done because the consequences of them not being done are not pleasant. And I have one child that I'm still trying to teach that sometimes you have to do things you don't want to do.

 

FWIW, I did very little when I was a kid. I didn't have chores and I wasn't personally motivated to get good grades in school. I just slid by. I am not that way as an adult. I've made excellent grades in school and have always done extremely well in jobs. I'm a responsible adult and get things done, sometimes because I want to (like cleaning the kitchen this morning) and sometimes because I have to (like the bathroom that is calling my name).

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Originally quoted by someone else:

(I can't figure out how to cut and paste

so it will tell the name of the poster)

 

"1. Limit exposure to bad influences. A kid today can look in almost any direction and find approval for sloth and feelings of entitlement. "Oh, lighten up a little! He's just a kid!" That's bad. So are movies and television programs that portray kids as being inept at everything yet inherently smarter than adults.

 

2. Let life offer enough deprivation that they desire to be better off than their parents. Let them understand that they must become very competitive in the areas of skills, work ethic, manners, and initiative if they ever want better stuff than they have now. (This is built-in for some of us, but rich folks have to plan it on purpose.) Once this concept is figured out, you only have to remind them now and then of their own master plan."

__________________

 

The above is the wisest response I have ever read.

I want to take #1. and cross-stitch it and hang it in my house!

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But I swear the house could be on fire and he wouldn't think to put out the fire unless I told him to! I told him yesterday, 'look, we need to get you to start thinking about what needs to be done around you without you being told. Look around. Does something need cleaned or straightened or put away?'

 

My DH is exactly like the person described above!!!

 

It's taken 15 years to (sort of) train him to do

any chores around the house with consistency!

 

DS is being trained early. For example, when he leaves the table

and forgets to clear his dishes/condiments/napkins all

I have to do is say gently, "hey, hey" and point. He gets

it right away.

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