By: Margie Frisco MA, LPC Associate
Supervised by Melissa Barton MA, LPC-S
Is it hard to motivate your kid(s)? Sometimes, it can be hard to get your child to do what you ask them to do. For example, how often do we have to say pick up your stuff or do your homework? It can even feel like a tug of war! It can even be done without yelling, arguing, or feeling like something failed. What if I told you some new ways you can try to motivate your kids? Below are some helpful tips.
Find Out What Motivates Them.
Knowing how to motivate your child can be easy and hard for others. Maybe the child doesn’t know what they want. Or it can feel like anything you do as a parent does not make it any easier.
Creating a space where the child can explore what they like can be helpful. Creating such a space can help spark curiosity and play. Many child therapists would agree that freedom can be therapeutic for kids. This type of expression lets them feel free.
Finding Out How to Motivate When you Know the “Why.”
What motivates some kids might be harder to find when your child knows why they might participate more easily. The “why” is the result you are looking for. Children are more willing to join if they get a say in it, depending on their age.
For example, if you have a picky eater, have them help pack the lunch. I realize that if we allow children to pack their lunch, it could be filled with candy and junk food. What I mean by help is to put the sandwich together or have them draw a fun drawing on the bag of carrots.
Motivating with Rewards.
Keep in mind that we want to limit this. As we learn and grow, we find out not everything has a reward. Limiting rewards helps children understand this concept.
Keep in mind that different ages are capable of other tasks. Please make sure the reward and what we are motivating are age-appropriate.
You can ensure the reward is appropriate by allowing the child to choose their prize themselves. Openly ask your child: “What do you want to work towards?” This sentence will enable your child to work towards making them happy versus avoiding punishment.
They can work towards the goal or reward by doing what you want them to do. A chore chart or a goal tracker can help you organize and follow their progress.
Set Realistic Expectations.
Many times as parents, we have high expectations for our children. We want them to do better or have better than what we had. Completely understandable. But we want to keep in mind what is realistic for their age.
For instance, kids between the ages of 3 to 6 tend to want to do adult things. These children might want to wear mom or dad’s
shoes or go to work. They are learning how to become more independent while making you happy.
Whereas children who are 6 to 12 are trying to understand the concepts of others. Specifically, they are beginning to understand how their actions can impact others. For example, elementary school-age children are at the age where they are trying to understand how they hurt a friend’s feelings.
Begin Counseling at Our Center in Katy, TX!
If you would like more help with parenting strategies or building your relationship with your kid(s), one of the therapists at The Counseling Center at Cinco Ranch can help! To begin counseling in Katy, Texas, follow these three steps:
- Contact our office to set up an appointment or to get more information on parenting.
- Meet with one of our understanding therapists.
- Find other ways to motivate your child with therapy today!
Other Therapy Services We Offer:
Here at The Counseling Center at Cinco Ranch, we offer counseling services for people of all ages in areas including counseling for kids, counseling for young adults, teen counseling, couples counseling, eating disorder treatment, men’s issues, women’s issues, anxiety treatment, depression therapy, trauma counseling, family therapy, and group counseling. We provide helpful information on a variety of mental health topics. Our therapists strive to post blogs regularly. To learn more about our therapists and counseling services, please reach out to the Counseling Center today!