How to Motivate Children

How can I motivate my children to study, to do their homework, and get good grades? How can I help my children to succeed in school, so that they can go to the best colleges? How can I motivate my children to put in their effort and try their best to achieve their goals?

Almost every parent wants to see their children shine, succeed and achieve. All parents want to see their children happy. We want to be proud of our children, enjoy their success.

As parents, how do we get our children to apply themselves? How do we get our children to understand what actions they need to take now for their future success?

Four Keys to Motivate Your Children

In my opinion, there are 4 key things contribute to our children’s motivation:

1. Important goals and inspiration

Help your child set a goal to be an inspiring goal to your child, and has to feel that it is important for him to achieve the goal.

2. Possibility and confidence

Your child has to know and feel that it is possible for him to achieve the goal. If the child has doubt that he can achieve the goal, or thinks that it is impossible, there is little chance that he will work towards the goal and apply himself. Keeping your child’s confidence is one of the most important things you need to so. Help your child build up his confidence as early as possible.

3. Acknowledgment and appreciation

It is easier to keep a child motivated when offering a tangible reward. Knowing that achieving the goal will meet with a tangible form of acknowledgment, appreciation and reward, will add this extra drive.

4. Persistence

The route towards any worthwhile goal includes some set-backs and disappointments. Your child needs to learn to have mental toughness. Help him to learn to get up, brush himself off, and get right back on the horse.

When your child knows that a goal is important, feels that it is possible for him to achieve it, and is offered an incentive to work towards the goal, the chances are that he will be motivated to put in the effort needed, and try his best to achieve the goal. Add to it persistence, and the results are as much as guaranteed.


As parents, we always want our child to work towards a meaningful goal that inspires him. Help your child see the possibilities. Help your child dream big.

Don’t wait until your child is in high school to start thinking about ways to achieve that. Would you like your child to get a good education, to succeed in school? Start early on as possible as you can. Encourage your child to do well in school. Tell your child stories about students who succeeded in school and their achievements that came as a result of this success. Explain what the advantages are, of getting a good education. Why is it worth it to make great efforts to get a good education? The key is to get your child to see the opportunity for himself. Help your child understand the idea that it is important for him to get a good education and succeed in school.

I always told my children: when you get education, when you study, you invest in yourself. In addition to the doors that will open to you as a result of getting education, you become more knowledgeable. More intelligent. You become wiser.

Another very important thing is to make sure your child hangs out with friends who are successful in school. When your child is young, it is easy to choose his friends. Later your child will choose his own friends. In order to have some control over this, do your best to get your child into a good school, and in that good school, into the honors programs. Children have a tendency to adjust themselves to their environment, and sometimes a healthy competition develops, which encourages the children to put in more effort.

One tool that mothers have used throughout the ages, is repetition. It is not enough to have one conversation with your child, explaining the value of applying themselves. You have to put together a “plan of attack”. Prepare interesting reading material and movies about some role models. Provide biographies of people of great achievements. Research theater performances about role models, and take your child to watch them. Introduce successful people to your child. Do you have accomplished, educated people among your friends? Ask them to meet your child and talk about their success and how they achieved it. Have conversations with your child about his future, his goals, what does he want to be when he grows up? Repeat the idea you are trying to introduce to your child, in many different ways.


How do we bring our child to believe in himself? Confidence is build up when a child achieved something. Help your child start with easy task and then move to a little difficult ones.

A close relative of the word “motivate” is “encourage”. What comes to your mind when you think of the word “encourage”? The thing that comes to my mind, is praise. All of us, adults as well as children, respond well to praise, and feel encouraged when we receive praise. If you want to encourage your child to succeed, praise him and celebrate every action that leads in the right direction. Every small achievement. Most of us including our kids tend to be self judgmental. We criticize ourselves, and any small set back often seems like a serious failure. Your child will feel encouraged if his efforts are appreciated, and achievements are acknowledged.

Praise on the way to achieving the goal is important. In addition, making sure the child knows the rewards for achieving the goals will be significant. Determining what the rewards is, depends on you. You are the only one who can determine what is affordable, realistic for you, and very desirable for your child. The reward has to be age appropriate. In his article: Incentive plans for gifted, but unmotivated kids, Wayne Fujita has a few good suggestions.


Persistence is to a great degree a learned trait. Our children need to learn persistence, they need to learn that if we suffer a set back, we don’t give up. Instead, we increase our efforts. Who can teach them that, if not parents?

An effective tool to teach persistence, is story telling. Story telling can take the form of a book, a movie, a discussion. There are many inspiring books and movies available about people who persisted and achieved, against all odds. Keep your eyes open, and when you find an inspiring story, share it with your child.

Holding discussions with your child, is also very effective. When your child suffers a temporary set back, it will help him if you can put it in perspective for him. Knowing that a set back is minor, takes some judgment. Good Judgment is often a result of experience, and obviously children and young people need our help to develop good judgment. Explain to your child that this is just a minor, temporary set back. Help your child learn the lesson necessary to learn from this, and concentrate on preparing for the upcoming success. Encourage your child to concentrate on the goal, instead of any small set back on the way.

Just like parenting, inspiring and motivating our children is a life long job. If you start at an early age of your children, put together a plan, use the right tools and techniques and add a healthy amount of love, the great results will come. You will help your children excel and achieve! Your children will be healthy, happy and successful!

To learn more parenting skills, please refer to great parenting books.

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