Tips for Teaching High School and College Students

Developmental Characteristics

  • Continue to need help on distinguishing wants and needs
  • Want to be more independent financially, while is somewhat dependent
  • Their school and social life cost more
  • Peers often have more influence than parents
  • Want to have money to manage
  • May want to use credits
  • Experience the good and bad consequences of spending
  • Some children take student loan for their colleges
  • Understand differences between gross and net income
  • Have some concepts on employment benefits
  • Understand they can exchange time and energy for money
  • May do some part-time jobs

Suggested Teaching Activities

  • Encourage children to apply scholarships
  • Continue to teach children to manage money wisely
  • Let children do some family grocery shopping to gain more experience
  • Help children on their saving and spending planning
  • Encourage children to involve in family finance planning
  • Involve children in planning for a long-term financing arrangement
  • Before children apply for jobs, discuss work hours considering study time and household responsibilities
  • Encourage children to attend internships
  • Help children complete income tax forms if they have part-time jobs
  • Compute miles per gallon on a family car to encourage saving
  • Explain auto insurance to children
  • Discuss ways to deal with risk of potential financial loss
  • Teach children about investing while explain risk of market

What is Motivation?

The intentions, desires, goals, and needs determine human behavior.

By education research, motivation and emotion are closely related. Some researchers argued that emotions are the true motivators, which drive other factors internally and cognitively take hold of behavior. People are willing to do things when they feel pleasure. That is why we need to find the kids’ interest and have to guide our kids to love to learn, which the most important thing is. In addition, the culture in which an individual is raised has a powerful effect on how the individual behaves. In another word, parents should create love-to-learn family culture, to set up a good role model for our kids.

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

Motivate Ourselves to Set up a Good Role Model

Underachievement problems exist at all ages; it is not easily overcome just because we get older. As adults, we do sometimes lose patience on many things including on our kids’ education. We did not put enough time to help our kids to get better understanding on their school courses. We sometimes even yell at our kids, when they got bad grades.

As we require our kids to try their best to achieve success, we have to do same thing ourselves first. As the proverb says, “It’s not what you say, it is what you do”. I think to set up a good role model for our kids, is the most powerful answer to the question “how can I help motivate my kids?”

role model

We recommend Dr. Carol S. Dweck’s book Self-theories: Their Role in Motivation, Personality, and Development (Essays in Social Psychology), published by Psychology Press.

Dr.Dweck mensioned that the students who blossom at their school are the ones who believe that intellectual skills are things they can develop. They see the more difficult schoolwork as a challenge to be mastered through hard work, and they are determined to do what it takes to meet these new challenges.

Throughout the book, Dr.Dweck offers suggestions for teachers and parents on how to increase childrens adaptive belief systems. She also includes warnings about the wrong type of praise and decries the over-emphasis on self-esteem. Although these suggestions and warnings are helpful and thought provoking, she seems to be too prescriptive and forceful.