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Jacqueline Hortten

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Future Writer & Illustrator

Aaliyah R.
Age 8

Article - Building Motivation in Children
by Jacqueline Hortten

Building Motivation in Children

     Every structure needs a firm foundation, for stability; especially for weathering the challenging winds of change. From childhood to adulthood, motivation must be well-built and here are several suggestions for successful construction:

  1. Babies need adventure.  Expose your baby to a variety of sensory input (touch, taste, smell, hearing, and seeing). Your baby would enjoy exploring different textures, flavors, and aromas.  Your baby will also enjoy visual stimulation with a variety of vivid colors.  Pleasant music and reading to your child are just a couple of excellent avenues to audio adventures. Provide a safe area for your child to freely scoot, roll, crawl, sit, stand, walk and run!  Each of these play-filled activities will enhance your child’s development, which better prepares your child for challenges ahead.

  2. Your child needs plenty of tender loving care.  Help your child to know and understand the value of love.  Positive reinforcement and discipline through kindness, gentleness, and patience as displayed through loved ones, send a strong message to your child over time.  This becomes a well welcomed learned behavior and is beneficial to your child for a lifetime.

  3. Allow your child to learn, first hand, about perseverance .. If you notice your child struggling to complete a given task (maybe something as simple as reaching for a toy that is just a bit out of reach) don’t be so quick to reach for it yourself and hand it to the exploring child. Permit your child to enjoy sweet victory after they have put forth significant effort.  Intervene under these conditions: 1) If the task is impossible, 2) only after they’ve tried, 3) before they become frustrated, and 4) if their effort to attain what they are going after poses a threat to their safety.  Keep in mind that your “help” should always be in line with assisting them with completing the task and not doing it all for them. This, consequentially, encourages independenceand not dependency.

  4. Failure.  We’ve all dealt with it.  Your child will have to deal with it too.  Failure, on the road map of life might mean something as simple as try again; on the other hand, it might mean don’t try this again,  Failure could be used as a prompt to do things differently, or to utilize more effort next time. Depending on how in-depth the task, you the parent may need to help guide your child through the glitch of failure.
    Reiterate your child’s strengths/abilities.  As needed, help your child to analyze the cause of failure and inspire your child to think of a workable solution.  If your child is able to work through this problem on his/her own...allow it.  This promotes independent thinking and self discovery.  This will also better facilitate an innate problem-solving ability.

     In summary, as a parent, you know your child.  It is up to you to become more informed concerning the progressive stages of development in your child’s life.  As an informed parent, you will become adequately equipped to assist with building well-rounded, healthy, and well-motivated productive children, who eventually grow to become productive adults in society.

Jacqueline Hortten…Licensed Physical Therapist, President of “The Children's Bookshoppe Stop”, Author and Illustrator of twelve Motivational books for children.  Visit SurfTCBS.com

 

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