It’s the ultimate dream in parenting, right? Having kids who wake up ready for the day, wanting to go to school, always looking for information and knowledge… Chances are, every day isn’t like this in your house, and if that’s the case, your house is very normal. There are ways, though, that parents can foster self-motivation in their kids and steer them to be driven, capable individuals.
Encourage them to develop their interests. This doesn’t necessarily include video games and watching TV, but if video game development or movie production fascinate them, go with it! There are tutorials online to get started and classes in most community centers. If your child loves nature, plant a garden with them and involve them in the upkeep. Have an animal lover? Get a zoo membership or take weekly field trips to the library to check out animal books. Perhaps your child is a chess lover and can visit a senior living center to play chess with residents and do community service at the same time! Whatever their interest, help them to grow it and turn it into a lifelong passion. Feeling invested in a hobby or cause will help them see that what they do really matters and can make a difference to those around them.
Maintain a positive atmosphere. Model an optimistic outlook and a love for life, and your children will follow suit. Tackle problems head on, with a glass-half-full mentality. If parents are constantly grumbling about how things are unfair, kids will pick up on it and develop those same thought patterns. Life sometimes isn’t fair, but having role models that work through adversity and maintain a good attitude is a great way to show young people that they have the power and the ability to keep doing their thing, and doing it well, despite what’s going on around them.
Experience failure with grace. Kids who never lose or never fail don’t learn how to deal with the feelings that go with it. No one will ever be successful at every single thing they tackle in life! Help your children look to situations where they can relate – does their favorite singer always get the Grammy? Does their favorite baseball player hit a home run every time they bat? Knowing how to pick oneself up after a second place, eighth place, or last place finish is a valuable tool in life.