There is only one way to help kids who are unmotivated. Despite what others say. Read on to find out what it is.
I have just read an article that I thought might teach me something. It was titled ’10 Ways to Motivate your Child’. ‘Wow’ I thought, maybe there are some ways that I don’t know about but should. So I read it.
The article did what it said. It suggested ten ways to help kids but it didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know and it really didn’t give parents strategies they could use to make a difference. All the tips they offered were way too general to really make a difference.
In fact, it made me really mad. Parents who are desperate to find ways to motivate their child to do schoolwork would read this and despair! The tips were so general as to be meaningless.
For instance, while ‘keeping a positive attitude’ is a good idea, how is it going to affect a child’s motivation?
Or, how is ‘creating a study spot’ going to help a child who is unmotivated?
Then there is ‘meet the teacher’, but what is a parent to meet the teacher about? The teacher probably knows the child is unmotivated and hasn’t been able to do anything about the situation.
Oh, ‘stick with homework rules’ is another tip. How can a parent do that when the kid probably won’t do homework anyway?
These tips are far too general to be of use to parents who are worried about their unmotivated child. Parents need tips that relate to their specific situation.
Not all unmotivated students are unmotivated in the same way.
There are at least four types of unmotivated students.
There are ‘Coasters’ – students who are willing to just get by and do the minimum amount of work to stay out of trouble in school.
Then there are the ‘Anxious’ underachievers, students who are so afraid of failing that they never start to do their work.
There are “Sad or Depressed’ students who have low self-esteem and lack the energy they need to do their work.
And then the group of ‘Defiant’ students who don’t do their work because they are resentful of any kind of authority.
Each type of unmotivated student needs a specific approach.
What works for Coasters will not work for Defiant kids.
What works for anxious students will not work for students who are depressed or sad.
General solutions, however well intentioned, just don’t work! All they do is make parents feel less able to help children reignite their love of learning.
That is why I hate them! And that is why parents should dismiss them.
There is a better way to get information that you can use to reignite your child’s love of learning. It is the only way to guarantee that you can change your unmotivated child into an eager student,
It is a three step process. Each step is significant and important.
- The very first thing is to discover what type of underachiever your child is. You can probably guess, it is pretty easy to understand your child’s behaviour and put him or her into one of the categories above, but if you need help I have diagnostic assessments that can help you.
- Then it helps to discover WHY your child is unmotivated. You may be able to sort things out pretty quickly once you know the cause of the problem. Maybe talking with your child will help here.
- Sometimes solutions take time. If you can’t immediately prevent the cause of the problem, you need to go through a series of steps that will lead your child back to learning. And there are different steps for each type of unmotivated child.
Specific steps – not generalizations.
Steps that are guaranteed to work.
Steps that help you and your child make sense of the problem and be willing to do something about it.
How do I know this? Because I have studied the problem and used expert advice to generate the steps that parents – and kids – need to take.
Generalities don’t work. Don’t be fooled by them. Find the specific steps that lead to learning.
And help me calm down after reading a well meant but useless article that is going to do more harm than good.
Want to know more? Contact me and we can discuss your needs.