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January 22nd, 2018

Motivation that Works for Your Child

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Welcome guest author, Archana Gupta, a mom from India and now living in Pennsylvania.  Today Archana shares some great ideas for motivating your child!

Motivation can be positive or negative depending on the situation, as one size doesn’t always fit all. For this reason, schools have included a system of reward, as well as consequences, to enhance children’s learning.   At the same time, the motivation style should be conducive to the learning environment and in accordance with the child’s individualized learning style.

I realized this when I first started working as a  substitute teacher at Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia. At that time I had a 5 year old daughter, who I struggled to motivate. I started applying the same methods of motivation to my daughter that I had learned in my own educational career.   Fortunately, it did wonders. It not only helped her ability to learn,  but also began to target her behavioral issues.

American schools typically have a reward system that works to validate good behavior. Educators will often offer stickers, clip charts, marbles, or free time to children, as a behavioral or academic incentive. When it comes to consequences for bad behavior, schools may give  time outs, remove recess time, or distribute extra assignments.

When it comes to my own rewards,  I started using stickers. Whenever my daughter achieved a learning goal I would give her a sticker. Once she collected a certain amount of stickers, I would provide  her with a gift! This motivated her to continue to do well. Similarly, when she would not behave, I would give her extra worksheets to finish. This ultimately helped her to stay on task.

Through my writing, it was my goal to offer you some tips and tricks to motivate your child to learn. At the same time, we should try to identify the strengths and weaknesses of children in order to help them overcome challenges and enhance their strengths.

Identifying the learning style of your child can be essential for their academic careers. For instance, your child could be a visual, auditory or kinesthetic learner. Accordingly, we could use the appropriate tools to motivate them to learn. The more they understand about their own learning styles, the more motivation they will have to learn and perform well. For example, a division could be established in schools in order to cater to children with distinctive learning styles. When it comes to visual learners, your child will need to see the words, visuals, or diagrams in front of them. For auditory learner, you could offer the child a verbal explanation. Lastly, for a kinesthetic learner, you would need to use an object for them to hold, such as crayons. This makes the subject interesting to kids, as they will definitely be motivated to learn and grow!

My name is Archana Gupta. I’m married and have a seven year old daughter. I’m from India and currently settled in Pennsylvania. I have done my MS education from Florida and currently work as a substitute teacher, having the flexibility to choose my hours and place of work.

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