Promote enthusiasm so that your child is less likely to quit trying.

How to Motivate Your Child to Be Enthusiastic

by Tara Shore

If your kid prefers to just sit and watch TV or whine when you tell him you're taking him somewhere, don't worry too much. Some children seem to be born excited and enthusiastic while others need inspiration and motivation to get the same attitude. With a little push in the right direction, you can have her joining in and enjoying herself.

1 Give your child smaller goals within her tasks so she can see her progress. It might be that she doesn't get excited about big projects, because she can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. If you break actions down into smaller parts, she gets to feel the success of completing something and see that she is making progress. For example, if she wants to learn how to swim, break it down into movements such as blowing bubbles, kicking her legs, holding her breath and floating. Remind of her what she has learned and how proud you are.

2 Give encouragement and praise when tasks or parts of tasks are completed. According to the Aspen Education Group, letting your child know that you are proud of him is a big motivator. The positive feedback that he hears from you helps encourage him to do better, work harder or simply try to finish an activity.

3 Set up an award system to motivate your child and create enthusiasm in her activities. Don't reward every little accomplishment, but instead check off actions as she does them, with one reward upon completion. For example, if the goal is to learn how to roller skate, her chart can be filled with steps to learn how and accomplish different skills such as going backward. With each step that she masters, check it off and praise her. When she has all her check marks, provide a reward.

4 Don't criticize. According to teacher and counselor Leah Davies, you should never ridicule a child that you are trying to motivate. If a child feels he is failing at something, or doesn't want to do it in the first place, your criticism is only going to make him want to quit. Remember to bite that tongue of yours when he isn't doing something right, or he tries and fails. Instead, tell him, "That was a good try. You were so close, let's do it again" or "Wow, that was great. You got really close that time."

5 Create some excitement before the task to pump her up. If its an activity such as a sport, you could play music before each game to get her in the right frame of mind. Or if it's for something more mundane such as going to school, try to talk up the fun stuff she might do or friends she'll see.

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