WISE TALK with Dr. Amy
A lot of people ask me how to motivate your kids. I think that motivation is really about two things. It’s about confidence and it’s about competence. So if you have a kid or a teen who is feeling incompetent in class, ask them the following questions to dig a little deeper:
- Why do you feel like you are struggling in school?
- If you feel you don’t understand the material, how can you get more information on the subject matter and/or instructions?
If they are feeling like they’re struggling or they don’t understand something, then one of the ways to help motivate them is to clarify their competence – figure out what’s going wrong and help them figure out a way to reach a solution. (Guide them on this part – don’t just do it for them!)
Then the other part of it is confidence – When you see a kid that’s unmotivated, quite often it’s one of two things: lack of confidence or competence. The confidence piece is when you see a teen or a kid that maybe doesn’t feel really good about themselves or is questioning their own values or their own self-worth or where their role is in the family. Depending on what it is, sometimes you have to clarify those things for kids so that they can feel more confident.
If you think your teen’s lack of confidence is turning into anxiety, take a look at this blog post on how to reduce chronic anxiety.
We have some exciting groups coming up in the next few months – About building confidence and learning more about mindfulness and movement. Be on the lookout for more info. in the coming months!