How to Motivate Your Child
Your child comes fully motivated! Isn’t that great news?!
You don’t have to develop motivation in your child. There is nothing harder than having to ignite a coals of a motivational fire that has burned out in a teenager or an adult. We as parents need to remember: our kids come fully motivated and ready for action! All we need to do is practice two things to help our kids keep their life motivation sound, strong, and producing (for them) a satisfactory and mature life.
Everyone experiences setbacks and demoralization in the pursue of life. Some get up and brush themselves off, learn from their errors, and move forward to build a better life. Sadly, some lose their fire for life and fall into sadness, apathy, self-destruction, and rage. Our children need us to build within them a strong sense that it is OK for them to be who they are (OK to be built as they are) and they are equally empowered to produce for themselves a life of satisfaction. When life does not offer them what they seek they do not need to fall into despair, they need to see that within themselves is an inexhaustible reservoir of energy to produce… exactly what they need. We need to pile fuel on this fire in their childhood in order to launch them well into adolescence and adulthood. But to stoke a fire is more than piling on the fuel it is restricting the oxygen. If you don’t, the fire rages out of control and burns itself out too quickly. Feeding psychological needs without restraining them teaches a “satisfaction at all costs” mindset that will destroy both your child’s life and the lives of those that love them.
Your child is already motivated to pursue the things that are psychologically energizing for them, so that they can be in their strongest psychological state. That is wonderful news! If I have a “Thinker” child they’re automatically predisposed to seek information which (when gained) causes them to feel secure and strong in their mind and causes them to interact in responsible self-reliant ways: like an adult. If I have a “Rebel” child they are predisposed to seek lightheartedness or “playfulness” which (when gained) causes them to feel secure and strong in their mind and causes them to interact in responsible self-reliant ways: like an adult. So, in addition to helping them “stoke” these fires of motivation, I must help them “steer” their life toward a version of adult living that provides them with the greatest opportunity to pursue what is most psychologically necessary – their “psychological needs”. For the “Thinker”, it is a life of ever increasing learning; for a “Rebel” it is a life of enjoyable work with enjoyable people. Each of the six personality types has built in motivations. All of them are good and can produce vibrant lives. It may not be a life you or I would choose but it must be one that fits your child.
These “intrinsic motivations” are by personality type. So we’re not saying one size fits all, what we’re saying is your child comes fully motivated. But they still have to learn when to apply that motivation, how much to apply that motivation, what circumstances to pursue to feed that motivation, etc. One thing we can trust is that they come predisposed to seeking out the things that they need, and when provided with those things, they go into their strongest ego state. This allow you access to shape their decisions; without bribery, making deals, compulsion, or threats. This isn’t about forcing your children into a small set of choices this is about tapping into their internal motivation to get them to choose well.