I am really excited my new topic in the NEPEM model. I learned a lot during this lesson and am grateful I have an opportunity to share some of these ideas with you! When studying a specific topic I like to look up the definition to the main words that I am focusing on. This helps me to gain a better understanding and also gain a new perspective. Google says that motivate is to stimulate (someone’s) interest in or enthusiasm for doing something. I love this! Think of how many times a day we as parents have the opportunity to help stimulate our child’s interest and encourage them to complete tasks with enthusiasm. If you’re anything like me, when you think about getting your kids to change their attitude, do their chores or complete their homework, it sounds more like a daunting task. Positive motivation is not always the forefront.
As I studied more on the topic of motivation I concluded that there are three main aspects when it comes to motivating our children. The first step is being aware of what they are doing. If we are not focusing on their strengths, their weakness, or have knowledge of the tasks they are supposed to be completing, how will we know when and how to appropriately motivate them. I believe as parents we often fall in to this robotic state where we know our expectations for our children, therefore do not fully recognize and acknowledge when our children have accomplished those tasks. We often do not take the time to fully understand what they did and how they did it. As we ignore these factors, we are not taking opportunities to praise them. Therefore, our children also enter a robotic state, where they check off boxes and lack an understanding of their accomplishments and efforts.
The second aspect is praise. Tony Overbay teaches about the Nurtured Heart Approach on his podcast , The Virtual Couch. This positive physiological approach focuses on acknowledging good behaviors and ignoring negative behaviors. This approach works towards radical appreciation of valued traits, quality and skills in an attempt to take recognition in to a soul level of greatness! When acknowledging your child’s behavior, Overbay says to not give out hollow praises, such as “good job” or “that’s great”. Instead use phrases such as, “I appreciate when..”, “I see you doing this..”, or “I love when I see you doing these things.” (Below is a wonderful chart that has helped me to understand the different ways to praise my children.) Overbay also shares that in some instances praising during difficult times may be challenging. One example he gives is of a parent that asked their son to come to them several times. Rather than lecturing the child when he finally arrives, the parent praises the child for coming and also praises the child for maintaining eye contact while the parent talks. This approach of continuous positive praise has been hard for me to continue. But Overbay does remind you that old habits and behaviors will take time to break and both the child and parent will need time to get used to this new approach. I have seen a change in both myself and my children though as I focus try to focus on only positive behaviors. It helps me to notice the strengths in my children and it also provides my children with more confidence.
Which brings us to the third aspect. Confidence. So, why is confidence so important for our children to have? When taking about self esteem, which leads to confidence, KidsHealth says, “…kids who feel good about themselves have the confidence to try new things. They are more likely to try their best. They feel proud of what they can do. Self-esteem helps kids cope with mistakes. It helps kids try again, even if they fail at first. As a result, self-esteem helps kids do better at school, at home, and with friends.” We know as adults when our confidence is high we are happier, more eager to provide service, more open around others and all around feel better. Our children who experience peer pressure, body changes, and encounter social media pressure need confidence! I believe it is essential in these latter days. Satan is working harder than ever to damage families. His sly tactics break down individuals, turning them away from peace and happiness. By continuing to praise our children, we will provide them with the reassurance of their progression. We will create more opportunities for them to WANT to do good. They will WANT to do more. As they do more and continue to receive praise from us, their confidence to handle more tasks and their confidence in their self worth will grow.
I again am so grateful for the opportunity to learn more about rearing my children in a loving positive way. The topic of motivate has reminded me how simple and effective praise can be for a child. I hope you can implement these suggestions in our family. I pray that as you make the effort to do these things, you will notice the peace and change in your children.
You’ve got this!