Children often face the problem that even through the successes they have already achieved, they do not have the certainty that they will also achieve good results in the future. This leads to demotivation and fears, which in turn can limit their own successes and quickly children find themselves in a vicious circle, from which they can no longer free themselves.
It is precisely at this point that it is important to strengthen the motivational, usually unfavorable, starting position by applying motivational skills. This is exactly where you can support and reinforce your child.
Help your child assess his or her abilities realistically. Sit down with him and show what good skills he has – for example, good social skills or good language skills. Also talk to your child about the skills that are not so well represented – but please remember not to blame your child, but to consider whether he or she really needs the skills, or to what extent it is also okay to perhaps not have outstanding scientific skills.
Only through this realistic assessment can appropriate goals and tasks be chosen, helping your child not to overestimate or underestimate themselves. It also teaches your child to appreciate his or her own worth, which in turn supports his or her own self-esteem.
Showing your child his or her progress will help your child become aware of it. Your child may not see that he or she has already improved in math, or that his or her social skills have improved more, and may become insecure and demotivated to continue working on his or her goals.
Before a class assignment, it can help if you get a clear picture of the requirements together with your child. What is required and what skills does your child already possess? In this way, you will be able to see your child’s learning success and your child will understand more if he or she has to learn or even attend tutoring.
Encourage your child to measure his or her performance not only at school. School is only one part of many areas of life. Also praise him when he achieves success in other areas and show him that you are proud of your child.
Every path has obstacles that must be overcome. Simply pointing out these obstacles to your child will make him or her feel insecure, because he or she will realize that this is not the way to reach the desired goal. Think about how you can support your child so that the obstacles can be better overcome. For example, introduce a realistic and achievable goal – maybe the 2 in the next math test is more difficult to achieve and a 3 is much more realistic and better than the 4 in the previous test.
Rejoice yourself over your child’s partial successes. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself if something doesn’t work as it should. Think about what the problem was and don’t present your child with a fait accompli, but talk together about how goals can be achieved in the future.
All this advice can greatly increase your child’s motivation. It is important not only to promote extrinsic motivation – that is, motivation that is controlled by external influences, such as rewards – but for constant and increasing success, intrinsic motivation – that is, motivation that comes from your child himself – is very important. With your support, your child should understand that you don’t always have to be the best in every area, and that you don’t demand this of him or her. Show your child what is important to you and what successes you have as a parent, because this way your child feels confirmed.
You can thus support the positive emotions of your child. He will not be so frustrated when he comes home with a lower grade and will tell you about problems and obstacles he encounters on his way.
Good communication and healthy support is important, especially when your child is just starting out in school. Often, low grades can be very frustrating and overwhelming as not only the school environment changes, but so does your child.