Children love life. Every child, before self-consciousness sets in, acts spontaneously with total abandon and full involvement. Everything interests them. Have you ever watched a toddler? They whirl until they’re dizzy. Run until they fall.  Sing at the top of their lungs.

We all felt like that once, and then life realities inevitably intruded. Maybe it was the arrival of another sibling, a bad grade, or friends laughing at us. We became afraid or lost our sense of safety. When we are scared, defensive, threatened or feeling inadequate we lose a bit of this feeling of aliveness. The results... we quit trying new things, our zest for life is tempered and motivation slows.

While it is impossible to shield your child from life’s problems, it is important to provide the safest environment possible. A child’s motivation is sacred and needs to be protected. Parents are the best ones to protect their child’s dreams because they are the ones who understand, love and believe in their children.

Keep as much fear and frustration out of your child’s world as possible. You want them to retain curiosity and have an excitement for learning. You have much to offer your child. No one can encourage and protect your child like you. The support, protection and love you give your child are far more important than the discipline.There will be plenty of disapproving people in your child’s life. Don’t add your name to that list.

What is the best way to go about motivating our children?

Step One: Improve the attitude you portray

Your children should feel the spirits of love, respect, trust and safety when they are near you. They need to know you will protect them, have positive comments for them and will always tell them the truth (gently). A child who grows up in a safe environment is much more willing to try new things.  If you can keep this type of aura in your home, your children will want to be around you and they will be blessed from your wisdom and good judgment.

Step Two: Introduce new or creative activities

Pay attention to your child’s abilities and introduce them to activities you enjoy or think they may enjoy.  Work with them. Teach them new skills like throwing a baseball, cooking, literature, horseback riding, music, video games, tennis, swimming, etc. Do not expect them to be perfect or learn it on their own.  They need your help and guidance.

Step Three: Set your own standards of success

Do not let others set the standards by which you will succeed. Protect your child from being overwhelmed. When a child is given more than they can handle, they quit trying. Being overwhelmed causes anxiety and kills motivation. To help you understand, let me give you a quick example: In grade school it is common practice for children to be given weekly spelling words. The words are given on Monday and a test is taken at the end of the week. If your child struggles and continually fails the spelling test week after week they will soon quit trying. To keep them excited about learning, it is important for a parent to protect them.  It is important to get involved so your child will not get discouraged.  Figure out how many words your child can realistically learn to spell in a week. Talk with her teacher. Adjust the number of words on her test. Let her have the satisfaction of getting 100% on a spelling test. When your child has success, she will push herself and ask for more words. Her motivation will soar.

Step Four: There is not a timeline or creative path that fits everyone

Each child is unique. We did not all learn to walk at the same time or read at the same time. Let your child progress through life as ready. When your children are allowed to progress on their own timeline, they will be excited about learning. Maturity affects motivation. Don’t push your children...let them grow at their own pace.

Every child wants to have success. No child wants to fail. So it is important to protect your child's motivation.  If you see your child becoming discouraged in their school work, or  a new activity, protect their motivation by  creating the safest environment possible. As unique individuals, none of us will travel down the same path or find success in everything we attempt to accomplish, but if we feel safe, we will be far more motivated to keep trying.