There are some days when your child seems unmotivated or disinterested in participating in class. We understand. Most all parents can agree they’ve all been there.
Kids are not naturally self-motivated. When your child’s mindset is not in the right place, even the most fun activities can be a struggle to get to. With that being said, here are some great strategies to help you work around lack of motivation when trying to get your child to class.
Be attentive to what your child is doing in the moment he or she is supposed to get ready for class. If they are playing and having fun with a friend or a video game, then prepare to battle your child. With that being said, have your child participate in a chore or task that isn’t as much fun around 10-15 minutes prior to getting ready for class!
Be attentive to your own projection of emotions as you get your child ready for class. If you are stressed, rushed, or aggravated in any way, this will project the same emotions on your child. Be sure to project positive and upbeat energy as you are getting your child ready for class.
Be attentive to how you respond to your child’s overall performance after class. If you are expressing too much emphasis on what he or she did wrong versus right, then those negative feelings will carry over. Be sure to limit criticism and focus more on productive conversations after class.
Be intentional with your goals by communicating with your child’s instructors. The goal is to foster motivation. Let the instructors know about your struggles so that they can be mindful to motivate your child before, during, and after class. It takes a village, so don’t be afraid to ask for support.
Prompt motivation by rewarding your child. Remember that children’s brains are still growing, and most of their development comes from positive stimulation’s and experiences. Pre-frame the proper behavior that you would like to see when going to class, and then set an attainable number of classes he or she must attend with their behavior, along with a reward for doing so. Example, attend 3 classes with the proper behavior and we will grab ice cream on the way home.
Sometimes a child does not want to go to class because they are afraid of failure or disappointment. Sometimes it is because they have other things they want to do. Either way, the key is to remember why you signed your child up for Martial Arts in the first place. When we look at the reasons, these areas are tops: focus, confidence, discipline, and self-defense.
Now, if we were to ask each of our parents if they had a child or two not want to attend a class, but their parent made them go and participate, I guarantee you that you would NOT be alone in this area. If we were to ask all of our students, if one day they came to class and wanted to quit, or if at the beginning of a class they didn’t want to be there but at the end they were happy to have gone, we are confident that they would all agree that that was them at some point. What we can tell you is you are NOT alone. EVERY parent has been there. We need to set the standard.
When we get to the root of some of the problems, we can always find solutions to them. These tips are not rocket science, but they are often overlooked. As parents, we get caught up in the daily grind, so we sometimes forget that situations like this require attentive and intentional parenting. You’re doing a good job, it’s not easy raising kids, and sometimes it takes a village.