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Motivation: The 3 Best Ways to Inspire Your Child to Learn

 Child daydreaming

Inner Motivation Is the Key to Learning

If inner motivation is the key to education, can you inspire your child to treasure learning? Our parenting skills expert, Carol Josel, and author of 149 Parenting School-Wise Tips, is here to share 3 big ideas. I'll share 3 bullet points for each.

 

3 Unbeatable Ways to Encourage Inner Learning:

1. Applaud your child's time and effort on a task by saying:

  • "You took the time to do a good job."
  • "What did you tell yourself to keep on working?"
  • "What does it feel like to see the results of your work?

Can you guess why saying, "I'm proud of you," isn't the best thing to say?

Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad thing to say but it doesn't promote inner motivation (well, maybe just a little).

If you guessed that it urges your child to do well because it pleases you and that's outer motivation, you're right. You want your child to learn because she's motivated from the inside.

2. Believe in your child by saying:

  • "I believe in you."
  • "You've got the 'can-do' spirit.
  • "You have an awesome brain."

3. Set high but realistic goals for your child.

If goals are too high, your child might feel discouraged and give up. If the goals are too low it diminishes the accomplishment. Here's what to do:

  • Help your child determine a realistic goal to accomplish.
  • Show your child how to break the goal into smaller steps.
  • Use a big calendar and set due dates for accomplishing each step and the final goal. (These 3 unbeatable ways for motivating your child's inner learning came from pages 3 and 4 of 149 Parenting School-Wise Tips.)

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Carol is not only a parenting skills expert but also an educator and learning specialist. Pick up her 149 Parenting School-Wise Tips: Intermediate Grades and Up. Choose the tips that fit your child and watch her inner motivation soar.

Cover 149 Parenting School-Wise Tips
Pick up your copy at School-Wise Books. The time to motivate your child is now.

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Let's THANK Carol for sharing her expertise with us. Her tireless efforts to promote well-educated children deserve our praise.

Author Carol Josel
   Carol Josel

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With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

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How Can Water Play Help Your Baby's Brain?

 

Cover BrainInsights
Water Play Makes Positive Brain Connections

You give your baby a bath every day. She loves the water and wants you to play with her. But how? Our parenting skills expert, Deborah McNelis, and author of Love Your Baby: Making Connections in the First Year, suggests giving your 6-9 month old baby a clean sponge, a small amount of water in a plastic tub or a large bowl. If your baby could talk she might say, "Play with me." First Deborah will share 4 points about your baby's brain connections. I'll share a few ways to have fun with your baby during bath time.

 

Deborah in the voice of your baby, tells us:

1. My baby's brain responds to positive attention.

2. I can tell when you like what I do.

3. My brain adapts to my surroundings.

4. Happy experiences make the best brain connections for me.

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5 Baby Game Tips

Now that you know why fun times with your baby are important, let's look at some water play games that add even more fun brain stimulation. They'll add some vocabulary too.

1. With a small plastic cup show her how to fill the cup and empty the cup. Say, "full" and "empty. Repeat until your baby fills and empties it herself. She won't be able to say these words but she is learning their sound and their meaning.

2. With a wash cloth cover the cup. Ask, "Where is the cup?" Uncover it and say, "Here is the cup!" Repeat until your baby hides and uncovers the cup herself.

3. With two plastic cups, one large and one small, say, "Big cup." and with the other say, "Little cup." Repeat until you can ask your baby, "Give me the big cup." or "Give me the little cup."

4. Name and touch the parts of her face. Just one at a time. Ask, "Where is your nose?" or "Where is your mouth?" Answer, "Here is your nose." or "Here is your mouth." Repeat until she is able to point to the right one. Play this game with her toes, legs, and other body parts.

5. Give your baby time to splash and get your approval for having a good time.

If either you or your baby is tired, it's time to quit. Keep bath time fun.

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Let's APPRECIATE Deborah McNelis' Love Your Baby packets. They're based on research, beautifully designed, and full of tips that take moments to read and are fun to practice.

Author, Deborah McNelis 

Deborah McNelis

Deborah created a series of packets including What to Do When I Am Two and Help Me Thrive When I Am Five. Pick up your packets which help brain development at Braininsightsonline.com  

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Please support today's author and share your opinions about this blog post. Just click on the COMMENTS link below. It will open up for you. We want to hear from you.

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With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

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Parenting: 12 Best Compliments for Your Child's Self-Esteem

 

Girl mother
The Best Way to Build Your Child's Self-Esteem

If you'd like to build your child's self-esteem, listen to our parenting skills expert and author, Carole Disseldorp. Her book, Easier Parenting, is full of practical parenting tips and good advice. Today Carole will share the 4 most important behaviors to encourage and the best remarks to inspire them. I will offer extra examples when commenting on the qualities to promote and suggest a special activity.

 Building Self-Esteem on the Inside:

Many parents motivate their kids with stars, charts, and external rewards. That's good for outside motivation. But how do you get your child motivated to behave well, try, and become a team member on the inside?

Carole tells us to focus on 4 behaviors when making our positive remarks for motivating kids on the inside:

1. Effort

2. Cooperation

3. Progress

4. Strengths

She will offer a statement in quotes for each and I will add 2 more for each trait.

Comments that Encourage Effort:

1. "Joe, I can see that you are trying really hard, to find the right piece to fit the puzzle. Good for you."

2. Ethan you never gave up learning how to do cart wheels and now you do them skillfully.

3. Allyssa you put a lot of meaning and detail into your picture. You know how to give your best.

Remarks that Promote Cooperation

1. "Thanks for setting the table so nicely, Michelle."

2. George, when you played checkers with your little brother, you encouraged him.

3. You're ready for school each morning because you pack your school backpack  and set it by the front door each night.

Statements that Boost Progress:

1. "Greg, you've come a long way with your model car. You've glued 3 pieces together."

2. Mary, you've already put most of your outside toys away before it starts to rain.

3. Most of your science project is done, Joe. It's looking good.

Comments that Boost Strengths:

1. "Julie, your scrapbooking layout is beautiful. It's balanced and the colors go really well together."

2. You've made your body flexible while practicing your gymnastics, Jason.

3. By keeping your eye on the ball, Sarah, you're becoming a fine batter.

The behaviors to note and the quotes of Carole's are from Chapter 2, Promoting and Practicing Positivity.

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I especially appreciate Carole's 4 behaviors to focus on when we congratulate our children. When we catch them expanding their effort, cooperating, progressing, or developing their strengths, we need to compliment them. Our praise will increase their inner motivation and build their self-esteem.

Suggested Activity

I suggest posting Carole's 4 behaviors on a bathroom mirror or on the fridge to remind us what to commend when our children are exhibiting these behaviors. It's easy to post and fun for us when we share our admiration. One more thing, our kids will love what we say.

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Let's applaud Carole for writing, Easier Parenting. She has taken 8 parenting
principles and made them practical for us.

 

Carole Disseldorp

 

 

 

 

 

Carole Disseldorp

Pick up your copy of Easier Parenting: 8 Vital Principles to Guide Your Children's Behavior Successfully.


Cover Easier Parenting
 

Available on Amazon.com 

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Please support today's author and share your opinions about this blog post. Just click on the COMMENTS link below. It will open up for you. We want to hear from you.

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With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

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Leadership and Sarcasm: Did This Teenagers Change from Cruel to Cool?

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Sarcasm's Cruel not Cool!

If your kids are leaders, do they use sarcasm to be popular? Today our parenting skills expert and author of the book, Teaching Kids To Be Good People, Annie Fox, is here to share a short story and her advice. I will offer a special formula.

 The Story of a Sarcastic Leader

A co-leader on a school team wrote to Annie and complained about a guy who insulted her in front of "everyone." He told her she was a poor leader and that she used humor to hurt people. She told Annie that she is "fairly sarcastic."  She said, "but I try to make it obvious when I am kidding."

I admired her openness in her questions to Annie.

1. Am I supposed to apologize to him?

2. To the team?

3. Am I in the wrong?

She added that she knew there was a life lesson about what types of humor are appropriate.  (From pages 96-97.)

Annie's Coaching Advice Pointed Out 2 Mistakes and 2 Solutions:

1. Sarcasm isn't just kidding. Annie suggested the girl take the young man's feedback to heart. She advised the girl to apologize to the team and to each person she hurt.

2. The fellow was wrong for embarrassing her in front of the group. Annie didn't tell her to apologize to him but rather tell him, if he ever had another issue with her, to talk with her privately about it. (From page 217)

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I appreciate how Annie encourages the girl to face the challenge and apologize. Because of pride, apologizing can be like approaching an iceberg - scared to face, hard to crack, and difficult to do. I believe this girl took this opportunity because of her openness to learn life's lessons.

In a way, Annie is speaking to all of us when she tells the girl to talk with the insulting young man. Although his feedback was valuable, his manner of giving it was wrong. If we have an issue with someone, it's better to speak privately rather than embarrass that person in front of others. That's hard to do.

The Feedback Formula

I suggest discussing difficult issues with people in this way:

When you...

I feel...

I want...

Here's How The Girl Could Have Used the Feedback Formula:

When you say in front of everybody that I'm a poor leader and that I use humor to hurt people, I feel angry and hurt. I want you to talk to me privately when you have an issue with me.

I like the Feedback Formula because it goes straight to the point, it's short, and easy to remember. It also avoids throwing in remarks that I might regret later.

If you or your child use sarcasm, realize that the victim feels the sting and doesn't think it's funny. Follow Annie's advice and apologize. In addition, consider using the Feedback Formula when you have an issue with someone. And always remember sarcasm's cruel not cool.

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Let's THANK Annie for sharing her wisdom about sarcasm, apologizing, and dealing with people we have issues with.

Author Annie Fox
Annie Fox, M.Ed. 

Pick up Annie's book, Teaching Kids To Be Good People: Progressive Parenting for the 21st Century and read her great emails from teens and her wise advice to them in return. 

Cover Annie Fox Book Teaching Kids

Available at Amazon.com 

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Please support today's author and share your opinions about this blog post. Just click on the COMMENTS link below. It will open up for you. We want to hear from you.

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With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

Sign up for my FREE Parenting Newsletter and receive:

  • 80 Fun Activities to Share with Your Kids
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