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9 Ways to Boost Your Child's Inner Motivation


Tween with braces
Parents Can Inspire Their
Children's Inner Motivations!

Want to boost your child's own motivation instead of relying exclusively on rewards like candy, money, and toys? Perhaps you're tired of giving her material rewards for doing the smallest things. Today our parenting expert and author of The Big Book of Parenting Solutions, Dr. Michele Borba, will share how to wean her off receiving material rewards. Dr. Borba's 9 ways will show you how to motivate her inner joy for a job well done. 

Dr. Michele states there are 4 types of rewards:

1. Material rewards can be candy, toys, and money.

2. Tokens are stars, stickers, certificates.

3. Praise is your encouraging words.

4. Internal praise is doing something because it feels good.

Many parents start out with stickers. As kids grow older money may motivate them. But what happens when they'll only do things if they're paid?  This is not what most parents want for their kids. What can they do to encourage their child's inner motivation? Let's find out solutions from Dr. Borba.

9 Parenting Tips for Moving from External to Internal Motivation

1. Involve your child in her solutions and insight by asking questions like, "What can you do to help you remember your homework?" or "What did you do to improve your Math grade?"

2. Be a cheerleader. Give smiles, hugs, high fives, clapping, and cheers.

3. Use a pebble jar. When your child completes a task add a marble to a small jar. When it's full go on an outing together like the park, a bike ride, or museum.

4. Give one-on-one time like going on errands, the library, or just snuggle on the couch together.

5. Stress internal praise by describing her success like, "You put a lot of work into that report."

6. Boost inside pride by finding out what pleased her and ask questions like, "How did you learn to balance yourself without the training wheels?"

7. Emphasize self-acknowledgment like, "You were a good sport today. Did you remember to tell yourself you did a great job?"

8. Switch from "I" to "You." Instead of saying, "I'm really proud of you," say, "You must be really proud of how hard you worked today."

9. Use accomplishment journals. Ask your child to write or draw her successes in a journal to remind herself she's her own best motivator. (From pages 89-91).


I like Dr. Michele's methods for moving children from stickers to internal pride and satisfaction. It's so simple. Perhaps you'd like to copy the nine ideas for increasing your child's inner motivation. Use them often and material rewards less. Then watch your child grow.


Pick up The Big Book of Parenting Solutions: 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries and feel confident in your parenting skills.

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Let's THANK Dr. Michele Borba for her research and work in helping parents do their very best in raising their children.

Dr. Michele Borba

Dr. Michele Borba

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With warm wishes,

Jean Tracy, MSS

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