Children learn best when they are motivated. But what happens when your child is not interested in studying? The stakes only get higher when it comes to important exams like the O-Levels.
During upper secondary, students will be expected to make significant progress in their learning, and this is where parents play an important role in motivating them to do well.
After all, we want our children to excel in their studies and be one step closer to achieving their dreams.
From enrolling them in Physics tuition Singapore to providing moral support, there are many ways parents can help their children cope with the stress of studying. Here are 10 tips on how to motivate your child to study:
1. Get involved in your child’s learning.
The best way to encourage your child to study is to show interest in their learning. Ask them about their day, what they are learning in class and how they are finding the work. This will not only make them feel supported but also appreciated.
This is also where you figure out if they’re having difficulty with any particular subjects like Physics or Chemistry. Don’t hesitate to get them extra help, like enrolling them in a tuition class or finding a tutor.
How do you start getting involved?
- Make it a point to ask about their day as soon as they come home.
- Attend Parent-Teacher Meetings to stay updated on their progress in school.
- Be present during revision and exam periods to offer moral support.
2. Identify their passions and interests.
Children are more likely to be engaged in their learning when they are pursuing something they are passionate about.
Sure, they may not have the luxury of choosing all their subjects in upper secondary school. However, they still have opportunities to deepen their interests in certain areas.
For instance, if your child is passionate about History, you can encourage them to read up on historical events outside of school or sign up for museum tours. There are also many competitions and enrichment programs available to help them develop their interests further.
How do you identify their passions and interests?
- Pay attention to the subjects they enjoy talking about or excel in.
- Encourage them to try new things and explore different areas of interest.
- Observe how they spend their free time and identify their hobbies.
3. Offer help in areas where they struggle.
It’s natural for children to feel discouraged when they are struggling in school. As parents, we can help by offering our support and assistance. Take the knowledge you have from getting involved in their learning (tip 1) to identify the areas where they need help.
How do you offer help?
Talk to your child about their difficulties and how you can help them overcome these challenges. Open up the idea of attending tuition classes or finding a tutor.
Enrolling in tuition can motivate your child to study as they will be able to get the one-on-one attention they need to understand the subject better. Check out the 8 Benefits of One-on-One Tutoring for Struggling Students.
4. Set realistic goals together.
Nothing dampens motivation quite like setting unrealistic goals. It overwhelms study motivation quite easily. Sit down with your child and set some realistic goals for their learning. This could be anything from getting a B for Math to completing all their homework on time.
How do you set realistic goals?
The key is to make sure these goals are achievable and within reach. Once they start meeting these targets, it will give them the confidence to strive for even more. Start with smaller goals and then increase the difficulty level gradually.
5. Encourage a positive attitude.
Keep in mind that your child is already under a lot of stress. Motivating them to study can be quite a challenge if they have a negative attitude. As parents, we can help by encouraging a more positive outlook.
How do you encourage a positive attitude?
One way is to praise your child when they display good behavior or make progress in their learning. This will reinforce the desired behavior and help them develop a more positive attitude.
You can also talk to them about how a positive outlook can lead to better study results. Do your best to stay upbeat yourself. After all, children tend to take after their parents!
6. Encourage effort over results.
One of the best ways to motivate your child to study is by encouraging them to focus on effort rather than results. What does this mean?
It means that you should praise them for studying hard and putting in the effort, regardless of their grades. This will help them develop a love for learning and instill a growth mindset in them.
How do you encourage effort over results?
The easiest way is to avoid using phrases like “Good job! You got an A!” Instead, try something like “Great job! You worked so hard on that project!”
You can also talk to them about how effort is more important than results. Help them understand that everyone makes mistakes and that it’s okay to not be perfect.
7. Designate a study area.
If you’ve got some space at home, consider setting up a designated study area for your child. This will create a physical boundary between their learning and leisure time. This is especially crucial for secondary school students who are trying to juggle their academics with other commitments.
How do you set up a study area?
To create a productive study environment, make sure the area is well-lit and free from distractions. It should also be stocked with all the necessary supplies, such as textbooks, notebooks, and pens.
8. Use a rewards system.
Sometimes, good old-fashioned bribery can be the best way to motivate your child to study. This doesn’t mean that you should start paying them for good grades. But you can offer small rewards for completing tasks or hitting milestones.
Even if the results don’t show it, your child is putting in a lot of effort to do well in their studies. A simple reward system can be a great way to show your appreciation for their hard work.
How do you use a rewards system?
This depends on your child’s age and preferences. For younger children, you could offer them a sticker or gold star for every task they complete. If you have a teen, you could let them choose a fun activity to do on the weekend.
9. Take breaks and have some fun.
Burning out is a real danger when it comes to students and their studies. After all, there’s only so much focus and concentration that a person can muster. That’s why it’s important to take breaks and have some fun every once in a while.
How do you take breaks and have some fun?
One way is to schedule regular breaks into your child’s study routine. For example, they could take a 10-minute break after every hour of studying. During their break, they can do something they enjoy, such as reading a book or playing with their pet.
You could also plan fun activities in their study schedule. For example, you could let them listen to music while they work or allow them to use their favorite app for a limited time.
10. Develop a growth mindset
A growth mindset is a belief that intelligence can be developed through effort and perseverance. This is in contrast to a fixed mindset, which is the belief that intelligence is static and cannot be changed.
This means that if your child has a growth mindset, they’ll be more likely to see failure as an opportunity to learn and improve. They’ll also be more motivated to put in the effort needed to succeed, knowing you believe they can improve.
Motivating your child to study can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. With the right approach, you can help your child develop a love for learning and instill a growth mindset in them.
Most importantly, remember to be supportive and understanding – your child is going through a lot of pressure, so they need your encouragement more than ever.