How to motivate a child to do well in school

by NDFAuthors

  • Aug 27, 2014

You’ve probably had a chance to hear a famous children’s phrase: “I don’t want to go to school, Mom!”. If you haven’t so far, you surely will. At least once. But this does not only happen to you. Most parents, at some point, encounter this problem and many of them have said the same thing to their parents when they were kids!

Motivating a child to do well in school is one of the difficult tasks of parenting, especially because most of what is going on in school is beyond your control. Environment created by teachers, other students and the school itself can have a strong effect on children’s motivation. However, there are several things that parents can do at home to increase children’s motivation in school:

  • Talk positively about school

Children listen and hear very well. So when they hear us talking negatively about school, teachers, a class teacher, or a director, we undermine their faith in the people who influence them and teach them every day. Look for the things that teachers and school are doing well and talk about them loudly. When children hear you talk positively about their school, they will feel your enthusiasm and thus feel the same about their school.


  • “¨Remember that mutual human relations are important

Encourage and stimulate your child to develop positive relationships with other children in school. If the environment where а child stays is safe, interesting, comfortable and pleasant, your child will feel more motivated than if they are surrounded by negativity, teasing, etc”¦


  • “¨Your relationship with teachers should be positive

ҬӬLook for ways to talk with your children about what their teachers do well, as well as the positive aspects of their relationship with them. By cherishing a positive outlook on school relations, you increase the chances of your children being more motivated in school.


  • Encourage exercise and error and not just a result and perfection

“¨”¨In order to develop certain knowledge and skills, it is necessary to make mistakes, and practice. Encouraging repetition is necessary because “repetition is mother of all learning”. If your boss has ever stood over your head, you will know that the pressure about the result can affect you. It can also lower your motivation. When children know that they will not be scolded because of their grade, they feel free to experiment, make mistakes and try again. Having reduced the pressure about getting the best grade, learning becomes the process in which one can enjoy and motivation thus grows as well.


  • Emphasize the importance of effort “¨”¨

When your child tells you their grade, make sure you point out the effort they invested in learning something and not the grade itself. Ask your child if they thought they had tried hard enough. Tell them what the teacher thinks of the child’s effort and ask them, “Is your teacher right? Did you invest less effort than you could have? “By doing it, you will let them know that work and effort are more important for you than the grade they got.


  • Share with others the successes of your child

When a child demonstrates their knowledge and skills at school, let them hear your praise. For example: “Cathy has been trying really hard to do well in school and today she has been rewarded for it!” Or “John got a B for his work in Art, that’s just great” and “Rob has put in so much effort to well on this test. I’ve never seen him studing so much. We do not know the grade yet, but I’m so proud of him for trying so hard!”


By telling people about the success of your child and highlighting what they do well, you will motivate children to work hard, practice and do well at school.

How do you motivate your child?