The problem of unmotivated students, according to Clinical psychologist Ruth Peters, "is often due to kids lacking organizational skills, not being particularly interested in managing their time efficiently and perhaps not caring about their grades as much as they should." Left without the support and encouragement she needs, it will harder and harder to motivate a daughter who lacks interest in academics. As soon as you notice your daughter’s lack of motivation, don't hesitate to take the steps needed to get her grades back up.
Learn where the problem lies by first talking with your daughter’s teachers. They may report a lack of motivation in specific areas or subjects.
Have open and positive discussions about school. Make your daughter feel comfortable talking about her day -- the positives and negatives -- and you will have a better understanding of where her motivation may be lacking.
Give positive feedback often. Receiving positive feedback will help to build her confidence, especially in areas where she lacks motivation. Use words of encouragement on a daily basis, or offer a special treat for meeting bigger academic goals.
Set academic goals with your daughter. Look at where her grades currently stand and how much she would have to improve to reach the goals you agree on. The goals must be realistic to be attainable.
Provide your daughter with real consequences if she does not meet the goals you have agreed on. Decide on some rewards for when she does meet the goals.
Mandate time and space at home for homework. Your daughter should have a quiet space that is free from distractions and enough time there to finish all of the assigned homework.
Get involved with homework time. Be responsive to questions your daughter has, and give her encouragement to complete difficult tasks. Check that all of the assigned homework is completed each day.
Help your daughter to prepare for tests. Use flashcard games to help her memorize facts or equations, or have her teach you the lessons that will be covered on the test.
- "How to Motivate Your Child for Middle School"; Ruth A. Peters; July 2008
- Carleton College; Motivating Students; Karin Kirk
- "Motivating Students"; Barbara Gross Davis; September 1999
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