Eight Secrets to a Motivated, Independent Child

Any successful person in the history of this Earth has been motivated, determined, and independent. It is well known that the geniuses, artists, inventors, and revolutionaries in all eras have not been necessarily as talented as they were determined. In order to succeed in today's world, a child must become a highly motivated, independent individual. Such a motivated, independent child has drive and passion coupled with self-discipline and persistence. And so, developing a motivated, independent child will not only alleviate many of the daily stressors surrounding everyday household tasks, but it will also mold the future to your successful modern child.

Here are eight things parents can do to help their child become more motivated and independent:

1. Raise your expectations. 

Children will rise to the standards that are set for them. Talk open and honestly regarding strengths and weaknesses. It is also helpful to ask the child first what their strengths and weaknesses are before offering up your opinion. It will offer up terrific insight into your child's personal perceptions. Do not be quick to dismiss what your child has to say. Look for areas of common ground and talk about what can be done to improve any perceived weaknesses. Offer up generous praise for strength areas.

2. Help your child identify ways to increase success. 

Help your child develop a plan to overcome struggles. Work with your child in developing written goals in one or two key areas. Keep these written goals out in the open so they can be reviewed on a regular basis. Make the goals specific and include measurable steps the child can take. Write down what must be done in order to achieve that goal. An example of a specific, measurable goal would be something like: "Susie will improve her grade in math from a C to a B by the end of the semester by achieving the following steps: a) completing and turning in on time all homework assignments and b) working with a tutor for one hour each week to improve her skills."

3. Give rewards for progress improvements. 

These don't have to be costly, and actually are preferably not material at all. Take your child out to ice cream, go take a walk, write her a note of encouragement, play legos and mention how very proud you are The goal here is to build motivation by giving your child something to look forward to when the goal is achieved, most notedly his own sense of incredible pride. Even simple things by like giving your child praise and encouragement, picking for them a flower, or presenting the with freshly cut fruits decorated neatly on a plate can go a long way.

4. Help your child discover his or her passions. 

Developing the child's personal interests can inspire them in other areas as well. A child who tastes success in one arena will repeat that same cycle of success elsewhere. So, if your child worked hard and practiced with determination to reach that goal in soccer, math, or selling girl scout cookies, she has tasted what it feels like when you reach your goals. That taste will further fuel your child to stay motivated and independent toward repeat successes.

5. Foster independence by giving your child choices and have your child face the consequences of that decision. 

Our natural world is built of cause and effect, action and reaction, choice and consequence of that choice. Allow your child to feel the natural consequences of their choices and learn this highly imperative relationship in life. If your child did not do his homework, he will have to face the teacher If you child left his skateboard out in the rain, he will have a rusty vehicle which he will have to oil, or none, or will buy a new one. Natural consequences, with little or no parental involvement, will teach your child the power of motivated and unmotivated choices. This will guide your child to become a successful independent decision-maker.

6. Help your child to develop persistence.

Some children are not very confident of their own intelligence. This inner belief pattern can cause them not to try because they believe they are not smart enough. By teaching your child that persistence can win out over intelligence, it will help build motivation to keep going when things get tough. Whenever a task seems too large, help your child see the baby steps that will eventually, with persistence, lead to success.

7. Let your child face certain problems on their own.

A motivated, independent adults must know how to face obstacles, disappointments and set backs. As well-meaning parents, too often, we want to jump into situations to minimize the pain involved. Letting children deal with problems on their own helps them develop critical decision-making skills necessary later for success inn life. Be available to offer assistance and advise if you are asked, but otherwise, do not interfere unnecessarily. This  healthy 'dealing'  with problems will help foster a highly motivated and independent child who is not constantly waiting for someone to save them from their last mistake.

8. Give your children specific chores and responsibilities around the house. 

From as early as a child can walk, he can be expected to clean his own dishes, sweep the floor, and wipe the table. Though you will be redoing the chores later yourself, for your child, knowing that he is responsible for certain duties builds a health sense of motivation and independence. This coems from simply feeling needed. Develop leadership skills by putting them in charge and accountable to you to make sure these tasks get done when expected. Only remind them of these tasks when absolutely necessary. This helps your child feel like he or she has an important role in the family and his or her actions matter.

  1. Sit your child down and tell him that he is not old enough and responsible enough to help around the house. 
  2. Together, decide on one task your child would like to be responsible for. 
  3. Whatever it is, sweeping the floor, watering the plants, or changing the sheets on the bed, together, write down (or draw) specifically what the task is, how often and when it is expected to be done, and any other specific instructions that will establish if the task was done to the proper satisfaction.
  4. Slowly, without bribing, nagging, or threatening, practice how involved you need to be or not be to allow your child taste the joys of being a successfully motivated, independent child.
  5. Reward only with praise and allow your child to simply feel proud of himself. 
  6. Whining is fine. It builds character to do also that which is not fun, but which you have agreed upon.
Photo credit: http://www.thenomadicfamily.com

We at Successful Modern Child are determined to share our success-building respectful, effective, and loving communication tools with others parents and educators. Help us help others raise successful modern children. We welcome you to forward this article to others or use it in your newsletter, blog, or site. Simply copy and paste with the following credit line: This article was written for parents and educators by family communication expert Gabi at http://www.successfulmodernchild.com

SMC was created by Gabi, MA in Psychology, International Parenting Expert and Family Therapist. Gabi's research into raising successful modern children has taken her around the world. She has taught and inspired groups in Israel, USA, Panama, Peru, and Cambodia. Gabi guides parents to their fullest light around the globe in group teleconference and live workshops. Gabi also takes a very limited number of one-on-one clients for transformational parenting, family, life, and trauma therapy. You may reach Gabi directly at info@successfulmodernchild.com.

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