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How to Help Your Child Get Motivated

Kimberly Muhtar answers how to help your child get motivated on the Renewed Mama Podcast episode 53

How can you help your child get motivated? Where does your child struggle with motivation? If you could finish this sentence:  I can’t get my child to _____, what would you say?

Wish your child was self-motivated?  Are they lazy or need a lot of encouraging or nagging to get something done? 

The good news about motivation is that all of us have an innate desire to succeed.  No one wakes up saying, “I want to fail today.” We were created to thrive, to succeed, to win, to create, to explore, to play, to solve problems, and to be happy doing it.

Your children, even the least motivated one that I know you are thinking about in your head right now and you’re regularly frustrated by, wants to succeed.

In this episode of the Renewed Mama Podcast, we are talking about how to help your child get motivated. 


Is your child motivated by rewards like treats, candy, IPAD time, small gifts, or money?

Are they motivated by results? They like the results that come like getting better at something or having a clean room. For example, If I get my schoolwork done early, the rest of the day is mine to do what I want.

Does receiving recognition for an achievement such as winning an award or a trophy motivate them? People can be another huge motivator. Feeling as though they belong and being liked motivates.

Personal growth is another motivator in that they are being or doing the best they can like beating their own score.

Helping others and making a difference in the world may also motivate your child.

Which of the above motivates your child?


Sometimes motivation comes easy.  Your child is excited for a new challenge, a new thing to try.  A new interest they have, and they are full of energy.

Other times, distracted.  Why?  Why are they less motivated or not at all?

They may not know what is expected of them.  The instructions are not clear.  “What did you say, Mom?  What do you want me to do?” Ask yourself, “Are my instructions clear enough?  Do they know what is expected of them?”  Have I communicated that well?

The task may also look too daunting.  They don’t know where to start.  You tell them to clean their room and they walk in and say, “What?  This room?” because it’s such a mess.  It’s just easier to sit on the bed and play with a toy.  Start with one simple task like:  Clean under your bed this morning.  All they have to do is clean under their bed. When your expectations are realistic and broken down in doable pieces, they will be more motivated.


Your children see things from a different perspective than us adults.  They are looking through different lenses – KID LENSES. Their lenses say, FUN.  If it isn’t fun, I don’t want to do it.  Their lenses may say, WINNING. If I don’t win, I don’t want to play. HELPING is another lens.  If it isn’t saving the turtles, I don’t want to buy it or use it.  Let’s use cloth napkins instead of paper ones, Mom.  BEING the BEST. Why try if I’m not going to be the best at it.  I don’t want to fail or make a mistake.

Their lenses say, “It’s better with friends” or “I want to do this on my own. I don’t need help.” “I don’t want any problems to be marked wrong on my paper.  I want to get them all right.” These are all motivators.  You get to learn what motivates your child most.


We say, “Wow!  That was amazing!  You did so good!  I’m so proud of you!”  This is all fine to say.  They want to hear you sing their praises. But next time, start getting them to access their own performance by asking, “How’d you do?  How do you think that went?” 

“On a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being this is still really hard, 5 being Awesome!  I can do this!  Where are you at with this long division?  What should we do to help you get to a 4 or even a 5 someday?”

Ask, “What will you try to do next time?  What will you work on for next time? Is there something you need to refine or get better at?” Asking these questions puts them in charge of their own performance.


Don’t go behind them and “fix” what they have done.  Don’t pick it up for them. Ask yourself, Is it adequate?  Did it lighten my load?  Their way may be a great way, too.  Acknowledge that.

Could more training or instruction be needed so that it is done right?  Were my instructions unclear and I should re-explain it?  Did they do it without being asked and that needs to be praised? 

You can evaluate that, but don’t do everything for them.  Train them well even if it takes you longer.  It only does at first but it’s possible to have children who help and do things without being asked.

Speak Life Badges are Your Tool to Motivate

Give them a Speak Life Badge that says, I am hardworking, I am committed, I am persistent, I am a helper, I am diligent, I listened today, I did a great job, I use time wisely, I stayed faithful to the task, I work with excellence, and more!

Need Parenting Help?

Mama, do you need parenting help?  You’ve tried everything and nothing is working with your children.  You don’t know what is the right way to respond nor who to talk to about it.  Reach out to me HERE. That way we can hop on a zoom chat and get you the answers you are praying for you so that you can stop the sibling fighting and enjoy peace in your home.

Now it’s Your Turn

Now it’s your turn to tell me which one of these suggestions will help you get your child motivated.  I’d love to hear from you.  Comment below or tell me in a voice message using the recording app found on the main page of

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