Ever wish your students were more motivated? If you’re like most of us, you have tried an array of rewards and punishments to motivate kids. There’s only one problem: it doesn’t work. At least it doesn't work well enough. People (yes, even students) aren’t motivated from the outside so rewards and punishments only work to a point. We are internally motivated. That’s why it's essential to engage and inspire students to be motivated to succeed in school (and life.)

If you’re ready to move beyond the reward/punishment model and embrace a whole new way to understand motivation, I encourage you to come back regularly. It’s time to challenge the status quo and create schools and classrooms based on what really motivates behavior.

Friday, August 9, 2013

"My Daughter Can Be A Bit Of A Bully:" Part 2

Here are some additional thoughts after I received the following question from a parent.

My daughter can be a bit of a bully at times. When she plays games with friends if she doesn't get her way, she gets real bossy. I can tell from her friends' faces that this really annoys them. I can't get my daughter to change her behavior and want to help her before she loses these friends. Suggestions?

When your child is behaving in an unacceptable way – even doing something as distasteful as bossing or bullying  - it helps to remember that everybody is doing the best they can at that moment to meet their needs. It may be difficult to believe, but your child doesn’t know a better way to get what they want. As clumsy, awkward, or inappropriate as they may be, what you see represents their best shot at that moment. Part of our job as parents is to help our kids develop better, more elegant, responsible ways to meet their needs. Rather than choosing to be upset and frustrated by our children’s unwanted behavior, we can say to ourselves, “This is the best they can do right now. They don’t know any better. It’s not OK and I won’t sanction this behavior. My job as a parent is to help my kids develop the resources to meet their needs responsibly.” When parents remind themselves that their kids are works in progress - not just “being bad” -  they are better able to teach and guide them, even when kids display inappropriate – but very typical – behavior.

It would be nice if our kids always behaved exactly as we’d like, but that’s not the way it works. How parents choose to deal with the expected bumps along the way will play a significant role in how things play out. When your children struggles, use it as an opportunity to teach them a better way to get what they want. That’s one essential quality of an effective parent. 

Note: This was originally published by Funderstanding. Their newsletter is free and includes interesting, useful ideas for both educators and parents. I encourage you to subscribe.

As always, if you enjoyed this and found it useful, please send the link to your friends. Thanks.

Bob Sullo

For information about books by Bob Sullo and to schedule a keynote, workshop, or series for your school, agency, or parent group visit www.internalmotivation.net

Don't forget to get your copy of the revised edition of The Inspiring Teacher: Making A Positive Difference In Students' Lives.

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