When you’re tempted to yell at your kids for wasting time instead of studying, take a second and think about whether yelling is the best course of action. Does yelling get results, or does it only add to your frustration?
For most kids, getting yelled at will motivate them to study less, not more. Use these alternatives to yelling to inspire a love of learning in your child.
First, Stop Stressing About Their School Education
School is no longer the only place to get an education. Kids these days have a lot more opportunities to get qualifications and gain new skills outside of school.
It’s all available on the internet, and some of it for free.
It’s not the end of the world if your child doesn’t do well in school because there are other opportunities.
Quite often, the quality of education outside of school is superior to any nationally set curriculum because it’s more up-to-date and relevant to the times.
School is still essential, but it’s not the ticket to a high-paying job it once was.
With that said, statistics show that kids who do well in school are more likely to have better-paying jobs.
Does this mean you should tell your kids to study hard for their benefit? No, not at all?
Let’s find out why.
Why Kids Aren’t Motivated to Study Hard
Kids today already have everything they need to enjoy a comfortable life: more gadgets, more spending money, more clothes, a comfortable home.
Life is good, and they can’t imagine it ever being any other way.
They haven’t had to put any effort in for what they have, so they aren’t motivated to work harder for a better life that is possibly decades in the future.
We ask kids to study hard for years and even decades. Younger generations aren’t used to waiting and have adapted to instant gratification.
Try asking a teenager to save for a year before getting a new phone. You may as well be asking them to wait a lifetime.
The benefits of working hard in school for a better life in the future that is so far away as to be almost non-existent won’t make much sense to them.
Now that you know why yelling at your kids won’t inspire them to hit the books, here are three strategies to help encourage an attitude of learning.
Focus Less on Achievements and More on Contributions
Kids don’t want to wait for some far distant future before they can start making changes; they want to contribute now.
Show them how they can start making a difference today. Teenagers can volunteer at the local pet shelter, tutor younger children, or help out at the soup kitchen.
When young kids see themselves making a positive impact in other people’s lives, it helps open their eyes to their responsibility for the community and the world.
Process Versus Outcome
A lot of emphasis is placed on grades (outcome), but sometimes it can help to focus on the process. Ask your child what they tried hard at, what they failed at, what challenges they encountered, and what they would do differently next time?
Drive the point home by talking about some of your achievements and the challenges you faced. Point out that grades are just feedback and not a foretelling of their future.
Encourage an Attitude of Learning
Parents should lead by example. You can encourage an appreciation of learning by talking to your kids about the books you’ve been reading, new skills you have learned, some of the challenges you face in your personal and work life, and character traits you are currently working on.
Keep the tone conversational, and your kids will soon start to realize that learning for learning’s sake can be rewarding.