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Posted by: John | 2009/12/21

Motivating a kid

My daughter of eight years has just passed grade 3 and will be going to grade 4 next year, the problem is she passed with a 50% mark and I would like to motivate her to do better next year, I am struggling to get a proper approach and not make her feel as if she is not intellegent.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

woman provides a good example. Tell her you recognize that she IS intelligent, and appreciate her hard work, but you also feel confident that she can do even better. And then suggest such a scheme with rewards for degrees of improvement. It's called Reinforcement o good behaviour, and not bribery ( and related to promotion or bonuses at work ).
Purple's point is important, though, to emphasize that your love is unconditional, and that you asppreciate her work, not only results.

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Our users say:
Posted by: woman | 2009/12/21

My son also passed grade 3 this year. I promised him R10 for each 4 and R5 for each 3. Worked like a charm. I don' t care that people say I' m buying him off, all that matters is that he passes and does well in school. I Don' t see it a bribery, I see it as creating work ethic. You get performance bonuses when you do well at work. She should also get a bonus for doing well at school.

Reply to woman
Posted by: Purple | 2009/12/21

I don' t have a child this age, but I would suggest that you sit down with her at the start of the new school year, congratulate her on passing last year, and tell her it makes you proud that she tries so hard.
Stress to her that it is how hard she tries that is important to you, not the final mark, and that throughout her school career, so long as she is happy that she has put effort into whatever she does and feels good about it, that you will be pleased too.

If there are subjects that she finds more difficult than others, perhaps you can use weekends to do fun activities that teach concepts in those areas. If she battles with maths you could take her to a river and work out water speed by timing a leaf going down streat from one fixed point to another. Make your weekend outings a fun and learning experience - it also needn' t cost you more than transport and a picnic lunch.

I know how disappointing it can be to try really hard and not achieve what you want to. I was never an outstandingly brilliant school pupil, but I always got marks int he region of 65% - 85%, except in maths - I used to just scrape through that no matter how much work I put in. My parents used to tell me I wasn' t trying hard enough, finally I ended up in the class of the most brilliant maths teacher, she said that I wasn' t bad at maths, but that I was missing some of the basic concepts and so was trying to build greater knowledge onto something when the foundations weren' t laid (my std 6 maths teacher used to throw things at us and yell at us if we asked questions, so I think I know where I missed out, as in primary school I was continually told how good I was at maths and how my dream of becoming a vet was going to become a reality if I kept it up). She patiently sat with me many afternoons helping me, until finally I managed to get my marks up to 60%. By then though I' d lost interest in becoming a vet and changed to typing and now work in a career that requires no maths ability whasoever, and which I love. Just thought I' d tell you my little story, because I think rewarding effort rather than outcome is so important.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: cybershrink | 2009/12/21

woman provides a good example. Tell her you recognize that she IS intelligent, and appreciate her hard work, but you also feel confident that she can do even better. And then suggest such a scheme with rewards for degrees of improvement. It's called Reinforcement o good behaviour, and not bribery ( and related to promotion or bonuses at work ).
Purple's point is important, though, to emphasize that your love is unconditional, and that you asppreciate her work, not only results.

Reply to cybershrink

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