Motivating children is an essential part of parenting. It helps them to develop a sense of responsibility, self-discipline, and a positive attitude towards life. However, motivating children is not always easy. It requires patience, creativity, and a willingness to adapt to their individual needs and personalities.

If you are struggling to motivate your children, you are not alone. Many parents face this challenge on a daily basis. The good news is that there are simple and effective ways to motivate your children. In this article, we will discuss 5 simple ways to motivate your children that will help them to achieve their goals and develop a positive attitude towards life.

1. Let Them Pick Their Exercise

One way to motivate your children to engage in physical activity is to let them choose their exercise. Allowing your children to pick their exercise can increase their engagement and motivation because they will be more likely to participate in a physical activity that they enjoy.

There are different options you can provide your kids for physical activity such as group sports, which can help them develop social skills and teamwork. Encouraging your child to join a sports team can benefit their physical health while also teaching them important life skills.

Exercising together with your children is also a great way to bond and teach them about leading a healthy lifestyle. Engaging in physical activity as a family can be exciting and help build a strong connection between parents and children.

Additionally, making physical activity fun is essential to maintain children’s interest in exercise. Active games, such as tag or hide and seek, outdoor activities like hiking or bike riding, and turning everyday chores into a workout can make exercise enjoyable for kids.

2. Set Up A Reward System

Implementing a reward system can effectively motivate children to exercise regularly. By focusing on the process rather than just the outcomes, rewards can sustain long-term motivation.

Choosing meaningful rewards tailored to your child’s interests is crucial. For instance, allowing extra time for video games or organizing a playdate with friends can serve as incentives for consistent exercise.

Visual progress trackers are valuable tools within a reward system. Children find motivation in tracking their progress towards goals through charts or graphs. Adding stickers or marking off boxes for completed workouts allows them to visualize their achievements and stay motivated.

However, it is essential to reevaluate the use of rewards in the long run. While effective in the short term, their impact may diminish over time. Parents should encourage internal motivations, such as the satisfaction of learning new skills or the sense of well-being gained from exercise, to ensure sustained and intrinsic motivation.

3. Express Appreciation

Expressing appreciation is vital for motivating children. When parents acknowledge and praise their child’s efforts, it strengthens the parent-child bond and fosters positive behavior. Children who feel appreciated are more likely to work harder and achieve greater success.

Parents should focus on rewarding effort and progress rather than just outcomes. By valuing their child’s opinions and efforts, parents can motivate them to strive for personal growth. Rather than solely praising the end result, parents should acknowledge the child’s effort and progress throughout the process.

To reinforce positive behavior, parents should consistently provide verbal and non-verbal positive attention. Quick praises and gestures like a high-five can make a child feel appreciated.

Parents should also sincerely appreciate even small accomplishments, fostering a sense of achievement and motivating children to pursue larger tasks. Recognizing small victories along the way helps build self-confidence.

Encouraging open communication is essential, creating an environment where children feel comfortable expressing themselves. Attentive listening and respect for their thoughts and opinions motivate children to explore and learn.

4. Praise The process Rather Than The Outcome.

As parents, we tend to focus too much on the end result of our children’s efforts such as a good grade or a win in a competition. However, it is important to shift our focus to the process instead of just the outcome. This approach is known as a process orientation or growth mindset.

It is important to understand that by placing too much emphasis on the outcome, we may be inadvertently increasing our child’s anxiety and decreasing their enjoyment of the learning process or activity. This can be counterproductive as we want our children to love learning and view it as a beneficial and empowering experience.

Therefore, we should praise and acknowledge the effort that our children put into their tasks. It is essential that we let our children know that we appreciate the hard work they put in, their perseverance, their positive attitude, and how they learn from their mistakes or shortcomings. It is an opportunity to show them that the learning experience is valuable and can be rewarding in itself.

Working towards achieving a goal is what builds character and resilience. Encourage your child to take on challenges and to view failures or setbacks as opportunities for growth and development, rather than a source of shame or disappointment.

5. Challenge Children Just Enough

One of the fundamental principles of learning is to work toward achievable goals. It is not uncommon for children to feel unmotivated when a task seems too difficult or too easy. This is why it is important to challenge children just enough, so they can experience a sense of accomplishment while avoiding frustration.

Video games are an excellent example of how this principle of learning can be harnessed effectively. Games often have levels that get progressively more challenging as players complete them. This allows children to feel a sense of achievement while staying engaged and motivated.

Adapting challenges according to a child’s current capabilities is crucial. Prompt feedback on their performance can help children understand their strengths and weaknesses, which will allow them to adjust their approach accordingly. This feedback can take many forms, such as verbal praise, constructive criticism, or rewards for a job well done.

Children are more motivated when they have some degree of self-determination. They are more likely to feel invested in a task when they have a say in what they do and can elect to pursue something that is personally meaningful. Giving children a choice of projects, or a little wiggle room in how a task gets done, can help them feel more in control and invested in the task at hand.


In conclusion, it is essential to cultivate intrinsic motivation in children to encourage them to find satisfaction in their newly acquired skills. While external rewards may provide temporary motivation, they ultimately do not sustain children’s interest in learning. Instead, parents can focus on taking an interest in their child’s unique interests and needs, providing them with opportunities to challenge themselves and grow. By doing so, parents can instill a love of learning that will last a lifetime and empower their children to achieve their full potential. In short, intrinsic motivation, satisfaction in learned skills, and taking interest in a child’s interests and needs are key ingredients to motivating children towards success.