Summer is typically a time for being a little lazy – sleeping in, vegging out in front of screens, and overall having a relaxing time during hot, humid days. For us, it’s also one of our big sports seasons, with swim practices and meets taking over most of our evenings. With a child who wants to be summer-relaxed, but is also on a quest to make league championships, motivation is sometimes an issue around here. Even during the school year when things are in high gear, the kids will sometimes slack off and not perform at their best. We have come up with a few things that help keep him on track and working toward his goals during the lazy days of summer and all throughout the year.
Set reasonable goals – When there is a big task to accomplish, we find that breaking it up into smaller goals always gets us to the end result more efficiently. With your main focus being on short-term attainable goals, it is so much easier to see progress and avoid being overwhelmed.
Recognize the small stuff – When you see hard work starting to pay off, speak up! Movement toward large goals and reaching smaller goals should be recognized and appreciated. Whether they have tried something new, worked on a project or task without being reminded, or simply just put in a good effort for the day, make sure that they receive plenty of praise and kudos.
Communicate regularly – If you’ve ever heard the words “Hey! Watch me!” you know just how important it is to our kids to know that we’re paying attention. Check in with them on a regular basis to see how they’re feeling about their progress, ask if you can help, or just plain encourage them to keep on working toward their goals.
Celebrate big accomplishments – Once your child finally finishes that big project or hits their long-term goal, take some time to celebrate! Rewarding hard work and determination is so important and gives them so much motivation to work hard the next time around. Whether it’s a special treat or meal, fun outing, or just letting them pick a movie for a family night at home, having a great reward at the end makes it all even more worth the effort.
What are some of the ways that you help your kids to stay motivated when they have a big task or goal facing them?