Quick Tip

Teach Your Kids about Motivation

Wouldn’t it be great if your child felt responsible to manage his/her own behavior?

I constantly hear myself saying, “Are you on task? It looks like you’re distracted. How can you get yourself back on track?”

Does this sound familiar to anyone else?

Recently, my son surprised me by identifying a motivator and getting his work done quickly. I realized that the lessons are beginning to sink in.

Motivation is a powerful tool for the ADHD brain to maintain focus. It’s something our kids can begin to understand and identify for themselves.

There are two basic steps to using motivation with kids:

1. Teach your kids about the benefit of motivators. Whatever their age, use terms they understand.

As an example, tell them about how you motivate yourself to do chores you don’t particularly like, like the laundry or the dishes. That will help them see that motivation is not just important for ADHD – it’s for everyone.

2. Encourage them to identify what’s motivating them for everything they do. Once they begin to see how they use motivators for things they like, they can begin to apply the skill to things they may not enjoy as much.

Ask them to figure out how they can “reward” themselves, or help them identify what’s important to them about the task at hand. They may not know, at first, but it helps to get them thinking in that direction.

Next thing you know, they will be motivating themselves! Now, doesn’t that motivate you?!

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