Are all children born with internal motivation? Each child does have some talent or gift. Finding the talent may include trial and error. Children are to obey and listen to their parents, but parents are also to guide their child and create a loving environment. Communication is a form of love, when we listen to what our children say, they know we are listening. Their hearts are important to us. If you have a child’s heart everything else will fall into place.
I was not an internally motivated child on any level. How do I know this? Because only external motivation would get me to do my school work, music lesson, or 4h project. Why? I was not doing what I loved.
A talk around the table with my parents would have let them know that I loved dance. Tap dance or ballet. Ice skating and gymnastics were also high on the list.
None of my interests were discussed. Therefore, internal motivation was not present.
Characteristics of Internal Motivation in Children
1. Internally motivated children will end up the class Valedictorian and Saluatorian, because they have a desire to get the best grades.
2. Winning first place becomes very important in a sport, and the amount of practice, hours or sacrifice is not a roadblock.
3. Musical talent is a gift. Parents or music teachers do not have to bribe them to practice daily. Internally motivated kids practice each day for several hours. Children who love music will practice without being nagged, and the perfection is wired into their character.
Characteristics of Externally Motivated Children
1. Externally motivated children need someone to tell them that their grades have to be above a “C” to get into a good college. Parents have to stay and pay close attention to make sure the grades and homework are being done.
2. Instead of trophy this type of child is fine with a ribbon. Participation is fine because the game is over and now it is time for something else. Winning is second. Doing their best was showing up.
3. Many times parents have the idea that their externally motivated child needs to learn how to play an instrument or piano. At first, this child may love the idea, then comes the practice time. It is an uphill battle for them. They are not motivated by music lessons.
4. Internal motivation does not require any rewards or prizes. External motivation requires an incentive.
How To Let Your Children Get Motivated
Communication is the key ingredient to any relationship. Even with young children they know what they like and what they do not. By about age 3 they have adapted well to “I don’t want to do this”. That is an important statement because it means they really do not like what they are doing. A good rule of thumb is if they are in baseball, but truly do not like it, have them finish the year (quitting is not good) but ask them what they want to do next year.
Kids will shock parents with their abilities and talents if we let them. Have you asked your children lately if they like what they are doing? Will you let them try they art, music or sport that they are interested in?