When parents see a report card, they are usually overjoyed, or deeply disappointed. Asking the questions: why is my child’s Science mark lower than it should be? or how can I make my child better at Math? are completely normal questions. Report cards are a mirror of your child’s overall performance at school. That is why it is our job, as their educators, to guide them towards a better future.

After viewing your child’s report card, you probably treat them if they did a great job. A little positive reinforcement from time to time is a very good strategy. But what if you’re not happy with the results of your child’s report card? You would probably want to sit down with your child and talk about it. 

The power of words may or may not affect or kid’s motivation. Sometimes as a parent, we get carried away when we feel tired, annoyed, frustrated or stressed. These emotions affect our children’s personality, and sometimes, they can lead to childhood trauma. That is why some kids nowadays resort to hiding things from their parents once they know they are likely to get scolded or punished.

In a study of children’s behavior, these are some of the words that we, as parents, need to remember when guiding our kid’s towards a better future.

  • Avoid asking them questions that start with “why” like why are your grades like this? or why can’t you be like your classmates? These types of questions focus on criticizing and blaming. As parents, we don’t really address the problem or give solutions or motivations to our child’s performance. It would be better if we start by asking How is school? Do you have problems with your subjects? This can be followed by: How can we help you improve? Or, you can offer them something they want in exchange for their excellent grades like toys or a special occasion. 
  • Avoid giving threats. One good example of this is using the word “if.”  For example: “if you fail again, you won’t play your PlayStation for a week.”  Or,  “If you don’t clean your room, you’ll be sleeping on the couch.”  Some people don’t handle threats very well; some hold grudges until they grow up.  This proves that the threat approach is not effective in motivating a child. A better solution is to encourage them by using the phrase “as soon as,” for example: as soon as you finish your homework, we will go to get ice cream. or as soon as you get better grades, we will buy you an Xbox. This gives them a sort of achievement and they will help them motivate themselves to do more.
  • Avoid belittling your child by using the words ” you always and you never.”  These words will likely leave a scar on a child’s personality. Even once they become an adult, they will likely continue taking that same approach with their own children. It is a vicious negative cycle.  Rather, it is better you ask questions such as: am I good enough? What should I do to improve? This affects their mental stability and gives them the outline that there is always better. They will lose their confidence in doing things. or dreaming of a big goal because they think that they are not good enough. Instead of expressing your thoughts on how they behave, try saying “I am disappointed in this behavior, and I am angry about these results.”  It makes the student more motivated to make a change in the future so they don’t repeat the same mistake again. Frankly, your children absolutely don’t want you to feel disappointed or angry. 

As a parent, it is our job to guide our kids on the correct path. Giving motivation, instead of threats, provides positive reinforcements instead of negative feedback. And, letting them know that you understand them instead of showing that you don’t understand them will make a big difference in the parenting situation. This will improve your kid’s overall motivation in life. Always remember the saying that “the parents are the first teacher in the child’s mind.”  It is a better and more positive way to guide them effectively.

About Oxford Learning 

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