When Children Have a Lack of Motivation in School

If your children have a lack of motivation in school, it's important to figure out the causes that make them feel this way. In this article, we'll talk about some of the possibilities.
When Children Have a Lack of Motivation in School

Last update: 31 March, 2019

Lack of motivation in school is one of the most common problems among children and adolescents. In fact, there are many reasons why this may happen, but cell phones and technology are one of the main causes.

Unfortunately, demotivation among children is very common, and thus a great cause for concern among parents. Whether you notice lack of motivation or commitment, or your children aren’t enthusiastic about learning new things, it’s not always easy to know what to do or how to help motivate them.

As parents and teachers know, children’s motivation is affected by their environment, the people involved, the task and the situation. That’s why the key is to find out what motivates each individual student.

If you think your child has a lack of motivation in school, you should know that you’re fundamental in this process. Among other things, we recommend that you create a family environment that encourages working hard towards goals.

In addition, make sure to applaud your child’s efforts, help him or her develop particular strengths, and ultimately create a model for school success together.

What causes lack of motivation in school?

1. Lack of importance

The first cause of lack of motivation in school, which deserves special attention, comes from not understanding its importance. This means that students simply don’t think school work is important. Generally, they don’t see how it relates to everyday life.

In fact, this is very common in children and adolescence. Your role as a mother is essential to get through this.

Children's Lack of Motivation in School

2. Lack of satisfaction with school work

Second, you should know that the relationship that students have with their teacher is the only thing that can make class work pleasant or unpleasant. Students might think their classes are boring and too easy.

On the other hand, they might think that their teacher isn’t very enthusiastic about their class. Additionally, students might have a lack of motivation because they don’t think they’re being treated fairly by their teachers.

Certainly, teachers are very important. They’re responsible for teaching with passion, with the goal of encouraging their students. In addition, they try to awaken the interests and abilities that are still hidden in some students.

3. Desire for attention

Surprisingly, some children have a lack of motivation for school so they can get more attention from parents and teachers. 

In fact, this is a consequence of the fast-paced world that we live in today. Many parents don’t give their children the attention they need, even if they manage to do well in school.

It’s so important to give children attention. As a mother, we recommend that you periodically think about the care you give your children, and what issues they have at home or at school. 

Before you assume they aren’t motivated, make sure to give your children the time and attention they need.

“As parents and teachers know, children’s motivation is affected by their environment, the people involved, the task and the situation.”

4. Boredom can cause lack of motivation

Many children and teenagers don’t like school because they aren’t stimulated in class. In fact, sometimes it might be for good reason.

For example, this happens with students who have higher intellectual abilities than their peers – they think the material is too simple for them. The same thing happens with students with learning difficulties or disabilities if they don’t understand what’s going on.

Children's Lack of Motivation in School

When activities aren’t interesting, kids usually don’t want to participate. Students need frequent rewards. If the subject or project isn’t appealing or interesting enough, it’s natural not to want to do it.

In most of these cases, kids find their own academic interests outside of school. For example, they learn that they like reading, drawing, math, etc. In addition, many of them think school isn’t challenging enough, which causes lack of motivation.

In short, as a mother, you might think that there’s not much you can do when your children show signs of demotivation. However, the best thing you can do is help them develop a love of learning.

Look for opportunities for your children to pursue their personal interests and find a purpose for doing schoolwork. This way, you’ll be able to reverse their lack of motivation!



All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Thorne, K. (2008). Motivación y creatividad en clase (Vol. 246). Grao.
  • Raffini, J. P. (2008). 150 Formas de incrementar la motivación en clase. Editorial Pax México.
  • Tapia, J. A. (2005). Motivación para el aprendizaje: la perspectiva de los alumnos. La orientación escolar en centros educativos, 209-242.
  • Urdan, T., & Schoenfelder, E. (2006). Classroom effects on student motivation: Goal structures, social relationships, and competence beliefs. Journal of school psychology, 44(5), 331-349. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022440506000380

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.