Tricks for Motivating Children to Study

Many parents worry when their children aren't getting good grades in class or don't want to do their homework. If they're apathetic and disinterested, they may be demotivated. In this article you'll find helpful tips on motivating children to study.
Tricks for Motivating Children to Study

Last update: 13 August, 2018

Motivating children to study can be difficult at times, but this doesn’t mean it’s impossible. As parents, we of course want our children to learn as much as possible and do well in school. This is why our involvement in their school life is very important for their performance.

The following tricks are useful when it comes to motivating children to study and do their homework.

Tricks for Motivating Children to Study

Several factors influence children’s performance at school, such as their intellectual capacity and motivation to study. If children aren’t motivated, these suggestions will come in handy:

  1. Talk to the child about experiences from other people who succeeded in different professions (sports, lawyers, engineers). This will allow your child to understand that his effort will be worth it in the long run.
  2. Set short and long term goals. When the goal to get a 10 in a subject like math is set, this must be put on paper in a visible place. This will help the child visualize the goal and keep it in mind.
  3. It’s important to recognize your child’s effort and celebrate his achievements. Simple phrases like “I’m so proud of you” or “I knew you could do it” are very important words for a child.
  4. If he gets an unexpectedly low grade, encourage him to move on and keep trying. You cannot make the mistake of comparing his capabilities with that of a sibling or another child who has better results. Remember that all children learn at their own pace.
  5. If you offer your child a prize for an achievement, you must make sure it is what he likes. It is better to give small rewards for short-term achievements.
  6. You mustn’t make comments about your child’s low performance in public. The only effect this will have is that the child will feel humiliated and completely discouraged, and therefore, he will have less energy to study.
  7. It isn’t good for children to listen to their parents criticizing their teachers’ teaching techniques, or to hear them say that their teaching is deficient.
  8. It’s positive for children to see their parents constantly attend school meetings, participate in activities and collaborate with teachers. This makes the child feel that you care about him and that you want him to feel comfortable.
Motivating Children to Study

How can you tell when a child is demotivated?

Many parents look for help from others in motivating children to study more, which isn’t wrong, but the solution can also be in our hands. If you notice these symptoms, your child may be suffering from demotivation: 

  • Shows no interest in doing anything.
  • Is apathetic and with a lack of energy.
  • Is not willing to try new things.
  • Feels no passion for any hobby or activity. 
  • Seems lazy.
  • Has no iniciative to do things on his own, only does the ones he’s asked to do.
  • Doesn’t seem happy with any activity.
  • Does everything quickly just to finish.
  • Has no illusion for anything that happens around him.
  • Doesn’t want to do things the right way.
  • Feels that no one understands him.
  • It’s unclear what people expect of him.
  • Doesn’t feel his effort is valued.

The reward chart technique is really useful to improve and assess child behavior.

What are the causes of demotivation in children?

Demotivation in children is normal as long as it doesn’t last a long period of time. Adults also feel demotivated at times, and this prevents us from performing well, just like it happens to children.

What can cause a child to feel demotivated?

  • They don’t receive the attention they need from their parents.
  • They can’t make sense of the things they do during the day.
  • They do only the tasks demanded of them and not the ones they want.
  • The tasks they are asked to do are hard, and this causes frustration.
Motivating Children to Study
  • Has a psychological problem that won’t let him improve.
  • Has very strict rules at home.
  • Has very demanding parents.
  • Is being brought up with an authoritarian style.

Every child has his own comprehension ability and grows at his own pace. Motivating children to study is extremely important so they can reach every one of their goals. We must support and accompany them so they don’t get discouraged in any situation.

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.

  • Cortese, A. (2011). Técnicas de estudio. Metodología de la investigación. 
  • Narváez, M. R. T., Guzmán, I. T., González, M. D. C. U., & Robayo, A. M. M. (2009). Hábitos de estudio vs. fracaso académico. Revista educación, 33(2), 15-24.
  • Ramos, C. B. (2007). La incidencia de las TICs en el fortalecimiento de hábitos y competencias para el estudio. Edutec. Revista Electrónica de Tecnología Educativa, (23), a077-a077.
  • Art Markman Ph.D. (2012). Developing Good Study Habits Really Works. Sychonomic Bulletin & Review.
  • Robert Bjork y Nate Kornell. (2007). Principles of cognitive science in education: The effects of generation, errors, and feedback. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review.
  • Quintanilla Paz Soldán, F. ( última consulta octubre 2019). Hábitos de estudio. [ material de apyo al tutor]. Recuperado de:
  • VIU. (17 noviembre 2015). Lad técnicas de estudio mejor valoradas pata niños. Recupetado de:

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