Teach Children that Motivation Needs to Be Developed

It's humanely impossible to wake up everyday euphoric and full of motivation. But that shouldn't stop young ones from enjoying their day and working on their goals. Today, we'll talk about how to teach children that motivation needs to be developed.
Teach Children that Motivation Needs to Be Developed
Elena Sanz Martín

Written and verified by the psychologist Elena Sanz Martín.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

On multiple occasions, we all have a hard time finding the motivation to carry out our tasks. When we’re feeling down, any activity can seem like a giant hurdle. So, it should be no surprise to know that young people have the same issue. Therefore, it’s important to teach them, from an early age, that motivation needs to be developed.

Childhood presents a fertile terrain that is ideal for teaching children the ideals that will guide their inner world and future conduct. With that in mind, parents need to talk to children about perseverance, organization, and responsibility – values that will help them go after their goals and reach their objectives.

But, just the same, we need to explain to them what to do when the desire to go forward fades away. Even the most responsible person, even the most disciplined and obedient child will sometimes feel apathetic at times. Providing children with the resources they need to understand what’s going on and how to change their mood will be an immense gift. And this involves helping them understand that motivation needs to be developed.

Taking control of your emotions

Most people act depending on the mood, or state of mind, that they have at a given moment. Some days we wake up elated and full of enough energy to take on a million activities. Those tend to be our most productive days. However, there are also days where we feel more apathetic, deflated, and listless. When that happens, we tend to avoid any and every responsibility.

Teach Children that Motivation Needs to Be Developed

Being alone and taking a rest at certain times can be healthy since we need to listen to our own bodies. However, we shouldn’t fall into the trap of letting our mood determine our lives and whether or not we fulfill our responsibilities. 

We can’t sit and wait until we feel like doing what we need to do. And we can’t wait around for inspiration and energy to just appear. That’s because motivation needs to be developed. It’s a responsibility we have to ourselves.

A commitment to yourself

It’s important to teach young people to make a commitment to themselves as a means of facing feelings of apathy. It’s a commitment to themselves and to their own goals; it implies taking control and acting… Even if they don’t particularly feel like it at the time.

For example, your child may have a strong desire to be part of the basketball team and really enjoy the sport. However, there will be days when she doesn’t feel like going to practice. Maybe she’s tired or had a bad day.

However, if she remembers her commitment, she’ll find the motivation to overcome her listlessness and go. And she won’t go out of obligation to her parents or her coach. Rather, she’ll base her decision on the conviction that this something she truly wants.

In the same way, maybe your son wants to make new friends but he’s afraid to sign up for summer camp. Although his motivation may waver, self-love and the pact he’s made with himself will push him to attend.

Teach Children that Motivation Needs to Be Developed

So, a child may discover she has the desire to pursue a career in medicine. And this can be the motivation she needs to study every day, even when she’d so much rather watch TV or take a nap.

Motivation needs to be developed

Paradoxically, children and teens could discover that, as they take action, the motivation they were lacking starts to appear. Once immersed in basketball practice, your daughter will regain her energy. And, in the end, she’ll be glad she enjoyed a fun afternoon with her friends.

And your son who was so worried about camp will observe how his excitement and desire to stay there will increase every day. And, the girl who didn’t want to study will one day feel proud of her efforts and all those productive study sessions.

When we allow ourselves to succumb to a lack of motivation, it will only get worse. And if we sit around waiting for motivation to appear, we’ll just put our lives on hold and feed into that apathy. Therefore, encourage your children to take action every day, whether they feel sad, lazy, fearful, or apathetic. Just a little bit each day will be enough to get their motors running and gain the motivation they need.


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