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Fostering Intrinsic Motivation in Kids: 5 Key Actions That Go Beyond 'Good Jobs' and External Metrics


Develop Intrinsic Motivations in your kids

As parents, we all strive to raise kids who are motivated, resilient, and driven by an internal desire to succeed. But let's face it, the constant "good jobs" and external rewards can only go so far. In this blog we dive deep into the realm of intrinsic motivation, exploring how we can encourage our kids to find their own drive, beyond our praises and external benchmarks.


The Limit of External Praises

We've all been there – offering a chorus of "good jobs" to our kids in hopes of boosting their motivation. However, these external validations, as Brian and Patrick point out, eventually lose their impact. The key is not to let our praise become the sole source of their motivation. Instead, we should guide them to discover the joy and satisfaction in the process and the effort they put in, rather than just the outcome.


Redefining Success Metrics for Kids

Typically, success for kids is measured by grades, sports achievements, and similar metrics. But are these the real indicators of success? Our podcast discusses the importance of shifting focus from these external achievements to something more substantial and personal – their effort. By doing so, we help our children develop a sense of self-worth and accomplishment that isn't tied to societal benchmarks.


Effort: The One Key Metric

Effort is the cornerstone of intrinsic motivation. When we teach our children to value effort above all else, we're setting them up for a lifetime of self-motivation and personal growth. This mindset encourages them to embrace challenges, learn from failures, and appreciate the journey, not just the destination.


Practical Tips for Encouraging Intrinsic Motivation:

  1. Praise the Process: Shift your praise from the outcome to the effort and strategy involved. Celebrate the hard work, the persistence, and the creative approaches they take.

  2. Encourage Self-Assessment: Teach your children to evaluate their own efforts and progress. Ask them questions like, "How do you feel about the work you put into this?"

  3. Set Internal Goals: Help them set personal goals based on their own interests and values, not just what they think will earn praise or rewards.

  4. Model Intrinsic Motivation: Children learn by example. Show them your own passion and dedication in your pursuits, and how you value effort in your own life.

  5. Foster Autonomy: Give them the freedom to make choices in their activities and learning. Autonomy is a powerful motivator and helps build decision-making skills.


By focusing on these aspects, we can help our children build a foundation of intrinsic motivation that will carry them through life's various challenges and successes. As Brian and Patrick emphasize, it's about nurturing a mindset that finds satisfaction in the effort and growth, not just the applause at the end.


For more insights and in-depth discussion on this topic, don't miss our latest episode of the Art of Fatherhood Podcast. Let's join hands in raising children who are motivated from within, ready to take on the world with confidence and resilience.

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