Podcast Season 2, Episode 31: Motivational Modeling

As a kid, I remember being scared to go down this set of 3 tall, dark tunnel slides at the local water park (Raging Waters) called The Bermuda Triangle.  But I kept watching all of these other kids going down it and laughing and smiling and enjoying it!


Eventually, I climbed the stairs, took a breath and went for it.  And I was so glad that I had found that courage.  That motivation.


I’m sure you’ve had similar experiences, but have you ever taken the time to consider how this might apply to your relationship with your child?


When I became a parent, I read a lot of books and listened to a lot of people.  One thing that struck me was that a child could be “taught” manners by not being forced to say please and thank you, but to just hear and see manners modeled genuinely and often.


Good news! This applies to motivating kids to learn (even those with learning disabilities and learning challenges).


If you want your child to read, grab a book and find a cozy place on the couch and dig in!


If you want your child to do math, model all of your mathematical thinking out loud.


If you want your child to write, write a letter to your cousin who you haven’t seen in 3 years.


If you want your child to love learning, work on learning something new (and be sure your kid sees how terrible you are at it right now, and how you aren’t giving up!).


Watching others engage in an activity can be very motivating.  Especially, if it is not tied to: “I’m reading, you should read too!”  If it feels coercive, it will not be effective.  


And, it might take a lot of modeling, so enjoy the reading, writing, math, and learning activities for their own sake.  Know that your child is benefiting from it, and let the struggles and expectations go.


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Decoding Learning Differences