Motivating children for excellence

By Ziaulhai Mirza and Dr Shaji Unnikrishnan — Human beings need to balance various drives while pursuing the achievement of goals. Motivation is considered as the base and gateway of learning in an individual’s entire life span.  The achievement in life of mankind is seen due to the good amount of motivation shown by the various individuals in particular domains.  The most significant and important factor which is separating the high achievers and others in life is motivation.
Learning is a relatively permanent change in behavior which occurs due to reinforced practice.  The reinforcement given by the parents and teachers plays an important role in the life of a child to help him acquire various skills which will lead to success. The need and importance of reinforcement is very high and a positive reinforcement is given by the teachers and parents will first recognize the abilities of the child and motivate him for academic excellence and excellence in extracurricular activities. Motivating is need oriented and it is associated closely to the biological and psychological motives of the children.

1
Mirza

Motivating children to achieve the best is closely associated with the various needs and interests of the children.  In the field of education, motivation is playing a major role to acquire and achieve the best. The school is a place where the future of the society is built and it is important to move and inspire the children for achievement of the best in life.If we are able to provide the adequate and the best to the children , we can construct the future of the society. Children has to be praised, motivated and inspired for their good work. The desire to achieve something positive in life must be always seen and for that the parents and teachers are unavoidable elements of providing motivation. Children need to be motivated in a healthy way to build the society of tomorrow.
Always recognize the abilities and aptitude level of each and every children to know and understand and make them lead towards excellence. Avoid unnecessary comparison which is a very important factor. The ways children are taught and trained in class room and outside also have significant impact in the process of excellence.  Excellence should not be misinterpreted in terms of academics alone.  Excellence in all respects- in studies, in extracurricular activities, in behavior, in thought process, etc.  So as teachers and parents, we should motivate our children to excel in all fields so that the benefits can be reaped not only in the micro level but as a whole and the nation will also be benefited.
Find out what a child is good at and help to cultivate that interest.  Learning should take place in a free and flexible environment. Parents and teachers need to look the positive sides of the children. The stimulus which we are going to use as reinforcement must be need oriented and the education in larger perspective needs to fulfill the needs of the children in order to make them successful. Child needs to have confidence and must believe in himself or herself to do well at school.
Think about our childhood days- the facilities which are available in those days, etc. Now compare with the present- all digitalized- we can see a sea change in the developments in all respects. Let us think now about the next generation- here, as teachers and parents, should equip ourselves to adapt the changes and to deal and motivate our children to excel. It is really a challenging task which we should do with utmost care. They are tender hearts. What we say and act will have a lasting impact on their minds. Therefore, the role of a teacher or parent in recognizing the efforts and encouraging the effort through various stimuli is significantly higher and the recognition given by the teachers will make the child feel happy and motivates him or her for a better achievement in life. In this process to achieve excellence, there will be hurdles and obstacles which teachers and parents with good amount of patience should deal in a better way to make bright and shining future.
Various programmes like motivational talks, discussions, etc to motivate the children to bring the change in life need to be imparted in curriculum. Motivation should be positive and healthy to build the tomorrow’s society with better achievers in the present. As parents and teachers, we should make our children more disciplined and to have a vision of wider perspective. A self motivated child has strong error-monitoring system. Students are not always self motivated or internally motivated.
Studies show that intrinsic motivation for education drops from grades 3-9 though the exact cause cannot be ascertained. Extrinsic motivation comes when a student is compelled to do something or act a certain way because of external factors to him or her. Poor performance of children academically or otherwise is often attributed to low levels of motivation.

2
Unnikrishnan

Children’s’ participation should be encouraged in daily activities whether at school or home. Attention for children is a powerful motivator. Always think that they are also active contributors. This type of involvement will make them learn skills which are useful and valuable for themselves and society at large. They will gain more roles and responbilities within their class rooms or families. Ample opportunities to be given for children to bring out their leadership qualities, to maintain good relationship with their peers, teachers, family members, etc.  All these give self determination which boosts interest, creativity etc in all they do which in turn ensure that students are intrinsically motivated.
Even physical activities like regular exercises give confidence in the children. According to a blog by the American Intercontinental University (AIU), college students should make time for exercise to maintain and increase motivation as exercise has positive and impeccable effects on the brain. After exercising the brain can have more desire to obtain knowledge and better retain the information. Exercise can relieve stress also.
Therefore, as parents and teachers we should make our children to grow having intrinsic motivation. Recall that intrinsic motivation works best. Follow a child’s interests when possible, rather than spending time in building elaborate systems of rewarding.
By using rein forcers wisely, this can be achieved.  Always remember that everything will not come naturally to your child. We are all unique individuals. Children will naturally show interest in some subjects or areas and sometimes might need help in other sides.
We have to empower the child to make right choices or decisions but not out of fear of punishment but because they see the value of doing their best. The role of education in the process of achievement of excellence is very high and it is necessary for us to be very positive to motivate young minds to achieve better heights.
Be your child’s biggest cheerleader.