Dragging your feet.
Putting it off.
Motivation is overrated
We like to think that if we can just figure out how to motivate our kids properly, a mental switch will flip and they’ll realize how much easier it is. But it doesn’t happen that way with a lot of kids. Learning how to walk through resistance tends to happen painfully slowly.
Our children often want to convince us that they need to wait until they feel motivated. They claim they have to be in the right mood for it. Yet this is just one of the many defaults our brains attach to in order to continue avoiding. If we wait until we feel motivated, it’ll never happen.
“Don’t wait for your feelings to change to take the action. Take the action and your feelings will change.” ~Barbara Baron
Getting started doing something you don’t feel like doing can be so difficult, especially when there doesn’t appear to be much value in the task, or when it’s overwhelming (both of which are all too common in school). A train at a standstill requires an enormous amount of energy to gain momentum, but once it gets going, its’ a lot easier to keep going.
So, we might ask a different question: Rather than, “how can I get them motivated?” consider, “how do I help them learn strategies to get started?”As adults, we have somehow learned ways to trick ourselves into starting, yet it’s such a subtle step, we often don’t even acknowledge it as such. Kids need a lot of help with this. Don’t give up – your guidance is making a difference, regardless of how frustrating it can be. Trust the process and pick your battles wisely.
Sometimes kids get “derailed” and it’s so hard to start up again. Sometimes it’s good to get them “back on track” to “complete the work.”
But sometimes it’s best to leave well-enough alone. Sometimes it’s best to let go, call it a day and enjoy some much needed downtime with family, friends or just taking care of oneself.
What’s your highest trump today?