How can I help my young son find internal motivation rather than always wanting material rewards? School work is becoming more ‘independent’ work in 3rd grade and I notice that he isn’t really motivated UNLESS a reward is offered OR there is a threat to take away some privilege. I need real-life practical things we can begin to implement today. Are there projects we can do on a weekly basis to help shift my son from external rewards to appreciating the internal rewards? Thank you!
School motivation tends to be a major struggle for many parents with children in Elementary School. When we couple this with the focus our society has on material items it can become even more challenging. One suggestion would be to intermittently reinforce his efforts and achievement in school with both verbal praise and material rewards. Help him understand the worth of material items by having him work towards something over time. For example – a new “app” may be worth three days of homework without struggle. In the younger ages we often need to use a rewards system until something becomes more of a habit and internally gratifying over time. In addition to this help him understand your family’s values around materialism.