Study Blues - Staying Motivated

Claudia Cojocea

Many students have come into my office and said, “I'm not sure what's wrong. I don't seem to be motivated at all”. This is, of course, not a new phenomenon. Every student is different, and each has their own set of motivational variables.

by Reinette Evert (Counselling Coordinator)

 

 

Many students have come into my office and said, “I'm not sure what's wrong. I don't seem to be motivated at all”. This is, of course, not a new phenomenon. Every student is different, and each has their own set of motivational variables. There is a significant difference in learning styles from visual to auditory. Looking at our engagement as parents can provide us insight into our children's needs, and the following advice applies to most students and parents:

 

#1

Secondary school pupils are motivated by a sense of belonging, success, and choice. Students aspire to be perceived as “mature” and value the freedom to make their own decisions. We'll get nowhere fast if we run a dictatorship. They want to know that their opinions are heard. Everyone, regardless of age, appreciates praise and recognition for their efforts, even if we can only see how hard they've been trying.

 

#2

Helping Your Child Stay Organised:

 

o   Homework Area: Take a look at where your child does their schoolwork. If it's cluttered, assist them in deciding what to keep, recycle, or file.

o   Diary/Managebac: Examine the diary/Managebac of your child. Parents should monitor their children's use of these resources and what needs to be done. Remember that children are still learning how to manage their time and may fail to plan ahead.

o   Backpacks: Encourage your children to empty their bookbags regularly. Any loose paperwork should be filed as soon as possible.

 

#3

Binders: Check to see if your child has a system in place for storing and retrieving important documents. It's important to label binders/folders and keep them conveniently accessible

 

#4

Goals: Parents should also review goals with their children and remind them why they work so hard. To attain their long-term goals, children must set long- and short-term goals. Parents should talk to their children about their interests and encourage them to pursue those interests further. Keep in mind that goals should be specific, clear, realistic, relevant, and time-bound.

 

#5

Pleasing my parents: Are there any messages from my family that my children are misinterpreting or blocking them from progressing? This is a tricky one since some of these messages are unconsciously picked up and never spoken aloud. Hard work, for example, was highly appreciated in my family. As a result, a youngster may feel like a failure and question why they can't concentrate for 18 hours, yet their father can do it seven days a week. They start to wish they could find a way to motivate themselves more; they wish they could put in the extra effort.

Studies suggest that teenagers who have a trusted adult with whom they can openly and honestly communicate without fear of being judged or criticized are happier, healthier, more confident, less stressed, and perform better in school. Despite this, many children find it difficult to communicate honestly with their parents. There are various reasons for this, including the fact that when our children make mistakes, we are more likely to react with worry, irritation, or anger, which makes them less likely to want to talk to us about their difficulties. Furthermore, as teenagers grow older, they are physiologically designed to bond more with their classmates and less with their parents. All of this is very normal!

 

Yet, Teenagers still need adult mentors who can assist them in interpreting and managing life's obstacles, navigating emotions, thinking things through before acting on impulses and maturing into the person they ultimately want to be.

 

I have a lot more to say about this matter. But the essential thing to remember is that the solution to motivating our children will almost certainly not come from simply forcing them to be more highly motivated, but rather from exploring and understanding the causes of the problem and attending to them carefully.

 

Best wishes....and don't forget that we're here if you need us.