As parents, you motivate your child two ways, and it simply boils down to whether we motivate by fear or by love. It is critical to have open, two-way communication. Open communication enhances your relationship with your child. 

What motivates you? Is it more money….a newer car, a bigger house? Is it the praise of others…..acceptance into a group fame for something? What drives you? Define motivation. What does it mean to you? What motivates you? As a parent, do you know what motivates your child? How do you inspire your child? Do you motivate them to have better behavior or better performance in school or participating in family life? How do they respond?

Motivate Your Child with Fear

When parents motivate using fear, results tend only to be short term or temporary. This is because it usually involves some type of threat, i.e., if you don’t do your chores, you don’t get……. When this course of action is taken, it may lead to more significant issues. 

There is an increased chance of arguing. A power struggle will happen at minimum, more severe possibilities being your child may run away, have drug/alcohol issues, or hurt themselves or others. Through fear, motivating brings about no real effective results and may only increase the strain on your relationship with your child.

Motivate Your Child with Love 

So how do you motivate your child by love?

First off, this does not mean enabling your child. Don’t show love by buying them clothes, iPods, etc., or making exceptions to the rules you have. Suppose your child gives you the puppy dog eyes and sad face hoping to play on your heart and emotions. Hate to break the news to you; they are trying to manipulate you.

This is especially true when they are stating things like, “If you loved me you would”…. or “But all my friends are doing it”…. or “You don’t love me.” If you give in to this, you are doing your child, yourself, and your family a disservice. 

One of the best ways to motivate out of love is to stop looking for negatives. If we can stop looking for the negative, we can see the positive more clearly. If you see your child doing something positive, praise them. Giving praise to your child tells them you love them. Praising and expressing love builds your child’s self-esteem and will further develop a relationship of open communication, trust, and respect. 

Stay in Control

When negative actions are going on, it is essential first to remain calm and in control. We can express that we love them no matter what, just not the negative action or behavior.

The more sincere and genuine you are, the more comfortable your child feels talking to you about anything in their life.. good or bad. They will lower their walls of hurt, anger, or frustration. 

“Positive Parenting Tips & Reminders:” Do a little self-assessment. If you see an area that you can personally improve, empower yourself, and address It. If the issue is too big to handle or don’t know what course of action to take, find a professional to help you develop or improve your positive parenting skills.