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Self motivation in pre teens.

(5 Posts)
greencolorpack Tue 21-Jun-11 09:48:31

Any hints and tips?

I'm talking about being self-motivated in doing school homework, practicing instruments, stacking the dishwasher and various other daily tasks.

I hate hearing myself nag, I tend to get very frustrated and sarcastic and I know that's the wrong way to go about it. I believe they should practice instruments themselves because I did. (Never got nagged to practice, I'm not saying I did a lot of it, but I had to on my own and eventually got okay at it). Because I play the same instruments I can give a lot of practical hands-on advice. But I also occasionally get full time work, come home at 8pm, find nothing's been done and instruments are all in their cases. Dh is completely unmotivated and left to their own devices my family morph into a sack of potatoes, watching telly, playing Playstation. So in times like this when I'm at home with them all the time, I try and get them to be self-motivated.

Pang Tue 21-Jun-11 10:07:54

I have the same problem in my house. Would love to no the solution!

IndigoBell Tue 21-Jun-11 11:17:04

One way to get them to take responsibility for it is for you to stop asking.

You have to be brave, and you have to tell them that it's their hw / practice / etc. It's up to them to do it.

If they don't do hw - that's their and schools problem.

If they don't do music practice - they have to give up the instrument.

If they don't do their chores - no one else will. There will be no clean dishes / clothes whatever until they do it.

Saracen Thu 23-Jun-11 07:31:18

Agree with IndigoBell. It can take a long time for the penny to drop if they have been used to you taking the initiative to get them to do things. And you have to accept the fact that their priorities undoubtedly will be different to yours. But that's self-motivation: by its nature it won't be done to somebody else's agenda.

In the case of things that you feel HAVE to be done, you can, however, give their priorities a nudge in the direction you want. If they don't do the things which are important to you, then you will have to do them yourself. That leaves you with less time to help them with the things they want you to do for them. It can be worth pointing this out.

My situation is probably a good deal different to yours, as I am a SAHM with a home educated daughter. Both my daughter and I have plenty of time, to be honest, but I don't see any reason why I should be the one to do all the work around here while she sees her friends and plays most of the day. If I come home to find the dishwasher hasn't been emptied, the living room hasn't been tidied, and a load of wash hasn't been put on (despite me having mentioned those things need doing) then I will just say to my daughter that I'll be doing those things first thing in the morning and won't have time to drive her over to the swimming pool after all.

As for the instrument practice and the studying, it's down to her to decide if she wants to do them and take the consequences if she doesn't. I've lost count of the times she has done something like entering a talent competition and then not practiced much and been in tears just beforehand because she wishes she were more prepared. I will have reminded her once or twice about practicing, but I'm not on her case about it. It sounds harsh, but I do think she learns from these experiences and she seems to be planning ahead a bit more.

menagerie Thu 23-Jun-11 19:28:42

I think there's a balance. My parents could never be bothered (that's how I saw it) to encourage us to practise instruments or do homework on time, so those disciplines were never learned. I do think they are teachable and that lots of children need guidance not just free rein and consequences. Leaving stuff dirty and letting them be late etc might work if you then carefully discuss it and look for ways they can reorganise their stuff and their time, but if it's just a parental get-put clause, no lessons get learned in my experience.)

I'd buy them each a timer and make a wall chart for them or computer log for them. Have a chat where you listen as much as talk, and discuss how it's the end result that counts. Music practise might be boring but being able to play a piece really well is a joy.

Get them to agree an amount of time they'll practise and write it on the chart. Suggest a low amount of practise twice a day maybe instead of one big chunk. two ten minute sessions every day will soon add up and as they get better they might forget the time and over run, or realise that practise is making a big difference and choose to extend their time.

With clearing dishwasher etc, suggest they set the timer for 5 mins and see if they can do it in that time. They probably can, and will then realise that 5 mins effort versus mum nagging is a good swap. Every time they clock up 15 mins practise, 10 mins housework etc they can buy equivalent vegetating credits.

My DCs have 1/2 hr straight after school which is their brain dead time when they watch Simpsons or zap aliens. Then I call them to homework, piano practise etc and they come reasonably willingly because they've unwound. They relax again after helping clear the table. After bath they tidy their rooms for 5 mins only - just to keep on top of the mess, and do the same in the living room, with dirty washing on the bathroom floor etc - a quick whizz around. it's easier for us because I work form home so am around, but these suggestions might help a bit

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