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How do you motivate small children?

(2 Posts)
snickersnack Mon 15-Sep-08 21:44:36

dd (3.5) has always been extremely quick to give up when she finds anything difficult. We never had the "I do it Mummy" tantrums because she's always been quite happy for me to do it if she can't do something first time.

I've really noticed it the last couple of days. First, she was struggling with getting dressed yesterday and refused point blank to carry on. Then, she dug her bike out of the shed (where we consigned it last time when she couldn't do it) and tried to pedal it for approximately 30 seconds and gave up saying it was too hard. And today she came back from pre-school with a sheet of paper asking her to write the letter "s" several times. She tried once, got it wrong and put the pencil down and said "I don't think I can do this" and walked off.

I tried encouraging her, explaining that sometimes it takes time to learn how to do things, asked her to give it another go etc. Which she did very half-heartedly then yawned and said she needed to go to bed (it was 7.15pm).

Any thoughts? It drives me crazy, and I can feel myself starting to lose my temper with her, as I'm pretty sure she could do all these things if she was just prepared to persist. I think therefore this is partly my problem, so any advice on managing my frustration as well as motivating her would be very welcome.

choccypig Mon 15-Sep-08 21:48:30

I read somewhere that you have to try and give her the confidence to fail. So if you do something wrong, you point out to her that you're having another go and eventually you get it right. Can't think of a good example though. Maybe doing a puzzle together? You try to put a piece in upside down.."Oh dear I'll try again, oh still doesn't fit, I'll try the other way up, aha got it at last" sort of thing.

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