6 Ways to Encourage Self-Motivation in Your Child

Becoming an effective and motivated learner takes practice, and some children will find it much easier than others. A child’s willingness to learn, dedication and disposition can have a considerable impact on the information they retain and how they use their knowledge in the future. Therefore, self-motivation will enthuse commitment and a passion for learning which will ultimately assist them throughout their life.

Learning is an enjoyable experience when individuals possess a desire to do so, and there are ways in which parents and teachers can encourage self-motivation in children. When these methods are routinely implemented, they can have a positive effect on self-motivation and in turn, academic growth. In the following guide, we offer helpful advice for parents wanting to encourage motivation for learning in their children:

Set Goals and Plan

Goals provide a focus, and they encourage children to think about what they would like to spend their time and energy on. Establishing precisely what they would like to achieve, both in the long and short-term, will provide perspective and allow them to direct their efforts, encouraging them to take conscious actions towards what they are striving for. The goals should be both achievable and realistic. To assist, a plan should be considered and implemented, thoroughly indicating which steps should be taken to accomplish their goals.

Regularly Converse

Having an open relationship with your child, where communication about their education is encouraged, indicates to them that their interests and opinions matter. Conversations about how they feel, what they enjoyed or didn’t enjoy from their day promotes self-reflection and growth. They can consider why something went well or why it didn’t and the consequences of the action. By having these types of conversations, your child will have a greater understanding and ownership of their actions, and with this responsibility comes recognition of tasks, self-control and improved self-motivation.

Discover Your Child’s Interests and Take and an Interest

As you grow and develop as a person, your interests and passions are likely to change. It is important for parents and teachers to guide and encourage these curiosities. If there is a pre-established interest in the subject, the motivation to learn is much greater. Inspire your children to explore topics that intrigue them, as well as subjects they don’t particularly enjoy. The range of subjects will expose them to a wealth of information which will help them to establish their likes and dislikes.

Allow Your Child to Take Control

Self-motivation can be improved by allowing your child to have some control of their learning experience. By offering options, for example, ‘would you like to do your mathematics or English homework tonight?’, gives them a choice, which promotes the development of their own learning style and in turn, gives them ownership of the activity and improves their self-motivation.


As a parent, ensuring your child knows that you believe in their ability can contribute to their self-motivation. If they are aware that you are confident in their capability of completing the task, they are more likely to attempt it without being asked to do so. Allowing your child to complete the task without being too critical, improves their independence and self-confidence. Parents can also assist with their child’s self-motivation by leading by example – being positive, optimistic and persistent will help your child feel more at ease with any challenges they may face.


Celebrating achievements, no matter how small or large, promotes positive reinforcement and reminds your child that their self-motivation and hard work deserves recognition. This recognition of their efforts helps them to remain motivated and can inspire them to challenge themselves further.

There is a lot we can do to influence development in children and, by instilling and supporting healthy habits, such as self-motivation, self-control, and self-confidence we can help them grow their character and achieve their goals.

Here at St Peter’s Prep School, we aim to teach self-motivation to all our pupils, so they have the best chance of having ownership of their development, interests and achievements.


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