THE ENERGY OF MOTIVATION
I blog a lot about motivation and "shoulding on yourself". But what about shoulding our children? When you push your children to do something because they have to or they should, you are contributing to their misdirected energy rather than their intrinsic guidance.
Children want to do good things, help their families and be happy. They want to be motivated just like you do. You as their energy guide can help them connect to their inner motivator.
TIME TO REALIGN YOUR CHILD'S MOTIVATION
You know them best, what motivates them. Is is knowledge, connecting, snuggles, feeling like they belong, feeling like a leader? See if you can identify with them, what gets their engine going and make them want to do. It may not be the same as yours, so be open to it still be equal to what motivates you.
Once you have figured out what their reward system is vow to never use it against them. For example if they are a connector and need love and they aren't behaving well, don't deny them love and snuggles. Instead, hold this motivator sacred and use it for good and whenever you can offer it for something positive that you want them to do more of (even the smallest of things) offer that as a reward.
Offer yourself the same guidance as you realign with your own motivator too. Kids learn best from example. One good blog to check back on is the one about picking up other's emotions. But people do a lot of things, based on programs they have picked up from others that has nothing to do with what they really want. For example, maybe you think you should be making more money, but what you have to do to make that money is not what you want. Maybe the real job for you doesn't pay well in money, but pays well in experiences and how it connects to your heart.
When you feel the have to and should energy coming up:
- Ask yourself who originally told you this information.
- Were they coming from a clear space?
- Does it serve you to take that into your life?
- If yes, why? If no, then how can you work towards letting it go?
NOW I AM CLEAR, WHAT NOW?
Partner with your child to help them feel motivated. If they don't want to do something, figure out a way to speak to their inner motivator. This depends on age of course. But if you want your child to clean his room and you are the only one who values the cleanliness, you have to figure out what motivates in regard to this. You could offer it as a reward after or whenever possible incorporate it in to the act.
Here are just a few examples in regards to cleaning the room.
The curious doer - you might do an experiment on what happens to one toy that gets left out for a week. You can let that one toy be left while you pick up the others. Have the curious child observe what is happening with the toy. (i.e. gets kicked, dusty, chewed on by the dog, or absolutely nothing). These children like to know why they do things. Help them learn it.
The snuggler - you might let this child see that it is hard to get in and out of their room in order to snuggle with them on their bed. Or perhaps you show them how much easier it is to spread out a game together when there is room.
The distracted one - you might break the task down into smaller chunks for those kids that are always looking to do something better. Show them how to break it down and remind them often to tune into their own sense of accomplishments with completed work.
There are a lot more of types of kids, these are just to get you started on identifying your own strategy.
BE A CHEERLEADER
We have a tendency to shame ourselves and others into doing things. It is a bad habit and it doesn't motivate anyone. Instead it creates and avoidance of the tasks at hand. Focusing on what is working and how to expand on that is a great place to start. If you find imbalances or behaviors or thoughts that you don't like, just notice and gently steer yourself in a new direction.
ASK FOR HELP
When you are feeling stuck ask for help. Reach out to your resources and see what they think might help. There is always someone out there looking to help you shake things up.