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04/04/14

Easily motivated: Motivating kids can be equal parts creativity and simplicity

Sometimes the best way to motivate kids also is the simplest.
Do you remember being a kid and having your mom pack your lunch? Did she, from time to time, include a note or napkin that had a special, heartfelt message on it?
Perhaps it said something as basic as "I love you" or "have a great day," nothing too over the top but rather a message that was more about ingraining you with the gumption and incentive to have a great day at school or reminding you that, even if you're having a bad day, you've got at least once person at home that cares about you all the time.
Those notes seem somewhat antiquated but beneath the simplicity, motivating kids should be more about outstanding and forthright communication rather than dangling the proverbial carrot in front of them every time something at school or home needs done.
Today's parents have a tendency to use gift giving or a robust present as means to elicit some sort of action from kids. What does it mean if mom or dad tell you that if you pass a particular course you get an iPad? It probably will translate into kids feeling that they need some sort of incentive every time a goal is put forth to achieve or a test is on the table to be passed.

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What ever happened to kids looking within themselves to achieve more and parents acting as a more modest catalyst that offers support that is much less direct or product driven?
But that isn't to suggest that certain products don't have a place when it comes to subtly motivating kids to do better through the power of positivity. Take for instance Oola, a company that is deeply rooted in empowering kids or, quite frankly anyone within the household. Oola sports original, innovative decals with unique messages that you can stick on anything from a notebook or a lunch box for the children. Think the aforementioned note jotted down by your mom, only with an upgraded, stylish look that easily affixes to just about anything your kids carry with them. Some of the sayings include "For a Great Day, Press Here" or "For Inspiration, Press Here."
In other words, kids can power through even the most trying and taxing days with just a few basic, powerful words thanks to Oola.
And, for parents, asking questions is hardly off the table, either. Don't be afraid to ask kids how they plan on accomplishing a project, rather than telling them they need to do it. That questioning shouldn't be perceived as annoyance but rather inquisitive for the sake of instilling and invoking the thought process, the true definition of motivating through a positive mentality.
In the end, the goal for parents is to put their kids in a position to succeed. But accolades and achievements should, for the most part, be intrinsic, and parents' involvement should only be small, simple part of why children ultimately succeed.
And that success should never have a price tag or high end product attached to it.

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