Parenting Tips

Motivate children – how does it work?

Motivate children – how does it work?

It is not always easy to motivate children. Here we give you some tips and assistance on how motivation can succeed.

How can you motivate children?

No mountain peak without the sweat on the way up, no family party without preparation, no flower garden without regular watering: every pleasant goal is also associated with effort. It is difficult for some children to motivate themselves to do this, especially when doing unpleasant tasks. In many cases this also includes the school area such as homework and learning. We show you how you can support children’s motivation.

Get involved early

Younger children in particular like to help out in the household and are happy when they can make a contribution to family life “like the grown-ups”. Even if it sometimes seems quicker, easier and more accident-free, for example, to set the table yourself: Children should be supported and encouraged if they want to help and, of course, appropriate to their age, they should take on tasks and duties early on. In this way, they experience themselves as important and competent – an important contribution to promoting motivation.

Stimulating learning environment

Children are naturally curious and willing to learn. It is important to maintain and encourage this willingness to learn. Children should have the opportunity to have their own experiences and to experience that their own actions and especially their efforts achieve results and success. A learning-stimulating environment helps them, to which parents can make an important contribution. For example, by encouraging their children to ask questions, questioning facts and getting to the bottom of things themselves or together with their parents. Important activating impulses are also provided by activating family leisure activities such as a joint visit to the museum, a performance in the children’s theater or the like.


Independence motivated! Children should experience that they can do things themselves, that they can try and try themselves. Parents can support this by letting children do a lot according to their age instead of doing it for them. The experience of having accomplished something independently leads to joy, pride and self-confidence and is one of the most important motivating factors! Experiences that are made by yourself are the most sustainable learning experiences. For example, the important developmental psychologist Jean Piaget defined the goal of education “(…) for the child to be the opportunity to create, invent and discover, to bring about people who are capable of doing new things.”

To take responsibility

Self-employment also means that school children understand homework, learning and preparation for exams as their task and their own responsibility. School is, so to speak, the child’s “job”. Interest, sympathy and sometimes control on the part of the parents is important and desirable. Children should know that they are not alone and that they always have support from their parents, especially when difficulties arise. Nevertheless, they should learn as early as possible to take responsibility for school tasks and for their own performance.

Fixed structures

Fixed daily routines, structures and regularities are important for children because they provide reliability and security. There should also be fixed times in the daily and weekly schedule for homework and learning. Routine tasks in school lead to habituation and, of course, also promote learning success: those who do their homework regularly and carefully and plan fixed times for learning and repeating, consolidate and deepen the learning material. In addition, he usually takes less time to prepare for exams than a student who learns more selectively. Last but not least, fixed learning times save recurring and sometimes nerve-wracking discussions about whether and when, for example, homework is done.

Appreciation and praise

Recognition, confirmation and praise are important motivating factors for children. There is no question that those who receive praise are happy about it, perceive their performance as being valued and gain self-confidence. Praise and recognition should therefore be used frequently but in a targeted manner. For example, the child’s effort and effort deserves praise even if the result may not be optimal. Praise should be given for special achievements, real progress and observable efforts so that it retains its value and acts as an incentive. Anyone who appreciates every activity, however natural, devalues ​​praise. So it’s about the right measure.


Rewards can be used as recognition and as an incentive. They are suitable to appreciate positive behavior and successes of the child and to highlight them as special. The prospect of a reward can also be a positive incentive for the child. Rewards or reward systems can be helpful on certain occasions and situations, for example by collecting points that lead to a reward from a certain number. In this way, a reward can motivate a child to learn with all his might for the endangered transfer in the last school months. Or a child should get used to observing fixed learning times.

However, it should be borne in mind that rewards set external incentives, so the child makes an effort for the sake of the reward. This can be helpful depending on the situation, but should not be a permanent educational measure. It would be more important that a child draws motivation and motivation from the effort itself and the resultant success, for example through the transfer actually achieved or the better grades due to continuous preparation. The so-called intrinsic motivation is an important, lasting motivation factor.

to be a role model

The attitudes of the parents, their own performance behavior and their performance expectations have a great influence on the children. The behavior of the parents generally take children more as a role model than verbal appeals and requests. If parents themselves show a positive and expectant attitude towards work and challenges, it will also be easier for the children to deal with.

Motivate children - how does it work?

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