In an after-school program, researchers looked at two different groups of kids: 1) Kids who joined the program because they wanted to, and 2) the group that joined the after-school program because others encouraged them to.
They found that students whose behaviour was self-directed and had joined because they wanted to saw more pro-social behavior as well as an increase in autonomy and self-efficacy.
A life lived without enthusiasm is a life half lived.
What gets your child out of bed in the morning? What makes their face light up? What makes them feel alive and connected? These are critical parts of their well-being. Follow your child’s intrinsic motivation and enthusiasm as a trail to their happiest future selves.
To help your child build intrinsic motivation, notice what interests them and help them to engage in those things.
It’s rare that a child will be passionate about something until they’ve worked through the process of mastering that task. Do not worry about identifying things that inspire a big passion in your child.
Instead, keep an eye out for sparks of interest to determine if it’s something that your child might want to work towards mastering. Listen in with Dr. Jen to learn more!
To improve your child’s intrinsic motivation, help them set learning / mastery goals.
These goals place more emphasis on progress along the way and allow children to have lots of small wins on the way to their bigger goals.
This helps to keep them intrinsically engaged instead of placing all the emphasis on the end result. Think IMPROVE vs. PROVE. We don’t get to jump from step one to 100. We must make small improvements along the way to get to our goals. Often the big performance goal is overwhelming on its own. If we can find joy and engagement in each step, we are practicing our intrinsic motivation.