How to Keep Your Kids Motivated as the School Year Ends
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Eleanor Mackey, PhD, child psychologist with Children’s National Health System, advises parents on how to keep their kids motivated at the end of the school year.
By the end of the school year, kids have been working hard, there are not many new and exciting things happening at school, and everyone is looking forward to summer vacation. This can make it hard to focus on school and homework as we near the end of May and beginning of June.
We’ve all experienced this “slump” and it can be difficult to find ways to stay focused, but it’s important to keep kids on top of their work near the end of the school year. For older kids in particular, the end of school means finals and large projects that might have a big impact on their grades or opportunities following graduation.
To help your children and teens stay motivated as the school year ends follow these tips:
- Acknowledge that it is difficult to stay focused. Don’t label your child as “lazy” or “unmotivated.” Let him or her know this is something we all experience and that there are ways around it.
- Encourage and praise your child for staying on task or completing work.
- Help your child list out the big and little things that need to get done. Put those tasks on a calendar so that they can see what they need to do each day.
- Schedule time each day to do homework. Some kids benefit from getting their work done as soon as they get home. Others may need a mental/physical break between school and work.
- Find ways to motivate your child. Plan a fun activity or reward, such as getting out of a chore or choosing a family movie or activity to encourage success.
About the Expert
Eleanor Mackey, PhD, is a child psychologist and works primarily with the Obesity Institute and Children’s Research Institute. Dr. Mackey is also a mother of two young girls. She has been at Children’s National since 2006 and has been a regular contributor to our “Get Psyched Friday” features since 2012.