Motivating Your Kindergartener
What motivates your child? Knowing these six factors that make your child tick at this stage can help avoid common developmental pitfalls and continue promoting confidence and success in your thriving five-year-old.
What You Need to Know
Between the ages of 2-6, you might observe in your child's motivational trends:
- preference for small, immediate rewards over large, delayed ones
- overconfidence about the ability to perform new tasks
- rapidly changing, situation-dependent interests
- focus on adult approval rather than peer approval
- focus on mastery rather than performance goals
- little understanding of likely causes of successes and failures
Variations in development you might observe in children toward the end of this age range include:
- differences in desire for social interaction
- observing differences in own abilities versus peers, for students who begin school without basic knowledge of colors, shapes, letters, or numbers, which sets the stage for poor academic confidence
- internalized helplessness after a history of failure
How You Can Help
- Verbally raise and encourage desired behaviors as soon as they occur, in order to promote and reinforce them.
- Praise not only to full blown achievements, but also wholehearted attempts and progression toward accomplishments. Spin mistakes into opportunities for learning and improvement, and praise the effort that went into failed endeavors.
- Provide a wide variety of interesting puzzles, toys, storybook, props, and other equipment for dramatic play, imagination and skill building to help your child find confidence through successful problem solving and creative endeavors.
- Provide the support and guidance children need to experience more successes than failures by helping them pursue interests based on strengths and helping them self realistic goals that will allow them to enjoy and become acquainted with the feeling of success, which helps internalize confidence, belief in one's capabilities, and willingness to try new things.
For more on this topic, see the complete article:
- Coats and Car Seats: A Lethal Combination?
- Kindergarten Sight Words List
- Child Development Theories
- Signs Your Child Might Have Asperger's Syndrome
- 10 Fun Activities for Children with Autism
- Why is Play Important? Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Creative Development
- Social Cognitive Theory
- GED Math Practice Test 1
- The Homework Debate
- First Grade Sight Words List