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Education Expert: Lots of Love, Motivation Isn’t Enough

By: Krystle Crossman

We all have different ways of trying to get our children to make the most out of their lives. As parents, you want your children to become successful whether it be academically, professionally, or personally. Sometimes the “motivation” that we provide to our children is actually detrimental to their progress according to education expert Alfie Kohn. Kohn lists the following behaviors from parents that may be hurting instead of helping:

1. Motivations – A reward system is something that so many parents use. When their child does something right or does something without being asked to they are rewarded with a treat or money. While this may seem to work well it is actually setting them up for a lifetime of entitlement. As they grow older they will not find an interest in doing anything just because. They will expect that they are going to be rewarded every time that they do something to help another person. If there is no reward, they will have no motivation to do a good deed.

2. Self-esteem – You will want to build up your child’s self-esteem because you want them to feel good about themselves and feel like they are a wonderful person. This is something that will help them in all walks of life. However it isn’t just about whether they have good self-esteem or even great self-esteem, it is about how stable that confidence is. Someone who waivers or has a fragile sense of self-worth is more likely to fail because they are afraid to take risks and are afraid to displease others.

3. Love – Loving your child is something that you should always do no matter what. But there are different kinds of love that you should be showing your child. You have the unconditional love which means that you will love them no matter who they become in life. Then you have the love and acceptance that they must earn by behaving in a positive manner. Parents can focus too much on the unconditional love and the child feels that they can behave in whatever manner they want and their parents will still love and adore them. This can lead to behaviors and actions that are less than desirable and can spin wildly out of control.

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