How can parents motivate teenagers

10 tips for parents: how to motivate your child to learn

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Why the motivation to learn is decreasing

Most students start their first grade highly motivated. You are inquisitive and willing to learn. But again and again this motivation to learn fades after a few years. This is fatal, because learning success increases especially when students are motivated to learn. Why is that?

While the offspring still soaks up everything new in toddler age, proudly shares their new knowledge and can hardly wait for the first day of school, according to psychological studies, this zeal subsides at the latest from puberty, but usually already when switching to secondary school. While still half of the first graders consistently fun learning has, it is among the 13-year-olds only six percent. That is the conclusion of a study by scoyo and ZEIT LEO.

It hits the core of the problem: the school system, which is supposed to motivate learning, usually has the opposite effect. Good grades as the measure of all things and the need to have a high educational qualification create pressure to succeed among children, parents and teachers. G8 and PISA are doing their part.

The result: Often the natural and innate thirst for knowledge of children only leaves the learning pain, a frustration that the students experience more physically. It will Learning avoidance strategies ingenious, learning takes on a negative aftertaste, creates pressure or even fear.

Parents feel they have an obligation to motivate their children to study, but are often at a loss or simply do not have the time.

Can students learn motivation? Guide to learning motivation


Daniel Bialecki, managing director of scoyo, has been working with creative methods of imparting knowledge for over twelve years and knows that the Reasons for the declining motivation to learn of students are complex, but solvable:

“Children and young people particularly enjoy learning and are highly motivated when they Want to understand learning content from an inner drive. They only really enjoy doing what they really care about, ”says the family man.

For learning researchers this creates so-called intrinsic motivation the ideal conditions for learning. This is also the reason why students can only learn motivation to a limited extent - real interest and enthusiasm are much more important.

However, these findings can hardly be implemented in everyday school life. Due to the tight schedule, the teachers do not have the time to devote themselves to each student individually. So the extrinsic motivation comes to the fore through rewards and grades. In the long term, this weakens the inner drive of many students.

In general, learning about extrinsic and intrinsic motivational aspects works. The relationship between the components is crucial. The intrinsic motivation should play a bigger role in learning.

How can parents help motivate their children to learn, even beyond the first years of primary school?

Parents can only motivate if they are motivated themselves. First and foremost, they are the most important caregivers for their children. If they take on the tasks of tutors, conflicts can quickly arise. Nevertheless, they can do a lot to motivate learning. scoyo managing director Daniel Bialecki reveals the best tips.

10 tips for parents: How can I motivate my child to learn in the long term?

Tip 1: create a good learning environment

When people feel good, they are more motivated to learn new things and do things. It's not just for children. Get the day off to a good start by setting aside time together for a delicious and healthy breakfast. That makes you fit. Healthy eating at school, adequate sleep and exercise, a tidy workplace and a quiet learning environment help to stay focused.

Tip 2: find the right incentives

Formulate goals that your child finds so great that they can motivate themselves to learn, e.g. B. “Anyone who is good at biology has the chance to become a veterinarian.” And a future language holiday may convince your child that learning vocabulary is not so boring after all.

Tip 3: Try not to make school the main family theme

Above all, the home should be a safe haven in which the kids can relax and can recover from the school day. If your child feels stressed, what they need most of all is distraction and pleasant experiences. Are you worried or do you want to find out more about your child's everyday school life? Showing interest is always good. It's best to ask at a good moment. If direct questions do not elicit much from your children, you can also try to steer the conversation towards the beautiful things of everyday school life, such as sports, breaks, a particularly beloved subject or friends. When children talk about positive experiences, sometimes the not so great gushes out too.

Tip 4: Breathe deeply once, twice. At least!

It is very important to have enough breaks between learning units, preferably before your head starts to hum. One can help with that a bit of exercise and a sip of water. So the learning material can settle better. If there is still enough time for friends and hobbies, the school-life balance is right - and the motivation to learn increases.

Tip 5: Promote self-determination

Does your child have a favorite place to study or is they more concentrated in the evenings than after school? Great! Leave it to your child to decide how to achieve their own learning goals. This also motivates and strengthens self-confidence.

Daniel Bialecki on self-determined learning - and why it increases motivation to learn:

For example, children can use the internet to learn independently and with motivation:

  • There are a variety of children's websites that offer students, among other things. can use for research.

  • In addition, good apps help to understand and use learning content in a playful way.

  • The online learning platform scoyo goes one step further and packs all the school material for the most important subjects from grades 1-7 into exciting learning stories, interactive exercises and tests. Learning is fun again!

Tip 6: Provide suggestions for learning

Parents shouldn't become a substitute teacher as this can put a strain on the relationship. Nevertheless, you can give a lot of suggestions. In doing so, you should not overuse the word "learning". Rather, speak of figuring out, discovering, or experimenting. Tip: Do a role reversal and let your child tell you what they have just learned. The increases self-confidence. In addition, other creative learning methods help to increase motivation to learn.

Tip 7: Incidentally bring school content into everyday life

Calculating while baking, explaining historical events with the help of the latest news, practicing English vocabulary in the form of a beautiful story ... You can learn anytime, anywhere.Excursions in nature or museums bring dry school material to life. If possible, plan trips with the whole family and take the appropriate school documents with you.

Tip 8: "You can do it!" Strengthen your back

Make your child's strengths clearer and give him the sense of achievement that may be missing in school. That strengthens self-confidence. At the same time you bring him Appreciation and recognition regardless of school performance. Even if it is difficult: Avoid regularly rewarding with sweets, television or computer games if possible. This motivation only works for a short time. As a result, children no longer learn of their own accord.

Tip 9: give the right praise

always just To praise for a successful class test is unfortunately counterproductive. However, there is a special boost in motivation when you praise your child for things that they can directly influence, such as: B. for great commitment (regardless of the result). The kids notice that they have success in their own hands. You learn not to give up easily and that mistakes and challenges are part of it.

Tip 10: learning with a plan

A learning plan or a Learn-to-do list help to create an incentive to learn. A learning plan defines what is to be learned for each day and how one is rewarded for it. Learning objectives are noted on a learning-to-do list - and ticked off once they have been achieved. That motivates!

Motivating to learn with fun: learning products for the home

Products such as discovery boxes, educational games or computer-aided forms of learning promote playful, everyday-related and, above all, independent learning. The children learn at an early age what psychologists call self-efficacy: their own competence and autonomy (independence). And that in turn gives them a strong sense of self-worth and a desire to learn more.

  • There is a wide variety of cosmos Experiment kitsthat are particularly well suited to better understanding natural sciences. Here z. B. for the subject physics (magnetic effect).
  • Board games playfully promote the understanding of the learning content. For example, UNO is a good way of brushing up on math skills, Tabu Junior promotes expressiveness and Urban-Rural-Flow is great for applying knowledge of geography. More on this in this article "Learning with board games".
  • AlsoOnline learning opportunitieshelp motivate children to learn: Digital media can convey learning content in a playful, lively and realistic manner. Often they address different senses at the same time. This promotes enthusiasm for learning and thus also motivation. "So that learning content for children contributes as much as possible to development, it is important that it can be connected to existing prior knowledge and processed as information," says educational scientist Prof. Dr. Norbert Neuss from the University of Giessen. That is why digital learning offers such as the scoyo learning world are adapted to the curricula of the federal states. But see for yourself:

A sense of achievement and motivation while learning are guaranteed at scoyo: