Teach your kids to try harder, without resorting to threats or bribes to get them to perform. Try these tips:
• Focus on progress. Goals are important, but steady progress is the secret of success. Instead of insisting that your child become a star quarterback or a champion speller, emphasize improvement as he or she makes progress.
• Give them a choice. Don’t force your children into an activity because you think they should do it (or because you did it yourself as a child). If kids feel they have a choice, they’ll try harder. Point out what talents they have, provide options and opportunities, and be honest about what to expect as they try to excel in any chosen activity.
• Make them feel positive. Give children lots of sincere, honest, and specific praise. They’ll want to do more if they feel good about what they’re doing.
• Use rewards wisely. Sometimes a reward helps a child get started in an activity or motivates them when they’re losing interest. But use the reward only as a jumpstart. After that, replace rewards with verbal encouragement.