How Are Kids Motivated? A Close Look at Encouraging Boys

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What motivates you? Money? Happiness? Peace? Now think back to when you were a kid. For me, my parents found my currency early on: boredom. If I wasn’t cleaning my room like I had been asked, my mom would begin to take things away. First, she’d take away TV. Then radio. Then, if I still couldn’t get it together, she’d pull me out of my extra-curricular activities that week. I. hated. being. bored. As soon as my parents discovered this, they knew it was my motivation. My brother’s motivation? Money. You could give that kid a quarter and he’d sell your clothes. It has been shown that boys and girls simply respond differently when it comes to what motivates them. Uncovering the motivation in boys starts with just a few basic concepts.

  1. Male brains intrinsically respond to movement. Physically activity keeps them learning.

  2. Boys feel connected and engaged when they feel like they are on the same level as adults. Show a boy respect, and studies have shown that he will respond in kind.

  3. Have a sense of humor. There’s a reason boys can’t help themselves but laugh at bodily functions and goofy jokes. They’re wired that way! Not getting too serious is a good way to keep boys engaged and interested.

  4. Encouraging boys to learn in a variety of ways will allow them to adapt to the learning style that best fits their personality. Once they are able to pinpoint their strongest learning style, studies show that boys thrive and excel quickly.

  5. Boys love to succeed. It doesn’t matter if they are competing with others or with themselves, they want to succeed. Give them that platform, and the sky is the limit.

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