Sunday, June 5, 2011

Motivate kids with a Love Sandwich

A friend of mine was asking about some tips to help motivate her teenagers.  I always had luck with my "love sandwich."  Start out with something positive, then put the issue on the table, and follow up with another positive statement. Make sure it is age appropriate.   Here are some of my favorites:

"By the time you get to college, I want you to be able to take care of yourself. I need you to do more things for yourself ( like learn how to use the washing machine; learn to cook; and learn to run the dishwasher). I wouldn't be doing my job as a mom , if I didn't teach you how to put me out of  my job as a mom by the time you are 18."   Many college kids don't have these basic skills by the time they leave for school.
 All of this evolved naturally, as we got to the teenage years.   If the uniform for tomorrow's game didn't get to the laundry room, then I showed Matt how to do it himself. 
 When Matt had an early game,  he started the water for the pasta, and I cooked it as soon as I got home.  Lot's of great stuff got discussed when we worked side by side.  .
  If he needed a thermos for tomorrow's practice, then we started the dishwasher before we went to bed.

"I know you are not out stealing cars, but you need to keep your room clean.  I wouldn't be doing my job as a mom, if I didn't make sure you know how to do this."   Any time I could get Matt to laugh, it was easier to get cooperation.

"You are so special that we cannot let you slack off in school.  Dad and I can't screw this up, so we have to find a way to help you.  What do you need us to do to help you get back on track??"

It's much easier to motivate a kid who is self directed.  Once they see the benefit,  they want to do things for themselves.  So long for now....have a good week everyone......

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