What Motivates Your Child?
Insight to what makes them tick.
These days, it is common to hear parents lament, “My child is so unmotivated in his studies. He is always playing computer games.”
Or to hear teachers complain, “My student is so unmotivated in my class. He never submits his work on time and he spends far too much time on his CCA (co-curricular activities).”
Ever since I came across Dr Steven Reiss’ ground-breaking research on human motivation, I’ve come to this conclusion: everyone is motivated.
The challenge is to discover what motivates this child/student, what he values highly that he would give his time and energy to. Successful parents and impactful teachers are more often than not, simply the ones who have discovered the right motivators.
The good news is you don’t need to have special psychic abilities to pick out these motivators. Dr Reiss has devised a simple tool, the Reiss Motivation Profile, that profiles what intrinsically motivates a person.
According to his research, there are 16 universal goals that motivates every human. How each person is uniquely motivated, then depends on how much we value each of these.
For example, most of us feel good when we are praised, but for a child who values the Universal Goal of Acceptance higher than the norm, he will thrive with consistent encouragement and praise. In contrast, this child may be more prone to wilt under criticism e.g. having his results compared with those who are faring better.
Here’s another example: take a child who values the Universal Goal of Power higher than the norm and watch him thrive when he finds a strong sense of achievement in what he does. Competition will push him further than encouragement. The beauty of this tool is gaining a deep understanding of what makes your child/student tick.
Time it takes to complete the Reiss Motivation Profile quiz: 20 minutes
Value of the insights: Priceless.
For those who are curious, one of the Universal Goals I value highly is Order. This explains why I am comfortable solving mathematical problems, as they require systematic thinking. I even graduated with an honours degree in Statistics, although most people cannot understand how such a course could be enjoyable. It also tells me why I find it therapeutic to go IKEA and look at how things at home can be better organized. Most of all, it helps me understand where and how I can thrive in my organisation. I may not be the one to come up with the vision, but I am the guy who will get things planned and organized to fulfil the vision.
You probably are getting a better picture of how motivation works. Your child who is constantly glued to the computer screen or that student who is spending much time in their CCA is not unmotivated. You just need to discover what motivates them.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to know more about how the Reiss Motivation Profile can help your children or students.