Motivation and Rewards
Children also participate in activities that they are not naturally motivated to perform. This may be because an adult has told them that this needs to be done, they may have experienced a sense failure in a previous attempt to do the activity or they may just find doing the activity unpleasant.
An “extrinsic” reward is provided by someone other than the child themselves. It may be a physical reward (eg, stickers, chocolate, cuddles, high-5) or verbal praise and encouragement. Praise and rewarding a child’s effort and persistence, rather than the actual accomplishment will work towards a child’s ability to value their attempts. Many children respond well to extrinsic rewards when learning a new activity or trying to develop a skill that a child finds difficult. Extrinsic rewards can be faded (reduced) when children develop a sense of achievement.
Sometimes when a child finds learning a new skill or activity difficult, the activity itself needs to be adapted, to provide a child with the right amount of challenge that keeps them motivated to persist without the constant fear of failure.
You will find further explanations, ways to adapt activities and lots of activity suggestions about motivation posted here in the coming months.