Is Your Child Unmotivated to Learn? What Parents Need to Know and How to Help 

Groans, moans, tears, and lack of interest in school subjects—is your child struggling to find motivation?

While every parent hopes their child finds an innate drive for learning, many children hit a wall of fatigue at some point in their studies and appear unmotivated to learn. As motivation is an essential determinant of academic success, it’s important parents know how to equip their children to find joy in learning.  

Why is my child struggling to stay motivated?

The answer may be different for different learners, but here are some questions you should consider to find the root of the motivation problem.

  • Has my child had a history of academic struggle? It’s hard to feel confident or appreciate a learning experience that is just plain hard. If you think back through your child’s school years, has there been a generalized academic struggle, or can you pinpoint one difficult subject area? 
  • Is my child getting proper sleep, physical activity, and nutrition? These factors may not seem like the most obvious considerations, but self-care routines can significantly affect a child’s moods and motivation. Children need adequate rest, active play, and optimal nutrition to have an alert mind that is ready to receive instruction.    
  • Is my child responding to a recent life event? A death in the family, recent divorce, friendship struggle, or even all the changes that have happened as the world has navigated COVID-19 could be affecting your child’s general drive. If your child was once motivated to learn, and you have noticed changes, a life event might have triggered the sudden motivation shift. 
  • Does your child see the bigger picture? Your child may not know how to connect the dots between the work they are doing now and their future, and that lack of connection can translate to poor motivation.
  • Does your child like a good challenge? The need for a more challenging curriculum can lead to a lack of motivation. If your child is whipping through schoolwork and complains of boredom, there may be a challenge problem.

How can I help my child find motivation?

Now that you’ve narrowed down a potential reason, here’s what you can do to help your child find their zeal for learning:

  • If your child is experiencing academic struggle, talk with your school’s Child Study Team (CST) to see what support might be available in school. Adaptively offers creative and interactive after-school support with lessons they’re sure to enjoy.
  • Help your child get into a routine that balances time for studies with active movement and proper nutrition. Talk to your child about their mood after playing outside or eating a nutritious lunch to give them the tools to think about mind-body connections. 
  • When your child is struggling to see how their academics correlate to their future, you can assist them by showing the relevance of their studies to their lives. Sit with your child and map out goals together. By modeling how you think about your goals, you’ll help them know how to think about theirs. You can even get creative and make a vision board collage to prime a fun discussion about their hopes and dreams, which can pump up the motivation for school. 
  • If your child is suffering from a case of boredom, it’s time to show them that learning is an adventure they can create. Enrichment education, like Adaptively’s STEM program, is perfect for students who need more engagement to stay motivated. 

When you notice your child’s joy for learning begin to wane, know that we are helping kids find their confidence, reconnect to learning, and get excited about exploring subjects. You can contact us through our website. Our caring team will help you get to the root of the problem, make a success plan, and get your child back on track.