Motivating a middle school child

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  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from ALF72. Show ALF72's posts

    Re: Motivating a middle school child

    What caused the change from top of the class to won't do homework?  Unless that changes, I think you are rowing against the tide.

    Is there some subject she likes more than another?  If she likes science or math, find an activity related to what she is studying.  Try the Museum of Science or another area museum. Or come up w/ a 'science project' for fun.  If she likes to read, find an activity related to what she is reading. It's New England. There must be some themed literature or history they are studying that would suggest a 'field trip' on the weekend.
     
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    Re: Motivating a middle school child

    I agree with ALF that you, her mom, and her support network need to figure out what changed and why she used not doing her homework to act out. Unless you get to the root cause of that and make sure systems are in place, then she'll likely end up reverting back.

    That said, if she sets and meets schoolwork goals for herself consistently, then I see nothing wrong with a "reward" of some kind, whether sports tickets, museum trip, concert, etc. It can't be the ONLY motivation, however, and that's what you and mom (and others) need to make sure of.
     
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    Re: Motivating a middle school child

    I agree with researching a little more as to why the sudden change in work habits. Also, I would make it clear to her that in order to have choices in life, you have to do well in school. Not to insult any supermarket cashiers, but explain to her that many people who are working in that type of job often do so because they don't have many other options.  If she wants to have better options as an adult, it starts with always doing her best now.


     
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    Re: Motivating a middle school child

    I think that the carrot/stick approach you offered her was actually pretty good - the carrot of buying the tickets once she was caught up, with the stick of if you fall behind again, they will be sold. As far as her working just for the reward, I think it is a motivating factor, but if you and her mother can get to the bottom of why she got so far behind in the first place, I don't think you will need to keep giving her rewards to keep her motivated. 
    If you are someone she feels comfortable confiding in, she might be more willing to talk to you than her mother, so you might be better able to figure out what was making it so hard for her to get her work done before.
    Just keep in mind that things we take for granted, or don't seem like big deals to us as adults can seem earth shatteringly important to an 11 year old, so try not to minimize her feelings.
     
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    Re: Motivating a middle school child

    In Response to Motivating a middle school child:
    [QUOTE]I'm not a parent, but I do spend a lot of time with an 11 year old girl. She had a rough start to the school year - last year she was at the top of her class, this year she refused to do homework.  Her Mom is pretty good about involving her 'village' and I think we have her back on track. I'm a little worried, however, that my tactics will have a negative effect in the long term.  Our deal was the following: 1) Get caught up on your homework and I buy celtics tickets (for January) 2) If she stops doing her homework again, I sell the tickets She is a BIG basketball fan - she has something to look forward to.  We are going to put a reminder in her homework binder so every day she has a positive reminder of the benefits of doing homework. What are some other tactics that work well?  I want her to do her homework because it's the right thing to do - not because I buy her things.
    Posted by Corporate-Hippie-Chick[/QUOTE]

    CHC you are right on track!

    My 14yo is an A/B student! Why? anything less she looses her cell phone! She does approx 30,000 to 50,000 texts a month! Think about the "value" of that cell phone to a 14 yo....it works!

    POINT: You have to follow through on the deal! My daughter got a "C" one semester, until she got all A/B's she had no cell phone! She was begging me to check her grades on-line (the school has an on line parent portal) for her grade status almost daily!

    BTW...Can I buy the tix  if she doesn't get it together? LOL

    Good Luck!

    Laughing
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from reindeergirl. Show reindeergirl's posts

    Re: Motivating a middle school child

    In Response to Re: Motivating a middle school child:
    [QUOTE]I agree with researching a little more as to why the sudden change in work habits. Also, I would make it clear to her that in order to have choices in life, you have to do well in school. Not to insult any supermarket cashiers, but explain to her that many people who are working in that type of job often do so because they don't have many other options.  If she wants to have better options as an adult, it starts with always doing her best now.
    Posted by MichelleandtheBoys[/QUOTE]

    Oh dear Lord! I know someone who stocks produce at Whole Foods, and does so because she can leave it at the end of the day and write poetry. She's been published in many reputable little magazines, and her work and name are out there.

    Not everyone finds shame in working in a grocery store. Some even rise to become CEOs of the supermarket chain.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from reindeergirl. Show reindeergirl's posts

    Re: Motivating a middle school child

    In Response to Re: Motivating a middle school child:
    [QUOTE]Thanks for all of your advice. You are right, there is a underlying cause for her acting out.  The 'village' is working on it.  The one that was easy to solve was recognizing that she needed a different after school activity.  There are others that are not so easy to solve, but she's a resilient kid.  I am a good listener and she confides in me often.
    Posted by Corporate-Hippie-Chick[/QUOTE]

    Great detective work, CHC. I was going to suggest that you find out if anything's happening socially, as middle school can be tough on friendships.

    When the fawn gave up violin, I was disheartened. I could think of 100 reasons why she should keep on with strings. But the most important reason was something else altogether, the one for not continuing - she just didn't want to anymore. So now she doesn't. Smile (But she can return to the strings if she wants to - she's decided to try piano come winter.)
     

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