Early Childcare Assistant

Inspiring Action: How to Effectively Motivate Kids After Child Care Assistant Courses

September 01, 2017

eca high fiving child

A child’s early years are essential for shaping who they will become. As a future early childhood assistant, you will play an important role helping children develop the skills and confidence they need to have a happy and successful life. One of those many important skills is motivation.

Motivating children is a common challenge for educators, child care providers, and parents alike, and thus, there have been countless studies conducted on how to motivate children in the most effective way possible. Most experts agree that when motivating children, it’s best to consider both the short and long-term outcomes, and work towards building intrinsic motivation so that a child can continue to motivate themselves on their own, and become a motivated and self-starting adult.

If you want to embark on a rewarding career as a child care assistant, read on to learn how you can motivate children.

Provide Explanations When Asking Children to Behave a Certain Way After Child Care Assistant Courses

While you can’t expect a child to behave like an adult, when determining how to effectively motivate a child to complete a task, reflect on how you would feel about being told to do something without explaining why. If someone instructed you to do something without providing a reason, would you feel motivated to do it? Probably not, so you can expect a child to feel the same way. Therefore, when asking a child to complete a task, use it as a learning opportunity to teach them why it’s important.

For example, if you’re working in a daycare after earning your early childcare assistant diploma, you might ask a child to clean up the toys they were playing with. If the child seems reluctant to do so, explain why it’s important. You might try saying something along the lines of, “Annie, it’s important that we clean up our toys, so we have a nice place to learn, and it’s easier to find them the next time we want to play.” By including the child in the discussion and clearly explaining the importance of the task, they will likely be more willing to participate.childcare educator talking to child

When motivating a child to complete a task, explain why it’s important

Use Encouragement to Teach Intrinsic Motivation to Children After Child Care Assistant Courses

When motivating a child, it’s always best to refrain from negative reinforcement, but it’s also important to remember that not all forms of positive reinforcement are equal, either. Knowing the difference between praise and encouragement and when to use the two could have a transformative impact on your ability to help children develop intrinsic motivation after your child care assistant course .

Praise is centred on saying “good job” when a task is completed, whereas encouragement is about acknowledging a child’s effort and progress. While providing praise for a job well done is certainly appropriate in some situations, providing encouragement helps a child feel satisfaction with the work they put in, regardless of the outcome. It teaches them that while the outcome is great, their effort throughout the process and motivation to get it done is also important.childcare educator working with children drawing

To foster intrinsic motivation, focus on providing encouragement rather than praise

For example, if a child is showing you a picture they painted of their family, instead of saying that it’s great, try using phrases like, “Wow, it must have taken you a while to make this painting!” or “You put a lot of effort into painting each member of your family and using lots of different colours.”

By talking about their journey to complete the task, you help the child focus on what they did rather than what they produced, so they will be more motivated by their desire to accomplish something for themselves and not by receiving external praise.

Do you want to start a rewarding career that allows you to help children succeed?

Contact Medix College to learn more about attending our early childcare assistant college in Ontario!

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