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Top 10 Ways to Motivate Your Student

As the new school year begins, parents play a pivotal role in their child's success. Here are 10 tips for motivating your student from GoalSettingforStudents.com.

1. Stress "I'll Make It Happen" words. Encourage your child to use positive, motivating words like yes, I can, and I will.

2. Minimize "Bummer Words." Avoid using negative or limiting language in discussions with your children. Some of the most common bummer words include no, can't, won't, never, maybe, and if.

3. Do the Basketball Shuffle with your child. Play the Basketball Shuffle to encourage independence and responsibility. Write "It's in your court NOW" on a basketball, and place it in the kitchen or family room to emphasize how the entire family gets the school year off to a good start. Then "pass" the ball to your child to show how he or she is now responsible. Your child can "pass" it back when they need help. The basketball becomes a fun, visual and practical way to emphasize your child's role in his or her education.

4. Thank You, Ben Franklin. Ben Franklin used the following process week after week for fifty-seven years and claimed it made him a better and happier man. Develop thirteen character traits you and your child want to work on together. Consider honesty, fairness, self-control, order, sincerity, responsibility, self-respect, and kindness to others. Each week select one character trait, and, as a family, work to improve this trait. Provide rewards to the family member who shows the most improvement. Continue the process until you complete all thirteen weeks of character traits.

5. Stress the Importance of Goal Setting. Sit down with your child and set goals for the school year. According to John Bishop, author of the workbook, Goal Setting for Students®, "Students will take more personal ownership for their education when they learn how to set and achieve goals and how to use these principles in the classroom. They will embrace your efforts to help them succeed."

6. Accountability is a Two-Way Street. Both parents and students need to be accountable for a child's success in school. As adults, parents have to model responsible behavior for their children. Did you promise to volunteer at school, or help with the latest class project? Make sure you follow through.

7. Answer the "BIG" Question. At least three times per week have your child write down the following question, "Did I give my best effort to today's activities?" and record their answer. If their answer is "yes," reward them. If their answer is "no," have them list two things they will do tomorrow to improve their effort. Writing this question on paper (instead of just discussing it) will imprint the words in their minds.

8. Help Them Manage Their Time. Have a family meeting to discuss the weekly schedule. At the beginning of the school year, it is easy to sign up for too many activities, events and committees. How many activities will each child participate in? When will you have dinner together as a family? When will homework be done? What chores are each family member responsible for and when will they be done? Create a family calendar in a centralized location to keep everyone aware of the day's activities.

9. Make it easy to study. Create a study area that fits your child's personality. Do they work best at a desk in a quiet area of their room? Or is the dining room table a better place to work? Does music distract them, or help them focus? Help your child determine the best way to study. Fill a tackle box with commonly used school supplies and keep it stocked. Prevent last-minute runs to the discount store by keeping poster board, extra notebooks, paper and other supplies on hand.

10. Define success-in your child's eyes. Help your child define what success means to them. Bishop says, "Children need to know that success takes time; success takes planning and a strong desire; success takes setting and achieving goals; success involves helping others. Students need to know it's their achievement, not ours."

With a few simple steps, parents can get their children off to a good start for the new school year.

Ever wonder how much your child could accomplish? Use The Goal Setting for Students® workbook by John Bishop to teach your child to set and achieve goals and become responsible for their own success. Find out more at http://www.goalsettingforstudents.com.

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