How To Motivate A Child To Study?

It can be a challenging task to motivate a child to study. Nonetheless, many, if not all, parents and teachers will find this is the utmost important task to prepare the child for success in life. As a teacher, I decided to find the ways to motivate a child to study that can be used by both parents and teachers.

How to motivate a child to study? Motivating a child to study requires you to be aware of the many details involved in your interaction with the child. Through awareness of these details, you will be better able to modify your interaction with the child in a way that will motivate the child to study.

As you can see, there is no one magic bullet that can be used to motivate a child. But, do not fret! There are a few details and advices you can take note of that can help you motivate a child to study. We will cover them in the rest of this article.

Factors That Affect A Child’s Motivation To Study

To understand how we can motivate a child to study, we will need to understand the factors influencing a child’s motivation. By understanding these factors that influence a child’s motivation will we be able to identify and plan approaches to improve the child’s motivation. Also, these factors are not limited to motivating a child to study, and can be used in other areas of the child development.

In brief, here are the factors:

  • Relationships
  • Effort
  • Goals
  • Confidence


The relationships that a child have will be an influence on the child’s motivation. This means that a child’s motivation can be affected by the surrounding friends, family members and you.


The difficulty of a task will determine the amount of effort a child needs to put in. If a task is too difficult, and requires too much effort beyond what a child is capable or willing to commit, this can become de-motivational. Adjusting a task’s difficulty to suit the child first, and progressively increase its difficult, will more likely maintain the child’s motivation.


Depending on your child’s goals, there will be varying levels of motivation. Like us, if something is not part of our goal, we will not be motivated, and will reluctantly do it. Thus, if studying is not a goal of your child, it can be extremely difficult to motivate your child.

Coaxing your child to consider study as a goal is possible. Though, it would not be easy. Working on motivating a child with study as a goal will always be easier.


Previous success in any area of study can provide your child with higher confidence than average. A child confident in studying will be more motivated to study.

Actionable Steps To Motivate A Child To Study

Let Your Child Learn From Failure

When your child faces failure, you should not discourage your child. If your child is further discourage, this can cause your child’s motivation to drop. Your child might become less interested in the failed activity in future.

It is best to bring across that failure is a common part of life, but we need to identify where went wrong and improve from the failure. On top of that, you should assist your child in learning from the failure.

Through your positive actions when dealing with your child’s failure, you can provide a motivational framework for your child. Doing so will turn the failure into a motivational opportunity for your child.

Encourage Voicing Of Opinions On Study

Asking a child to study or do the homework might not be the most motivational approach. Your child will be more motivated if you allow your child to voice any opinions.

This way, you make the choice of study into a dialogue rather than a command. By encouraging your child to voice out opinions, like a dialogue, your child will feel more involved in studying. Thereby, your child will become much more motivated to study.

Additionally, from your child’s opinions, you can understand the reasons holding your child from being interested in studying. The information can help you to further formulate strategies to motivate your child.

Identify Their Strengths And Encourage Them To Pursue Their Interests

Working along your child’s academic strength is a great approach to motivate your child to study. This is also easier to motivate. Since your child is already good at it, your child will likely be interested as well.

Success from your child’s academic strength by itself can already be a very positive motivation. It will be easier to work on motivating your child from this scenario.

You can try using this positive motivation to encourage your child to attempt a related study topic that your child is less interested. You will need to phrase it such that your child can understand that his success in an area can be brought across to another area.

Create A Motivational Study Environment

Not all motivational work on your child interest to study has to come from your interaction with your child. Other passive approach can also be used to motivate your child to study.

One such passive approach is the use of your child study environment. For parents, this can be your child’s study room. As for teachers, this can be the classroom.

Your goal is to fill the environment with mental cues of studying and learning. This can be the use of fictional and non-fictional books placed in the study room to cultivate a habit of reading. You can also add educational poster on the wall to stimulate your child’s mind.

Recognize Your Child’s Efforts

Your child is young, it might be difficult for your child to understand the significance of some achievements. You should praise your child effort in reaching the achievement.

Providing positive encouragement can help to motivate your child to achieve more.

Set Realistic Goals

As explained above, the goals of your child will determine the level of motivation. Here, we will elaborate further that the goal your child has needs to be realistic, or else it can affect your child’s motivation.

An unrealistic goal cannot be achieve. When your child realize that the unrealistic goal your child has been working on cannot be reached, it will deal a blow to your child’s motivation.

Help your child to set realistic study goal that can be achieve. Do not worry if the realistic goal is simple to achieve. This is where you will play an active role. Constantly check in with your child on the goals decided, and progressively adjust the difficulty of the goal.

Begin today by evaluating with your child the list of study goals. Which goals are realistic or unrealistic?

Build Up Their Confidence

Encourage, help and make the environment safe for your child to tackle difficult study assignment. This will make it comfortable for your child to feel more confident in taking up a challenge.

Words Matter

Your words matter greatly to your child. Avoid using patronizing words to brush off your child. Your child will be able to pick up on your lack of interest, and become less motivated, as well.

You can try to use the “When you…” rule to motivate your child. Begin your sentence with “When you” to highlight the potential rewards that your child can get when completing a task. This phrasing can be effective to put across a reward to motivate your child to study.

Constantly Communicate And Involve Your Child

Giving your child the adequate attention is vital. It can help to motivate your child greatly. This happens, as your child can feel the commitment from you. Knowing that you are always around to help can be extremely reassuring to your child.

Within the attention given, you should communicate with your child about the importance of study and the issues that are faced by your child. Understand your child’s study situation, as it can help you to learn of and remove barriers that keep your child’s motivation in study low.

Involve your child in critical decision making. This can be on selecting the school to attend. Having your child involved in the decision can help to motivate your child to study in unexpected ways.

For example, your child might prefer a school further away, as most of your child’s friends are attending that school. When making the decision on your child’s school, with your child’s involvement, you will know to choose the less obvious school that is further away. As an outcome of sending your child to that school, your child is surround with your child’s friends. Your child enjoys going to school more. And, your child becomes more motivated to study among friends.

Excite Them

Studying is about acquiring knowledge. There is no better way to acquire knowledge than being excited about learning.

You can motivate your child to study more by phrasing study topics in more interesting way. Consider relating study topics to real-life situation that can be understood more easily by your child.

Bringing your child on a day trip to science museum or any educational events can be an engaging way to excite and motivate.

General Advice On Motivating A Child

In general, when motivating a child, you should always take an interest in the child. Help the child to set realistic goals. As your child is working towards the goal, be encouraging and positive. Never forget to always excite your child, it is the best way you can motivate your child.


There are many ways you can motivate a child to study. Putting a few into practice should help you to get your child motivated. However, even with all the mentioned actionable advices, the key to motivating your child lies within the effort and time spent to understand your child. Only through understanding your child will you be able to make meaningful approach to motivate.

Related Questions

How to motivate a child in sports?

  • Let the child pick the sport
  • Play the sport with the child
  • Praise the child improvement in the sport
  • Make the sport a family event

What is the role of parents in a child’s life? Parents are there to provide a child with physical and emotional support. These early supports are very important to a child healthy development. It allows a child to learn, develop, and pick up the necessary life skills in a safe and supportive environment.


Child development, Motivation, Parenting, Teaching


Casual writer on engaging education topics.

Engage & Learn

You may also like

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

interesting & educational reads

Our Popular Articles