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Motivation and Praise

How to Motivate Your Kids

You cannot create motivation in somebody else. This is the danger of strong parents, who feel that because they are personally motivated, they can lay their motivation on the heads of their children. Motivation is internal, and there's a very simplistic formula for what is motivating.

What Motivates Your Child?

Activity, plus a sense of satisfaction, equals motivation. So if you want to motivate an individual, what you do is create an environment where they can be successful and feel good about what they are doing. But very often parents are giving critical messages about school. Study harder. Work harder. Get better grades. So the whole activity of learning gets imbued with a certain amount of anxiety and stress, and so we find that children are not motivated. If, in fact, we are giving positive messages, I love the way you tried. What I love is that you never give up. What a great idea that you had. You know, how exciting it is to see you express yourself. If those are the kinds of positive language that you are using as it relates ... Read more

Arianna Huffington, Editor-in-Chief of The Huffington Post, details the ways you can inspire success and confidence in your children
High Performance Psychologist Michael Gervais, PhD explains how being focused solely on achievement can be damaging to kids
Educator, Rachel Simmons, Author of Odd Girl Out, discusses perfectionism in girls.
Watch Erica Curtis, LMFT's video on Should I tell my kids their art is "good"?...
Joline Godfrey, CEO of Independent Means, shares advice for parents on how to teach their kids entrepreneurial skills and how to make a job rather than just take a job
Learn about: The book: Raising a Self-Reliant Child from Alanna Levine, MD,...
Nationally recognized author and psychologist for top athletes, Michael Gervais, PhD, shares the core elements of top level performance and how to achieve your greatest... read more
Kids in the House
Of course we should praise our children — and we should do it often, but is there such a thing as too much? read more
Dana Entin, RN, MN, PNP Parent Educator, shares expert advice for parents on how to praise your kids most effectively, including the best way how and how often to praise... read more
image courtesy of J3SSL33 at
“Be nice to your sister.” “Use kind words.” “What you did wasn’t very considerate.” As parents, we’re always... read more
As parents are well aware it is common for preteens, both boys and girls, to self-evaluate their appearance.
The holiday season has snuck up on us once again. Scrambling to plan, shop, wrap, bake, cook, and party with friends leaves little time for us to pause and reflect on... read more
I’ve been teaching elementary school for nineteen years. That first year I was terrified! read more
Many parents get caught up in day to day routines and the never-ending task of teaching their children and lose some important opportunities to model and teach respect.
What do you tell your nine and two year old when their Daddy is facing a life-threatening injury with virtually no chance of survival?  How do you protect them from... read more
My preschooler came out of her room and stomped once. I carried her back to bed.
There was a time when rewards and punishments were the foundation of most parents’ efforts to discipline their children.  The formula was pretty simple -... read more
Here’s a gem of a question I hear weekly:  Should I pay my kids to do chores?  It doesn’t sound like a hard question to answer on the surface,... read more
Give yourself a hand! For real, stop what you’re doing right now. read more
My family doesn’t vacation much. Oh, sure, we take trips. read more
Staff Sergeant (Ret.) Joey Jones discusses how military injuries affect parenting
Kids In The House
Empathy is the ability to step into the shoes of another person, aiming to understand their feelings and perspectives, and to use that understanding to guide our actions.
John O'Sullivan, Founder of Changing The Game Project, shares advice for kids, parents, and coaches during try-outs. Find out more about how parents and coaches can help... read more
Founder of Changing The Game Project and professional athlete and coach, John O'Sullivan, explains how to have a positive conversation on the ride back home from a game... read more
John O'Sullivan, Founder of Changing The Game Project and former professional athlete, shares advice on what to do if you have a child who is talented in sports and how... read more
Is your child close to becoming a sports prodigy? John O'Sullivan has committed his career to helping parents, coaches, and kids get involved in positive youth... read more
John O'Sullivan, Founder of Changing The Game Project, shares advice on how to support a talented child athlete while still keeping them open and respectful about other... read more
Your child wanting to quit a sport may be an unexpected or difficult situation. Watch this video for great advice from John O'Sullivan, founder of Changing The Game... read more
John O'Sullivan, founder of Changing The Game Project, gives parents a greater understanding on the important mindsets that help children succeed in sports and athletics.
What should you say to your child after a game? John O'Sullivan, professional athlete and sports experts shares the five most important words that any parent can say to... read more
John O'Sullivan, Founder of Changing The Game Project, guides parents through the challenges of their children moving to upper level sports.
How can you be an amazing coach? Expert John O'Sullivan tells you exactly what you need to know in order to become an excellent and supportive sports coach.
Sports expert and educator,John O'Sullivan, explains how parents can maintain healthy relationships with their children while simultaneously being a coach and a parent.
John O'Sullivan, founder of Changing The Game Project, a youth sports organization gives you the sporting advice that parents wish they had.
Learn more about the changing the culture of competitive youth sports, as explained by sports expert and educator John O'Sullivan.
John O'Sullivan, sports educator and founder of community sports organization, helps parents understand how to make sure they are not being too tough on their kids when... read more
Expert sports educator John O'Sullivan shares some of the possible benefits of early specialization for children in different types of sports and activities.
With so much expertise in both playing and coaching sports, John O'Sullivan helps parents understand how to teach their children to set appropriate athletic goals.
Ali Landry shares advice on how to celebrate Valentine's Day as a family.
Dealing with failure is difficult for all of us, but as parents, we often find it even harder to watch kids struggle with it.
View Robin Berman, MD's video on The importance of mindful language...
Learn about: Accepting children for who they are from Elisabeth Rohm,...
Performance Psychology Michael Gervais, PhD explains how using the tools of performance psychology can help you to reach your potential and be successful in life
Performance Psychologist Michael Gervais, PhD explains how to use visualization and imagery to successfully achieve your goals
High Performance Psychologist Michael Gervais, PhD discusses what we can learn from high performance athletes and how they think in order to overcome adversity
Performance Psychologist Michael Gervais, PhD talks about mastering a craft and what parents can do to help their children succeed

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