When kids seem unmotivated to do schoolwork

By ParentTV on 6 May 2020
Categories: Education

Does your child seem unmotivated when it comes to schoolwork? Here’s how to explore what’s really going on!

Just like adults, some children seem to have a wellspring of internal motivation, whereas others are a bit more ~relaxed~ about getting things done. During COVID-19, you’ve probably noticed that your social media feeds have a mixture of those people who have seized the day during quarantine and learnt a new language, landscaped the whole front yard or mastered a complex French pastry technique, and others who have…watched a lot of Netflix. No judgement here! People respond to trauma, upheaval and stress in different ways and we’re all just trying to get through the days. 

Kids are no different. Some of them will breeze through their online learning program and even complete extra work, and others will procrastinate until the absolute last minute, then rush through it. The same things apply when school is operating normally. You might have one child who is diligent, high-achieving and committed and another who just floats, coasts under the radar or actively resists schoolwork. It may seem like these kids are lazy or lacking in motivation, but it’s important to unpack this a bit. If your child’s not engaging with schoolwork, here are some things to consider:

Once you’ve worked your way through these considerations, it might also be useful to go inward and look at your own feelings around their behaviour and attitude to schoolwork and where they might be coming from. ‘Sometimes, when we’re disappointed in our child or teen, it’s because we see their potential and how far away they are from it,’ says parenting expert, Jason Gibson. ‘So it’s really our own fear for them, about whether they’ll achieve what they’re created to achieve.’ 

Ultimately, we just want the best for our kids and it’s frustrating when we feel they’re not making the most of the time, education and learning opportunities they have. But, it’s also important to remember that learning is a journey, much of it happens outside the classroom, and their relationship with school and schoolwork can change and develop as they do. Plus, they’ve got the support of a parent who cares enough about them to read this whole article, so the odds are already in their favour!


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