How We…Motivate our Kiddos


Today, is HOW WE WEDNESDAY!  The day of the month where Shay and I share HOW WE do something, in hopes you’ll share HOW YOU do something as well.  And let me be real honest, today I’m hoping you share a LOT of HOW YOU do it.  🙂  This month’s topic is HOW WE…MOTIVATE OUR KIDDOS.

In case you’ve missed any posts from this past year…

*In January, we shared HOW WE…DO GOALS/RESOLUTIONS.
*In February, we discussed HOW WE…TAKE CARE OF OURSELVES.
*In March, we talked HOW WE…MOM FAIL.
*And last month, we shared HOW WE…PLAN SUMMER VACATIONS.

I’m pretty sure this topic can be taken a wide variety of ways…motivating kiddos to try their best in school, motivating kiddos to pick up after themselves, motivating kiddos to play their hardest in sports, and on and on.  I’m going to stick to overall-motivating them in general.  🙂

I want you to know I am by no means an expert on this topic, but I am happy to share what works for us (most of the time-we’ll get to that in a minute).

A few things I try my best to do (and don’t always-REAL LIFE here, friends!)-

*Each of my kiddos are very different.  One wants to try her best at everything she does…room is always clean, homework is done without me ever mentioning it, great manners are always used just because…you get it.  🙂  It’s SO important for me to constantly remind myself they’re SO different and that’s okay. They are EXACTLY how God wanted them to be, but it is my job as their mom to celebrate their different personalities and also push them in ways that work best for them.

*Celebrating milestones and accomplishments is HUGE.  In a family with four kiddos, you just don’t get as much attention as you would in a smaller family so when someone does something they’ve tried hard on…we all celebrate!

*TONS of encouragement!  It’s funny that I’m writing this just hours after losing my mama mind over the playroom being messy.  Trust me…all encouragement went out the window.  BUT, MOST of the time I try to be their encouragers.  (Again-real life-I’m sure my neighbors got nervous and decided to pick up their playrooms too. #everyonecouldhearme)

*Rewards can be helpful, but I’ve gotta be honest-I struggle with rewarding them for things they should do on their own.  I think as a parent-you know when it’s needed for that extra oomph of motivation and not needed because you’ve seen them do something hundreds of times before.  Rewards don’t have to be a gift, toy, or something tangible…it can mean a later bedtime, sleeping in mom/dad’s room, or just one-on-one time with a parent.

*PRAYER!!  It keeps this mama SANE!  🙂

 I feel like during the school year we have a good thing going, but I’ve gotta be honest, my kiddos are in SUMMER MODE.  It’s WAY harder for me to keep them motivated in the summer (around the house) than during the school year.  Anyone else agree??  I’d love to hear how you’re doing this in your house.  I’ve seen a ton of those charts about what your kiddo must do before he/she does this.  In theory those are amazing, but for us, we’ve been out of town, have camps, and other things going on so it’s been hard to implement those when we haven’t had many “normal” weeks of summer.  Any ideas…please send them my way!

I think that wraps it up for today!  If you missed the post today, please join us next month when we chat about packing lunches.

Thanks for stopping by! 


Leave a Comment


  1. 7.11.18
    Mix and Match Mama said:

    My favorite part about this post was all the sweet pictures!

  2. 7.11.18
    Emily R said:

    Your neighbors were nervous and picked up their playrooms. 😂😂😂

  3. 7.11.18
    Anonymous said:

    Such great tips mama! I love them all!

  4. 7.11.18
    Kathy Lang said:

    I like all the things you mentioned, but I think prayer is the the most important. Praying for your children to make good decisions (no matter what it is) is definitely something that will help you when they're older and you don't have much (if any) control over the things they do and decisions they make. I think the next best thing to remember is your example as the adult/parent. We all know that young children will emulate their parents in some way or another. If we procrastinate on getting things done, fulfilling our adult responsibilities, but expect more from our children, it's giving a mixed message and is confusing to the young ones. When they get older they will definitely call you out on it. I'm also a big proponent of setting an example when it comes to reading. As a former teacher, I required my 3rd grade students to read 30 minutes every night. If your children (from an early age) see that you are a reader and love to read, then they will likely follow suit. Taking them to the library to pick out their own books, or looking up recommendations online for their kindle, is key. Limiting their screen time on electronics is also so important. Kids are always going to choose games online over reading, if given the option because it's almost as additive as sugar in my opinion. 🙂

  5. 7.11.18
    Amanda @ That Inspired Chick said:

    Nixon and Bowen in their goggles when they were little had me cracking up!! So cute!! And I lost my mind the other day too over the mess. When I was finally finished, the boys got up so quietly and cleaned up EVERYTHING and were so sweet to me for a while afterward. I think they were worried about me. hahaha
    That Inspired Chick

  6. 7.11.18
    Carrie said:

    In the summer we take library trips and they must complete 60 min of school work a day. As far as chores go, I vary our systems so they don't get bored. I am now in my works summer session so they have a sitter (I am in early intervention so we are year round) and I have what they need to do every day on the top part of a little chalkboard and on the bottom are daily chores, they erase them when they are done.
    I am strict and keep the routine no matter our schedule. If we have a swim meet in the afternoon (we have 250 kids on the team so that means a 3 to 4 hour meet) then we still follow everything but it is easier. If we are going on a trip, they complete some work in the car and help me in different ways. My theory is that I don't get a break and I can't stop what I need to do so they need to also contribute to the day. The weekends are different, no school work and their chores are done by Sunday.

    I find the struggle with battling tech. I usually limit it to 30 min in the morning and 30 min in the afternoon but it is the asking for it that drives me CRAZY. I limit it to 15 to 30 min during school days and this past fall they broke me and I took it all away for 2 months. I am honestly about there, especially with my 10 year old. She bought an iPod Touch with her own money last year and uses it for music, audio books but also games. Now we have the big issue of taking it away because she says "but it is mine and I paid for all of it". My comment to her is yup, but I pay for the internet. We talk about trust, etc. but the struggle is real.

  7. 7.11.18
    Laura said:

    Before my kids even think about doing anything (usually electronic related) in the morning they have a "checklist"… I'm not big on making a hot breakfast in the morning #toolazy so they have to have a protein bar and a serving of fruit (cut up in the fridge!), brush teeth, get dressed, and complete either a worksheet or two I left out for them or even just read (a set number of pages or I leave a reading passage and questions)… then they can start their day of fun. Thankfully both of my boys (7 and 9) enjoy reading, but the best part of their summer day is playing our game called "I love me some ten bucks!!!"
    It's a simple chart with the numbers 1-100 and a $10 attached to it (I can email you it!)… after they finish their checklist they get to guess my secret number! Eventually someone wins and they get the money and we start over! Sometimes in the afternoons they spend 45 minutes of reading time and get to guess again!! They truly LOVE it and tell all of their friends about it!!
    I will say when they have camp in the morning, it's just a feat to get there on time, so no work or anything.
    Vacations… we only bring our books!

  8. 7.12.18
    womaninthemirror said:

    I don't have kids but I'm a teacher and I GET summer mode. My house is cleaner when I'm working 50+ hours a week than when I'm off all summer. Kids (and teachers) do better with a set schedule and routine. It's taken me 20 teaching summers to give my self grace and roll with it. But I understand where you are coming from with the playroom. About 5-6 times a year, I start stomping and muttering to myself about how messy our classroom is and go on a rampage! I get a lot of side eye looks from students. LOL!