Bribery as a Study Motivator?

Studying, sometimes it is like pulling teeth to get kids to do it. Do you have a child who hates studying? Does he or she just flat out refuse to do it? That happens a lot more often than one would think. Even teachers have children who hate studying. (I have a few more years to worry about this!) What is a parent to do when studying becomes a nightmare for both the child and the parent?

First, try implementing some of my study tips from my blog yesterday. There are several to try. Start with the planning of a specific study time, and if possible, make sure a parent is there to assist with homework and studying. Sometimes just knowing an adult is present for assistance can motivate a child to complete his or her work. Sometimes.

If there are still problems motivating your child to study, put some of my behavior modification background to work for you. Some may think of it as bribery, but honestly, if you need something, anything, to motivate your child to study, this may work!

If your child is having trouble completing homework, not wanting to study or rushing through work in order to go and play or do other activities, try setting up a homework contract with him or her. When I say “homework contract”, I mean this: Talk to your child, ask him what types of rewards he would want to earn for completing his homework correctly, finishing all homework nightly and doing homework without complaint. Come to an agreement and write up a contract. This contract should include specific behaviors expected from your child and for how long. A good idea would be to set a shorter time for younger children, such as a week. For middle school or high school select up to two to three weeks for your contract length.

Once your contract is written up with specific behaviors, length of time and what reward will be earned if the contract is reached, it is important for both parent and child to sign the contract. This makes it official. On the parent side, it is important to follow through with the contract and monitor it. The reward doesn’t have to be anything huge, you don’t want to spoil your child with tons of big rewards, things such as a Barbie, a small toy, anything that isn’t too big, but worth working for, should suffice.

Try out the contract idea. The purpose of the contract is to motivate your child to study. Eventually, you can wean him off the need for the motivator when he discovers that studying isn’t really that bad!