Encouraging Intrinsic Motivation

Wendy Grolnick and Kathy Seal, Pressured Parents, Stressed-Out Kids, New York: Prometheus Books, 2008, 127-8

To encourage intrinsic motivation and internalization, you can pay attention to:

  • Granting your child autonomy.  Autonomy lets him feel like he initiates his own actions and solves his own problems, rather than feeling pressured or compelled by someone else.
  • Giving your child support through your involvement.  A parent who affords his child his time and other resources fosters feelings of connection.
  • Giving your child structure.  Structure means the guidelines and information, rules and consequences that a child needs to act in the world.  By showing her the effect of her actions and providing the tools she needs, structure gives her a feeling of competence.
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