Getting Kids Motivated for School! Strategies to foster your child/teen’s motivation to achieve in school

Presenter: Graham Hartke, Psy.D.
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Dr. Hartke spoke of strategies to increase students self motivation to succeed in school. He spoke of ways to better organize oneself and reduce procrastination on projects.


  1. Dr. G. Hartke says:

    My son in high school is very motivated and is doing well, planning for college. His younger brother seems much less so. What can I do to foster more motivation and direction with him without making him feel like he’s being negatively compared to his older sib. Even if I don’t make that comparison with him.

    Thanks for sharing. In this situation it is important to focus a little more on what motivates your younger child. Identify what his strengths and interests are and see if there is a way you can foster his growth in these areas. It could really be helpful to have open and honest conversations with your child about his interests and your expectations.

  2. Dr. G. Hartke says:

    Do you see fatigue tied to motivation?

    Fatigue can certainly have a negative impact on motivation. If your unmotivated child or teen is experiencing fatigue on a regular basis it is important to identify and address causes of fatigue. This typically involves a trip to the pediatrician or other physician, improving sleep habits, and/or assessing mood-stress levels.

  3. Dr. G. Hartke says:

    Can you talk a little bit about growth mindset & how we can use it to motivate students? Growth Mindset… Dr. Carol Dweck (Stanford) has a theory about fostering a mindset that is focused on growth. She encourages us to help students notice personal improvement (ex. “good job, you worked hard & I can see you’re recalling your Math facts more easily”) rather than reinforcing the idea that your talents and abilities are already fixed (ex. “good job, you’re so smart”.)

    Using a growth mindset approach with students can motivate them motivating in several ways. The act of a teacher reinforcing a student’s effort and personal improvement is a form of extrinsic motivation. Thus, the praise and positive encouragement of effort is itself a potential motivator. Another motivating aspect of this approach is it builds on a student’s sense of self-efficacy (belief in ones capability to perform/produce) by reinforcing a student for what they can directly control (the process, effort), as opposed to what they can’t control (outcome, grades, scores). This fosters a sense in students that they can achieve goals, have the ability to succeed, and increases the chances that students may become more intrinsically motivated by school-work (i.e. I like math, I can do well in it if I try hard).