How to Help your Child Become a Self-Motivated Learner!

Posted on by Helena Eddings

All behavior is motivated. Babies are naturally motivated from birth to move and learn from experience. How can parents help to sustain that motivation and support their children’s natural curiosity in order to develop self-motivated life-long learners?

Provide quality everyday experiences for your babies and young children by investing time in their development.  Talk to your children. Give your children the vocabulary to express themselves, to think. Get moving! A trip to the grocery store can be a learning adventure for a small child if you approach it from a child’s perspective instead of a task to be completed.  

Encourage and allow your children to try and fail without judgment or over-protection in order to develop self-confidence. Focus on their emotional health. Self-motivated learners are confident. Never assume your young children don’t understand. They may not be able to read books but they can read you!

Once children enter school they will likely be measured by achievement. However, researchers predict that the key to success is not the scores our culture obsesses over. It is how a child experiences and feels about success or failure. What are your child’s motives? Is he driven by a need to prove competence, to please you, or animated by a passion for learning?

Stay connected emotionally with your children as they grow.  Encourage effort and experimentation.  In order to thrive each child needs the confidence to reach beyond without unrealistic or arbitrary adult expectations. Each child can enjoy the rewards of discovery, of self-motivated learning.


Lynn Fisher,

Head of School 

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West Side Montessori is an independent, accredited Montessori school educating children 13 months through 8th grade (preschool, kindergarten, elementary and middle school) with locations at 13587 Roachton Rd in Perrysburg, Ohio, and 7115 W. Bancroft Street in Toledo, Ohio.