- Inspiring high achievement is a puzzle of many pieces. An essential piece involves inspiring by modeling -
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We can't make young people excited about learning… but we can create homes and classrooms where they are inspired to develop this passion from the inside out. Do we desire kids who always require outside-in motivation or kids who have it from the inside out?
When we slide toward the cliff of trying to make kids into highly motivated students, we take on the task of trying to control someone else. Because we can only control our own behavior… and that's quite difficult as well… we find ourselves becoming more and more frustrated with the child and ourselves. It doesn't take long for all of this frustration to push us toward counterproductive behaviors such as threats, lectures, punishment, begging, bribing, and taking more responsibility than the child for learning.
Inspiring high achievement is a puzzle of many pieces. An essential piece involves inspiring by modeling. That is, demonstrating our own excitement and commitment to four key achievement-essential values:
   Willingness to take healthy risks
   An awareness that paying dues earlier in life leads to more contentment later on
These values are most effectively transmitted when our children overhear us describing our real-life experiences. Kids are far more likely to listen when we are talking to someone else just within earshot. They are also far more likely to internalize these lessons when they see that we are positive and passionate about the experience. At least once or twice a week, let them overhear a story like the following:
I've always been so curious about the software that some of the people are using at work. It's actually a bit complicated… I spent most of Monday afternoon trying to get it to work and couldn't. It's taken me a week to figure out how to create the spreadsheets the right way, but it seems like I'm starting to get it. I felt like giving up, but now I see how great it's going to work. That's exciting! I guess it's like everything else… if it's worth doing and makes life better, it's probably going to be a bit tough in the short term.
For more help with creating inside-out motivated kids, read my book, From Bad Grades to a Great Life.
Thanks for reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible. If this is a benefit, forward it to a friend.
Dr. Charles Fay

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