Lack of Interest in Children’s Learning


Motivation is the interest that children have in generating their own learning, as well as the tools and strategies they need to acquire that interest, maintain it, or even increase it. We must motivate children to learn, but how do we do that? The key is to awaken their interest in the process itself and the paths that lead them to learn.

Why do children lose interest in learning?

Lack of motivation is a form of resistance. It is a way to avoid doing things as others tell them and do what they want under their own terms. It is the way children try to be in control and hold power over their lives. All people need the motivation to be able to carry out all sorts of activities but, what motivates us? Children feel motivated to do what they want and not what others tell them, so the key is to find a way to change their motivational focus.

Social activities and interaction with friends and family also have a significant impact on the interest that children have in learning. If a child does not feel connected with their teachers or classmates, it is possible that they lose interest in doing their job well or going to school.

Another trigger of this resistance to engaging in learning activities is the fact that something may be difficult for them or they do not know how to do it, which may lead them to show disinterest due to fear of failing, embarrassment, or being shown up. It is quite possible that, in this case, when asked to carry out an activity, children answer “I don’t know”, “I don’t want to”, “I don’t care”, or “later”.

Children who show this kind of behavior need to increase their confidence and start to achieve success in their activities.

Strategies to Try at Home

  1. Plan short to long-term goals: Goals are very good motivators when they are met. The best goals to set for children are those that can be met in a short period of time.

To do this, parents should suggest tasks such as picking up their toys and putting them away or making their bed. As children get older, they should be encouraged to pursue long-term goals.

Concrete objectives can be measured and concrete accomplishments give children reasons to feel more motivated.

  1. Use positive and encouraging language: It is not the same to praise your child's work as to encourage him. When we praise our children, we do it because of their success. However, when we encourage them, we recognize the great effort they are making.
  1. Display their achievements: Let them choose two or three pieces of work they have done at school and they like the most (drawings, math work, dictations, etc.), and hang them in their room or put them in a place where the whole family can see them.
  1. Talk about school on a regular basis and share anecdotes: We must give our children the daily opportunity to share their experiences at school with adults.
  1. Show children their progress and achievements: As children learn and do better at school, we can compare their results today with previous work in order for them to see their own progress and feel proud of themselves.
  1. Beware of expectations: Sometimes parents and even children hold very high expectations. This can be counterproductive as it will probably prevent many children from trying things out due to fear of failure.
  1. Reinforce the learning style they perform best: Thanks to the fact that intelligence is made up of several factors, children learn in different ways, reading, writing, repeating, experimenting. We must promote the different styles and go testing which is the right one and reinforce it by giving opportunities in which it can perform its potential to the fullest.

Due to the fact that intelligence can be developed through several strategies, there are different ways for children to learn, such as reading, writing, repeating, and experimenting. We must try out different learning styles and reinforce our children’s preferred learning method to give them the opportunity to develop their potential to the fullest.

How do you know if these strategies are actually working?

If the objectives are specific, observable, measurable, and realistic, it is possible to see whether the child is making an effort.

If no changes are observed, it may be necessary to modify their daily routine and ensure that students follow a certain structure that helps them to fulfill their responsibilities and work towards their goals.

It is important to consider that this process can take time, which means that you have to be patient and consistent. The focus is on helping students. The emphasis should not be on perfection. Small and simple changes will add up over time and help children learn to be responsible and feel encouraged to gain knowledge.