By Jim Hasse, ABC, GCDF, Disability Employment Expert
Motivated kids thrive on encouragement, love, learning and conversation with you, as a career-coaching parent. Those positive experiences are especially important for your elementary student with cerebral palsy (CP).
During my early grades, my mom seemed like she was always helping me prepare for the day when I could live an independent life. In fact, as I look back, I can trace my “entrepreneurial spirit” back to her tutorage. I remember her helping me:
Those little successes (which I still vividly recall six decades later) gave me the motivation to eventually tackle the mainstream job market and start my own business, even though I had CP.
Motivated kids have an internal desire or need that energizes their lives and gives them direction. Many believe that it is more important than natural ability or aptitude. But, no one has really discovered how an individual acquires personal motivation, writes Geoff Colvin in his book, "Talent Is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else " (Penguin Group, 2010).
of Oregon school psychologists admit that, at some point in your youngster’s development,
you will probably feel that your youngster lacks sufficient motivation. Most
parents face this worry that their son or daughter kid is not motivated.
"signs" may trigger this concern. Your youngster may seem turned off
by everything, may complain excessively about school or home life, may drop out
of activities, or act particularly bored with routine and non-routine events.
It’s important not to react in ways that might actually make the problem worse. After all, encouragement, not criticism, inspires us all, particularly motivated kids. When you criticize even constructively, your youngster is often discouraged and less motivated to do what is expected.
To this day, I remember my mom saying,” You’re not doing well today with your speech,” because I internalized what I took as criticism. I have difficulty recalling when she said, “You’re speech was particularly clear today.”
Describe the reaction in your child
when you’ve said, “You’ve done well!”
Join PACER’s Facebook discussion.
On the other hand, by noticing and encouraging good behavior, youngsters typically repeat that good behavior. Motivated kids feel good about themselves, their behaviors improve as the improvements are recognized, and their motivation increases.
All motivational problems are not simply solved, of course, and can require professional help. But, you, as a career-coaching parent, can make a huge impact by focusing on and supporting what your youngster does well.
addition to providing encouragement, parents of motivated kids who do well in
elementary school or outside activities tend to:
Of course, growing up with CP means your youngster will probably face a whole range of other challenges specific to CP.
So, cultivating an open dialogue about those specific issues and how to resolve them as well as about general “growing up” questions can often be critical in determining how effectively your youngster makes the eventual transition from school to work.Describe the reaction in your child
from Motivated Kids to Job Titles
Go to Cerebral Palsy Career Builders
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Originally written and illustrated by Jim Hasse, ABC, GCDF, owner of Hasse Communication Counseling, LLC, who, as a person with cerebral palsy, served for 10 years as a vice president in a Fortune 500 company during his 29-year career in corporate communication. He’s an Accredited Business Communicator, certified as a Global Career Development Facilitator and author of 14 Amazon books about disability awareness and disability employment issues.