Coaching Motivation

Dorothy Rich, author of Megaskills shares activities that help children gain the sense of discipline it takes to stay motivated, to work against discouragement, and to face competition and challenge. Below are her activities from her book Megaskills to coach motivation and beat boredom.

These activities will help children (and adults) see the world with new eyes.

While children are young, start to share and discover the joy and mystery of the world: a walk as it is turning dark, a stroll through light rain. Talk together about what you are sensing and feeling. Use a magnifying glass to look closely at those small objects that fascinate small children. Listen to the wind and the birds. Smell the rain and the burning wood in the fireplace. Observation and use of the senses are crucial to a scientist and to a poet.

Most of the time we shop at breakneck speed with kids being dragged along. Try a walk with no other purpose than to show your children some of what goes on backstage at the local stores. Go into the florist’s and watch the making of corsages. And go “backstairs” in the supermarket, if permitted. That’s where the supplies are kept and where the meat is cut…where the action that makes the market look good takes place.

There is a lot to be seen and learned while watching the workers at a construction site, at an airport or train station, or at your own corner. Look, listen, and talk about what you see. How many different jobs do you see being done? Do you see workers using tools? What kinds? Are others reading plans and blueprints? What do they say to each other? How are they dressed? Do they seem to get along? Who is the boos? How can you tell? As children watch others working, they become familiar with what jobs are like and what they might like to do when they grow up.
Some of the happiest moments, and the most motivating ones, are the ones in which parent [caregiver] and child sit together and talk about what they see together as the world goes by.

GETTING AROUND (Ages 8 to 12)
Learning to get around without a car can be a valuable lesson. Gather bus route maps and schedules to a place around town. These are usually available by calling the local transportation company. Let children use the schedules to figure out what transportation is available, how much time it will take, and how much it will cost. Destinations might be a library downtown or a movie theater or a park. Once the most economical and fastest methods are identified, put the youngsters to the test. Let them take the trip, if possible, by themselves, or with the whole family. One of the fastest ways to have youngsters appreciate the service of the family car is to let them take public transportation.

Visit foreign restaurants and stores in your community. You do not have to buy a fancy meal or an expensive souvenir. Just give children time to browse, have dessert, and perhaps buy a postcard. If you visit a large city like New York or San Francisco, be sure to visit neighborhoods like Chinatown or Little Italy. Even just visiting a Spanish grocery or an old-style delicatessen is educational.
All of these activities have provided a platter of experiences, a smorgasbord to delight and excite the eye and the palate.
Next (tomorrow) is the time to move children from seeing to doing.


  1. This brings up the point that everything we do (even the most normal, everyday things) are teaching and motivating kids. We need to be sure to include everything in a daily log showing how even a walk around the block can be educational.

  2. Good ideas again. REally, attitude is everything. Parents should really remember not to nag their nannies or because you want happy and healthy nannies that motivate children. It's easy to motivate children and be excited if you aren't overworked and over tired.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: