Children may be consistently successful in school, or often lacking success and are afraid of not pleasing their parents. In her book Your Child’s Strengths, educator, author and speaker Jenifer Fox states that earning good grades and pleasing parents and teachers are not effective motivators for true learning and can actually cause stress, anxiety, and may lead to the development of negative habits.
To cultivate a love of learning and a sense of responsibility, parents can make a measurable difference in their child’s academic success by empowering them to manage their own studies and grades. The more motivated and interested we are in an activity, the more our brains reward us with a chemical called dopamine.
According to The Science of Learning Blog (SciLearn.com/blog/ dopamine-learning-brains-reward-center-teach-educators), the more dopamine is released, the better we remember what we are learning. According to Psychology Today, “Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. Dopamine also helps regulate movement and emotional response, and it enables us not only to see rewards, but to take action to move toward them.” More dopamine also helps children have greater impulse control, making it easier to sit still and learn.
This release of dopamine leads to greater development of prefrontal cortex, the place in the brain where we have clarity, vision and confidence. Parents can help children gain the tools to be proud of themselves and their accomplishments by giving them the responsibility for their success. Setting goals and celebrating each step of the goal accomplished creates more dopamine reward, resulting in more motivation and greater success.
Resource: Stacey Lemire Martin. AwakenAustin.com.