Motivation: Practical ways parents can support, build and inspire motivation in children

Motivation: Practical ways parents can support, build and inspire motivation in children

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Motivation is a hot topic for all parents and caregivers.  We are forever trying to ‘motivate’ our children to cooperate, to work hard, to try new things, as well as to adjust or accept change.  It can be a light bulb moment when we realise that we can’t ‘make’ our kids do things and be things.  We may be able to motivate them in the very short term, but deep, intrinsic motivation must come from within.

Are there things that we can do that gently, positively, respectfully inspire and support motivation in our kids and guide their behaviour?  Yes, absolutely there are.   In this session, we’ll explore the qualities of motivation and understand why some kids are motivated, and others are not, and I’ll share practical strategies to help kids develop long lasting intrinsic motivation.

We’ll look at the research behind motivation and how we need to work hard to give our kids the agency and autonomy within the support structure of our families, whatever shape they might take.  We examine how to tune in and acknowledge the sometimes-difficult feelings that constrain motivation and why it’s so important for children to find their spark, build independence and competencies. We look at the power of having role models who value and believe in these kids.  Inspiring motivation is a vital tool to help children successfully adjust and transition during times of change and thrive.


Heather Rutherford

Heather is a parenting coach, founder of The Parenting Partnership, parenting consultant to the school’s advisory service Talk Education, and a Care for the Family facilitator.

Heather’s mission is to share practical effective positive parenting skills that not only help parents raise happy, confident and resilient children but that transform family lives.  In all her work, she draws on the latest research as well as her own experience of parenting three unique and sometimes challenging children while guiding her family through cancer and divorce.

Her goal is to empower parents with skills that include an understanding of temperament, growth mindset, emotional intelligence and positive discipline,  that help them feel confident, calm and deeply connected to their children.

She has a particular interest in using these positive parenting skills to help families through the challenges of separation and divorce.