11 answers

How to Motivate a 6 Year Old

Hi Moms,
We seem to have entered a new phase with my son. He used to be quite a helper, but lately we can't seem to motivate him to help out around the house, get through his homework, etc. Any tricks you guys are using that seem to work?


What can I do next?

Featured Answers

My sister in law has a great rule.. For as long as her boys are working productively on homework or chores, she allows them to play on their video games. Video games, because this is their favorite thing... For another child it might be playing outside or swimming whatever.. You decide.

More Answers

sticker reward chart? The reward can be an ice cream cone at the end of the week or a trip to the library. Or a treat from The Treat Bowl (filled with little toy cars or balloons or whatever he likes).
Be firm and consistent-you are doing him a favor by letting him know chores will be done.
Does he have friends who have chores to do-peers do wonders for helping your child do theirs (or not do theirs if his peers don't do their chores)! What reward system does the teacher have?
Good luck!

Start to get warm out side now and the kids want to play out side after school. I made mine get their homework done and then they could go out side. I also had to check it and be sure that it was done and right. Good luck been there many times.

Having not read the other responses, I will offer a suggestion as far as homework. Set a timer and tell him that if he can complete his homework (satisfactorily, not sloppily) before the bell rings, then he gets a cookie, or a candy, or an extra 15 minutes of TV or playtime outside....whatever you think will work. Good luck!

My 6 YO is now enthralled with being paid and asks what she can do. We are cheap- we'll offer pennies, nickles and dimes. Sometimes she'll barter with us. LOL You can have a bank r jar for him, or do what we did and open an online account. No money actually goes in, you just make deposits and debits on this free online program. When we go shopping they ask how much money they have (rarely more then a dollar LOL)

Our girls are 2,4,5,6 and the oldest two seem to be the most interested in this program. I can send it to you if interested (I'll have to find out from my husband as he's the one who uses it.)

It is my view that being part of family life is a critical growth and development stage for young children. It equips them for anything that comes at them later on: Problem solving, creativity, task management, self esteem, valuing what it takes to make something happen. For that alone, I think allowance for chores is off the mark as it is not an internal choice to accomplish the task, it is for an outside reward. Allowance for the sake of handling money is another issue. I recommend handling the motivation issue & chores first, before indtroducing allowance.
That said, there are conversations that will make a big difference at this stage. What happened that he's not helping as before? I would like to refer you to the books, How to Talk So Kids Will Listen, by Faber and Mazlish and Positive Discipline by Dr. Jane Nelson. Also I could send you by mail a couple of articles for schoolage (6-12) power struggles and how to resolve them. Reply to my email to let me know ____@____.com.

My youngest was that way as well. It was very difficult to get her to focus on homework instead of playing. Good grades were her last priority in life! My only suggestion is to find her currency...whether it is candy, new toy, or money (so she can buy something). Once she began to see what it felt like to get her reward, it would get a little easier. My daughter out grew this around 5th grade, so it paid off for me. I do not see this as bribery. I see it as setting a great goal for her to achieve and win.

I have a 6yr old son as well and we had problems getting him to do things. A friend suggested to me that we get a "Responsibility Chart". They sell a cool magnetic one at Target for $10. It has the week, then it gives you magnets with different responsibilities, ie. put away toys, make your bed, get dressed, brush your teeth, share, no hitting, say please and thank you etc. Then it also gives you some blank ones that you can personalize. I have used them for "no means no", "no arguing", etc. Things that he personally has trouble with. Then there are magnets to put on the days of the week and each responsibility. Then what we do is at the end of the week if he gets at least 5 days worth of magnets per responsibility he gets one dollar for each. He also earns an extra dollar if he gets all the magnets in one day. It has been working really well for us. It teaches him to be responsible, and gives him a way to earn some money. Hope this helps!

praise, praise, praise! Also, try taking away privelages (sp?) because that's exactly what they are.

It may be time for allowance. Make a list of chores and put a dollar amount to it (we do $1 per chore per week, up to $10 or 10 yrs) Then, set up some simple rules. If he doesn't do the chore, he doesn't get paid.

Also, I would start removing privilages as well. No movies until X is done. No computer until X is done. That kind of thing. If homework is an issue, he can't play until his homework is gone. Period, end of story! We had this struggle with my oldest. He would whine and complain for 2 hours over something that would take 5 mins to complete. He missed out on ALOT of playtime!

Good Luck!

Charts seem to work. When my mom,dad or brothers helped me or acted like they were helping really did the trick for me. I didnt want to feel like i was being punished or slave child and doing all the work. Stickers and small toys for earning stickers. Make it fun watch the tone you say pick up your toys or hey its time to pick up toys so we can go OUTSIDE. hurry pick them up and frantickly start picking them up. hope you find your answer.

My sister in law has a great rule.. For as long as her boys are working productively on homework or chores, she allows them to play on their video games. Video games, because this is their favorite thing... For another child it might be playing outside or swimming whatever.. You decide.

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