Intrinsic Motivation

School and home environments are an important setting in which to celebrate our children’s achievements and successes.

Success will look different for the individual child and what may seem like a small, every day achievable task to one child could be a huge monumental achievement for another. Regardless of the achievement/success, all deserve to be encouraged and celebrated so that self-esteem and self-motivation is increased and furthermore, children are confident to repeat these actions or strive for further success.

This does not necessarily mean we celebrate via material rewards (certificates, reward charts that lead to a prize, a promised toy etc), the importance of intrinsic motivation has never been so significant; how our children feel about their abilities and within themselves will impact all aspects of their learning and general well-being – we need to foster positive self-image and positive mental health in our children.

So, what is intrinsic motivation and how do we foster it? defines intrinsic motivation as: doing something for its enjoyment or personal satisfaction, but not for a separable outcome such as a (physical) prize.

Below are some of Education Boutique’s top tips for supporting children with their intrinsic motivation:

  • Set achievable and realistic outcomes/ have realistic expectations.
  • Offer verbal praise for successes rather than a physical reward (or if you do give a physical reward, do this alongside verbal praise).
  • Acknowledge the times when your child doesn’t succeed at something – encourage them to try again and discuss how things could be done differently (this will also help with the building of resilience).
  • Some goals are long term; breaking them down into shorter, more manageable steps can help.
  • Ask your child to verbalise what it is they have done well and how they feel about their achievements.

To summarise it is important for children to try and do, not because they have to but because they want to. At Education Boutique, we place value on individual students’ successes and aim to foster intrinsic motivation in children. We do not view our role as being simply to teach and raise skills in a particular subject area; we support our students beyond academic needs and nurture and encourage them, in order to enhance positive self-esteem and that all important intrinsic motivation.

For further advice and support you can contact Brooke at

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