Motivating Your Child

Motivating Your Child

Your Child Has to Want This – He Must be Internally Motivated

 

The first thing you need to understand as a “test prep parent” is this:

If your child isn’t motivated to study for the SAT or ACT, he lacks the fundamental foundation necessary to improve his scores.

Any good SAT and ACT program requires intensive, consistent work. Over thousands of hours of experience, I’ve learned that the one factor necessary for test prep success is deep, consistent practice.

However, to engage in this deep level of practice, students must be motivated. Before a student can commit to a steady, sometimes unpleasant self-improvement program, he first needs to see the light at the end of the tunnel and have the everyday drive necessary to succeed.

When students see their work paying off – when they see their scores go up, and up, and up, and when they see their weaknesses and confusion start to melt away, they become more and more motivated.

But they need some degree of motivation in the first place.

My one-on-one clients pay me $1,000/hour for my services. They pay me this rate not because I’m so good at fractions, but because I motivate their children by creating a program around them that allows them to fuel their own progress.

The first step of the learning process is attention. Without attention, no one can learn anything – it doesn’t matter how good the program is – it won’t make a difference.

Attention comes from interest. When you’re interested in something, you pay attention to it. Unfortunately, this obvious fact is something that many educators seem to ignore. They fail to generate interest first, and hence they fail to generate attention. It’s no wonder why so many educational products and programs fail.

Your job, as a parent, is to provide the “kindling” that will lead to initial motivation, and to sustain that motivation throughout the learning process.

I don’t expect you to learn multivariable algebra, nor do I want you to participate in any way in the actual SAT/ACT process – that’s what my program is for. Instead, just know that motivation is the key to any successful learning program, and your only job as a parent is to enhance your child’s motivation.

Unfortunately, most parents, with the best of intentions, focus on external motivation. External motivation looks like this:

“Do all your homework, or else….”
“If you do this, I’ll be happy.”
“If you don’t get into Harvard, your father and I will be so angry…”
“If you don’t finish your homework, you’re grounded.”

The problem is that external motivation pales in comparison to internal motivation, which is all about getting your child to WANT to work harder.

When your child wants this for himself, you’ll see results unlike anything you’d ever expect. If your child is only doing this because you want him to, not much will happen.

So this guide, in addition to showing you the procedures and action steps you’ll need to take in the next few months, also teaches you something much, much more important:

The one true key to college success is in building your child’s internal motivation.

That’s your job as a “test prep parent.” As much as I hate old clichés, “teach a man to fish” is the philosophy behind most of this material.

When parents rely on external motivation, they’re relying on short-lived, ineffective fuel. As a result, the “fire” (their children’s motivation) needs to be stoked constantly. They’re constantly throwing more coal into the flames in the form of threats, scoldings, and “I’m not mad – I’m just disappointed.”

This process is exhausting. Wouldn’t it be easier to simply put a “self-winding battery” in your child instead?

Once your child’s motivation is internally generated, all your hard work is done for you. With that in mind, let’s get to the “how” –

 

You Need to Be a TEAMMATE – Not a Boss

 

The brain is not a box, and knowledge is not a packet that can be dropped into it.

Knowledge is not something that can be given or forced – it is something that must be received. Every great teacher knows this. As John Milton Gregory said in The Seven Laws of the Learner, “one may as well talk to the deaf or the dead as to attempt to teach a child who is wholly inattentive.”

Before I ever start teaching my students material, I make sure I achieve two very key objectives:

1. I make sure I have the student’s attention.

2. I make sure they’re receptive to the lessons I’m teaching.

Let me ask you a question: were you forced to take a language class in high school or college? And if so, how much of that language do you remember? If you’re like 99.9% of Americans who are force-fed a language in school, you won’t remember 99.9% of what you learned. Why? Because you did not care. You were forced to learn, and as a result, you didn’t learn.

For students to make progress in their test prep, they must be completely receptive to the idea of test prep, want to do well on their exams, and possess INTERNAL MOTIVATION.

When I start working with students, there are only two types that I ever come across:

1) Students who are internally motivated, want to get their work done, are attentive, caring, and dedicated to the task at hand.

2) Students who are externally motivated and nearly impossible to teach.

Students who are internally motivated always make rapid progress, are easy to teach, and achieve enormous score improvements. Students who are externally motivated aren’t providing me with their attention, and therefore cannot possibly learn. My first job with these students is to switch their motivational systems. Any SAT/ACT lessons delivered before this is accomplished are next to useless.

In my experience, the vast majority of externally motivated students are a product of their parents’ attempts at discipline and motivation.

There’s a cruel paradox here:

Parents push their children out of love and care, yet the results they achieve from their efforts are counterproductive. Often, the harder a parent tries to motivate his or her child, the less motivated the child becomes.

If your child is extremely self-motivated and really wants to attack his test prep, congratulations: you have a much easier task ahead of you. If your child is externally motivated, that needs to change.

Externally motivated students become that way because someone has led them to believe that they are serving someone ELSE’S interests, rather than their own, when they study or work.

Here are the things that I hear out of Externally Motivated Students’ mouths all the time:

“My dad wants me to go to Harvard, but I don’t.”

“Can’t I just be an artist? What does this test have to do with that?”

“I don’t think my scores will be good enough for my mom.”

“I’m not a very good tester, so why even try?”

“What does the SAT/ACT have to do with real life anyway? It’s a stupid test.”

All of these statements, which I hear more frequently than you’d care to know, share one characteristic: they’re coming from the mouths of people who have never been shown why THEY should want to study for these tests.

Trying to “force” your child to study, or, worse, asking him to study to further goals that he perceives as your own, is the surest way NOT to attain high SAT and ACT test scores. Your CHILD has to want to learn this stuff for his OWN purposes. Otherwise, you’re swimming upstream.

The key to learning is understanding. In this case, students must understand why THEY should want to study – not why they should study for somebody else. In my years as a teacher, I’ve found one method, and one method only, that is consistently able to pass on this understanding.

 

The step-by-step process to creating an internally motivated learner (and becoming a teammate rather than a boss):

 

1. Ask your child what he wants. And I don’t just mean what school he wants to go to. I mean: what does he want out of life? If you haven’t had this talk, it’s time. Sit down in a low pressure environment (maybe grab a pizza or go bowling, whatever) and get a good answer. Really listen. At no point during this conversation should you EVER chime in. Just listen. Figure out what it is that your child really wants out of life, whether it’s to become a billionaire mogul, a GreenPeace volunteer, a famous author, or a professional surfer. Just listen.

Now here’s the hard part: make this the only objective you accomplish on this day. Don’t talk about college. Don’t talk about grades. Just muse on life. Figure out what it is that your child really feels will help him to add meaning to this world. Once you understand this, then you can move on to step #2:

 

2. Now that you know what your child wants, ask him what qualities of a college would help to further these goals. Don’t ask “what college your child wants to go to,” because here’s the big thing:

HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS HAVE NO IDEA WHAT COLLEGE THEY ACTUALLY WANT TO GO TO.

They haven’t been there, they don’t know what it’s really like, and they don’t know how they’ll behave once they get there. All high school students have is an IDEA of what college they want to go to. Names of colleges are meaningless – instead, start to figure out what qualities your child is looking for in college – then you can really get somewhere.

Make a list of these qualities. A great school newspaper? In a city? Incredible English program? Award-winning professors? Fantastic athletics? Write it all down.

Work with your child to figure out what he is looking for in a college based on QUALITIES, not NAMES or RANK, and get this list down.

If you earnestly go through this process, your child won’t see you as an “oppressor” – he will start to see you as a teammate.

If you want a better college application process, and a better relationship with your child, have him view you as a teammate rather than as a boss. You’re in this together. When your child sees that you’re listening to what he wants and trying to get it for him, the results will be incredible. You’ll start to see walls of resistance melt as your child realizes that he isn’t being forced into anything, and that you’re working WITH him.

Think about it for a moment. Which is more motivating:

A) “You need to get into a top school. I’ve picked UPenn, Pomona, and Amherst. They’re the best schools possible with your grades. Now study for the SAT or you won’t get in!”

B) “What do you want out of life? To be an author? Fantastic! Let’s find schools with amazing English and Creative Writing programs! Hopefully we can get your ACT scores high enough to gain admission – it would be amazing if you could study with Professor Hollis!”

3. Make a list of 20 schools that share these qualities. Do your research.

College Data is the best resource available for this purpose. You can access the site here:

http://www.collegedata.com

College Data has an insane amount of information on every college in the world. You can use this site to figure out which colleges have which qualities, ranging from academic opportunities and scholarship programs to sports competition levels and location.

I’m not saying you can’t use US News and World Report’s ranking system to match the colleges that your child finds appealing with some top-notch schools. I’m just saying that you should start with school qualities and then correlate them with rankings. Going by ranking alone is an absolutely terrible idea.

The real key is to focus on colleges that provide your child with ways to further his life goals. Start to implant the idea of “the dream school” into your child’s mind. Make him realize that you listened to what he wants and took time to find the places that share those qualities. Get as much information as you can about these schools – pamphlets, brochures, websites, statistics, pictures, student testimonials, descriptions of programs, etc. and give them to your child. Let your child know that he can check them out whenever he wants to.

Let your child spend a week fantasizing about the places where he could be spending the next four years of his life. Once your child is burning to get into a particular college, 90% of your work is done. Then comes the punchline:

4. Let your child know that high SAT and ACT test scores will improve his chances of getting into his dream schools.

Most students are resistant to test prep because they feel that they don’t have a choice. “Why am I studying for this stupid test? I’d rather be hanging out with Frank.”

Now is your chance to let him know that this is in fact all about choice. The better his scores are, the more dream schools he’ll get into, and the more scholarships he’ll win. Put simply, higher SAT and ACT scores will lead directly to dream school admission.

 

In my experience, this approach works 100% of the time.

 

When my students don’t do their homework, I don’t get mad at them. There’s no point. Instead, here’s what I always say:

“John, listen, don’t apologize. It doesn’t affect me if you do or don’t do your homework. It just affects you. Last time I checked, you really wanted to get into a school with a good science program. If you keep skipping your assignments, your scores are going to stink. If you think you’re going to get into MIT, Cal Tech, or Northwestern with terrible SAT scores, you’re kidding yourself. I’m not mad at you – I just don’t see your actions and your goals lining up in any way, shape, or form. I thought these were your dream schools, but if you’re not doing your work, clearly they’re not. If you actually want to go, you’ll earn your spot, and that won’t happen unless you commit to this test.”

I can’t emphasize enough how effective this methodology is in my own teaching, because it’s all about INTERNAL MOTIVATION rather than EXTERNAL MOTIVATION. An angry teacher leads to rebellion – a disappointed teacher leads to pity and lack of self-esteem. A brutally honest teacher who simply tells students the truth gets results.

“You want something, right? Well, right now, you’re not doing the necessary things to get it. If you want it, do the work.”

Once your child realizes that HE wants to go to these schools, that HE is the only one who can get himself in, and that if HE wants the opportunities that HE asked for, HE has to work, watch what happens.

We’ll discuss motivation in much more depth later on, but for now, if you take away just three things from this guide, let it be these:

1. Students who don’t want to learn can’t learn.

2. It’s impossible to “force someone to learn” or to motivate someone to learn externally.

3. The only way to make a student want to learn is to create a clear path in his own head from the work of learning to the ultimate goals that he wants to achieve.

I recommend coming up with your list of colleges on your own FIRST, then vetting this list with a college professional.

Your school’s college counselors are most useful for giving you an accurate picture of what is and isn’t realistic. They’ve seen countless students get accepted and rejected by different schools, and most of them have a pretty good idea of what’s a reach, what’s a 50/50, and what’s a “safety.”

More importantly, your counselor will be able to make peripheral recommendations that you and your child might not be able to find on your own. For instance, if you find Williams to be one of your top choices, your counselor might advise you that Amherst is a very similar (and equally as excellent) choice. When it comes to selecting schools, your own research is vital, but it doesn’t hurt to supplement it with the insights of someone who researches colleges all day for a living!

In summary: before you do ANYTHING else, find your CHILD’S “dream schools”.

The value of this step cannot be overemphasized. You’ll build internal motivation within your child and come closer and closer to being your child’s “teammate” rather than his boss.

Next, “vet” your results with a professional to make sure that you’ve come up with the best, most accurate list possible.

Now that you know how to get your kid on your side and build his internal motivation, it’s time to start laying the foundation for an action plan…

Action Steps:

1. Realize that it is your child who has to want higher test scores, not you. Until this is the case, no real progress can be made.

2. Stop pushing your child and stop framing his goals as your own. You need to let your child “own the process.”

3. Sit down with your child and ask him what he wants out of life. Do not interrupt – listen attentively and take note of everything he says. This process will let him know that you care about what he wants, and not about what you want.

4. Ask your child what QUALITIES he is looking for in his future college. Not what college he wants to go to, but what qualities of a college he is looking for. Again, listen very attentively. Show him that you care about what he wants out of life, and that you want to help him find a college that will provide him with the opportunities and options that he is seeking.

5. Make a list of these qualities, and show your child that you’re listening and care about everything that he wants out of his future college.

6. Use http://www.collegedata.com to find a list of 20 schools that match these qualities. Again, you’re not looking for school ranking – you’re looking for schools that match the qualities your child has defined as his “most wanted.”

7. Let your child know that high SAT and ACT scores will help him to get into the schools HE has just identified as the schools that HE wants to go to. Actively reframe the issue so that you are no longer “nagging” about SAT and ACT scores – you are simply “reminding” him that he needs those scores to go to the places where HE wants to go.

8. Take your list of selected schools and tack it on your wall as a motivator for all future college activities.

9. Take your list of schools and bring it to your school’s college counselor. Have your third-party advisors help you to refine your list and add schools in line with your child’s goals, desires, and aspirations.

Next up, let’s discuss the appropriate level of parental supervision that your child will need as he works through this process:

The Right Level of Supervision

 

If you want to be a good “test prep parent,” you don’t need to help your child with homework, set up fancy schedules, or do anything else except for this:

Make sure that your child is working consistently.

That’s all there is to it. No matter how you choose to prep (and you can see our free guide on choosing the right prep system), consistency is the name of the game.
If you’re using my online SAT / ACT system, you can track your child’s progress by reviewing his advancement through the assigned lesson sets and by checking his most recent entries on the included Score Tracker. There’s no easier way to check on your child’s progress consistently without ever interfering or bringing it up in conversation.
If you work with a one-on-one tutor, or with a classroom instructor, demand that your tutor or teacher maintain constant communication with you regarding your child’s attendance, progress, and participation. Don’t leave it to the tutor to do this – require it as an upfront priority.

Realistic Scheduling Leads to Consistency (Just Check the Calendar)

Test prep shouldn’t be a stressful, multi-hour-per-day affair. Instead, your child is best off by establishing a small, set window each and every day in which to prep. Whether it’s 30 minutes every morning, 40 minutes after swim practice, or a split of some sort – for instance, 15 minutes after breakfast and 25 minutes before dinner – getting into a routine is essential. Otherwise, test prep becomes one of those things that you’ll “get around to eventually.”

Your only job is to make sure that your child has established his routine, and that he’s sticking to it. You don’t need to pester your child or check in on a daily basis so long as he has a routine time-slot devoted to this process. That way, you can simply check in every once in a while and make sure that this sacred test prep time is being observed.

Nothing is more obnoxious than a “did you do your homework today?” thrown at a child every day. It leads to external motivation. Instead, just make a deal with your kid: set aside a bit of time each day to study, and observe that time. If you say you’ll prep from 5:20-6 every weekday, and from 11-11:40 every Saturday and Sunday, then that’s all I ask! I just expect to see you studying during those times.

Set it and forget it. Just get a routine going and make sure it’s being followed.

The One Exception: Practice Tests

Full-length, timed, graded diagnostic tests are an essential element of any effective test prep program. If your child wants to seriously improve his scores, he needs to take a full-length test at least once a month. These tests should be taken under realistic conditions, graded, and analyzed to look for new strengths, weaknesses, and areas for focused study (my online program will show your child precisely how to take, grade, and analyze his practice tests).

The ugly truth: taking these tests isn’t very much fun. They take about four hours to complete, they’re a bit grueling, and they come with a bit of anxiety. However, they must happen. They’ll build your child’s testing endurance, allow him to focus on the highest-priority areas, reduce overall test-day anxiety, and build test-taking skills.

If you’re using my online system, your child will know precisely when, where, and how to take these tests. If you work with another tutor, class, or course, demand that your tutor/instructor tell you his/her diagnostic schedule up front to make sure that realistic, graded diagnostic tests are taking place on a regular basis.

To make sure that these tests get taken (and get taken the right way), your only jobs as a parent are:

A) Know when your child is planning to take these tests

B) Clear the calendar on those dates and make sure they occur as planned

C) Make sure that no one interrupts your child while he is taking these tests

So long as you have a daily routine established for everyday homework, along with a calendar mapped out for your child’s practice tests, and so long as you make sure these obligations are being met, you’re good to go.
If you find the right system or program, then the work of supervision becomes almost non-existent. I designed my program to require almost zero parental supervision. Please do your child a favor and do NOTHING more than the steps above when supervising his or her efforts.

A Quick Note On Stress:

Above, you learned precisely what to do. Before we move on to the next guide on managing anxiety, I want to briefly discuss the things you should not do if you want your child to succeed.

I study brain science and educational principles on a daily basis. One of the most interesting things you’ll learn in any book on education is this:

When you’re scared, you literally cannot learn.

Put simply, your brain has only two modes: “input” and “output.” When your brain is in “input” mode, it is receptive to new information. It is also able to process that new information and able to integrate it with the information already present.

When your brain is in “output” mode, all learning shuts down. It is literally impossible to learn new things. This is what most people know as “fight or flight” mode, a remnant from our genetic ancestors.

Back in the day, when a tiger ran into your cave, you didn’t want to ponder the meaning of life, take careful note of the tiger’s colors, or think about the area of a triangle. All these “input” activities would have gotten you killed. Instead, your brain had two very simple outputs:

1. Hit that thing with the largest rock you can find.
2. Run.

This system is outdated. We still carry the same software as our cavemen ancestors, but we no longer have to run away from tigers quite as often.

When your child is stressed, he is chronically in fight-or-flight mode.

Studies have shown that students who are bullied or criticized in school end up getting grades far worse than their non-bullied peers. The reason is simple: because these students are in a chronic state of stress and fear, they’re always in “output” mode. As a result, they rarely learn anything in class.

Our reptilian brain is responsible for the basic functions that keep us alive: keeping our heart beating, regulating our hormones, etc. It’s also responsible for the fight-or-flight reflex.

What separates us from other animals is our neocortex, the part of our brain responsible for thinking and logical reasoning. It is our neocortex that allows us to learn, and, ultimately, to use language, build skyscrapers, and take the SAT and ACT. When the reptilian brain is engaged by fear or stress, it shuts down most of the functionality of the neocortex. As a result, when your child is feeling terrified or stressed, he’s not thinking.

In case you were wondering: not thinking is very bad for SAT/ACT performance.

Aside from the suggestions above, all you need to do is avoid triggering your child’s reptilian brain.

Things that trigger the reptilian brain:

1. Criticism
2. Scolding
3. Comments along the lines of “you can’t accomplish X”
4. Yelling
5. Stressful/loud/dirty study environments
6. Lack of sleep
7. Hunger and dehydration
8. Threats
9. Fighting
10. Physical and verbal abuse of any kind

This isn’t a guide on “how to be a parent” – however, all ten of the activities above are guaranteed to lower your child’s scores. Engage in them at your own risk. Take a look at the list above and minimize all of these elements in your child’s life. If your child is scared or stressed, the reptilian brain engages. When the reptilian brain engages, your child won’t learn a thing.

In Summary:

1) Have your child establish a set, consistent, light routine for daily prep, and hold him to that routine.

2) Make sure your child is taking a timed, realistic, graded practice test at least once a month, and clear out his schedule to make this easier for him.

3) Don’t do anything above and beyond the previous two steps. Any additional monitoring or interference will be counterproductive.

Enough with the negativity! Next up, we’ll discuss the role of rewards in enhancing your child’s performance.

 

Rewards Work

 

External motivation is all about punishment, fear, and shame. Internal motivation is all about accomplishment and reward. If you want your child to be self-motivated during the test prep process, you’ll create a strong system of bite-sized rewards.

Punishment doesn’t work for SAT/ACT prep. Want your child to get terrible scores? The first step is to terrify him, berate him for not studying enough, and then set up a series of threatened punishments that you’ll apply if he doesn’t do his work diligently. If you’re looking to create a student who has no internal motivation whatsoever, and whose only goal is to avoid your punishment (as opposed to actually succeeding), then I highly recommend taking this route. Otherwise, keep reading.

Students who do well on their standardized tests have clear-cut goals, and when they reach them, they’re rewarded for their efforts.

There are three types of rewards that work. They’re listed below, from most to least important:

1. Recognition. The most overwhelming human desire is the desire for recognition and respect. Once people have their basic needs of food, water, and shelter provided for, this is the first thing that they seek.
When your child reaches his goals, you need to recognize that those goals have been met and congratulate him for his good work. It’s amazing how much a “pat on the back” can do for a child’s motivation and self-esteem. The biggest error I see many parents make in the test prep process is forgetting to congratulate and recognize their children when they’re doing good work.

As you learned from the previous section, figuring out when to congratulate your child is incredibly easy if you’ve set up a good routine. Give kudos whenever he consistently follows his prep routine, completes a full diagnostic exam, and when he improves his scores. The more of an effort you make to do this, the more your child is going to thrive.

2. Self-Satisfaction. This is out of your control, but it deserves to be briefly mentioned. When you work with your child to set clear goals and benchmarks, he will be the one providing his own reward via immense feelings of self-satisfaction. It’s an incredible feeling when you set a goal and stick with it, and a consistent program should instill this within your child.

3. Material and External Rewards. Remember: we’re dealing with teenagers here, and, just like everyone else, they love a good “treat.” These shouldn’t be handed out willy-nilly, but when your daughter accomplishes certain big goals and hits certain benchmarks, treat her. These treats can come in multiple forms: a trip to her favorite restaurant, a new set of headphones, a “get out of mowing the lawn for a day” card, etc. – they don’t necessarily have to be expensive, or even cost anything. Just make sure that you throw these into the mix and size them appropriately for the accomplishment. Finishing one’s homework for the week merits a tasty dinner; raising one’s SAT scores by 400 points might merit something bigger.

 

ONE BIG WORD OF WARNING: make your rewards “now that” rewards, rather than “if this than that” rewards. Study after study has shown that people respond best to unexpected rewards that they receive after the fact, rather than rewards that they’re expecting to receive in the first place. In other words, don’t tell your child that he’ll get a nice dinner if he does all his homework – instead, when he does all his homework, take him to a surprise dinner. This keeps the rewards from becoming “externalized” and switching your child’s motivations from “I want to improve my options in life” to “I want a pizza.”
When children feel that they’re moving towards a reward, they’re much more motivated than when they’re running away from a punishment.

There’s one more element to this motivation system that deserves some serious attention:

Reward WORK, rather than OUTCOMES, and do it frequently.

Your child can’t control the exact score that he gets on his SAT or ACT. However, your child is in full control of the work that he puts in on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. If your child is following a sound program, and if he works consistently, he’ll see rapid improvements. Therefore, your goal as a parent should be to reward labor more than you reward outcomes.

Do not dwell only on the end result. If your child feels that the only way to succeed is to get a particular score, he’ll quickly lose motivation. This means that every conversation about test prep should be focused PURELY on whether your child is doing the work.

Don’t bring up scores, and don’t bring up outcomes. When your child achieves successes in these arenas, which he will, he’ll bring them up to you. After all, because you’re a teammate, and not a boss, your child will be thrilled to share successes with you, and he’ll feel that you’re partially responsible for those successes. However, the only things that you should discuss and reward are daily efforts.

Is your child meeting his prep schedule? Fantastic! Is he taking his practice tests consistently? Amazing! Reward those wins, and allow the score progress to come naturally from those efforts.

But what if you need to punish your child?

That’s the question I always get asked when I recommend this system: “what if my child just isn’t doing any of this stuff, won’t stick with any program, doesn’t care about college, and doesn’t respond to any of my rewards?”

The answer is that, in my experience, I have never met a child who reacts as strongly to a punishment as he does to lack of a reward. EVER. If your child is so stubborn and unmotivated that he is directly defying you and spitting on your encouragement, then that’s a problem beyond the scope of this guide, and is a more appropriate issue for a therapist or relationship counselor. If no amount of effort can get your child to study or care about the college process, then that’s a discussion beyond the realm of test prep – a deeper look into the underlying problems needs to occur.

When your child comes to expect rewards for his progress, and starts chasing after them, you’ve done everything you can to create the kind of positive, internal motivation necessary for test success. If you’ve followed this guide so far, you’ve set up an internal motivation based on your child’s own goals, you’ve given him a clear path toward improving his scores, and he knows that your only role is as an encourager, helper, and rewarder.

Doesn’t this seem a little better than the “Tiger Mom” rubbish you’ve read about elsewhere? And doesn’t it make a lot more sense? I’ve seen both philosophies in action, and trust me: this one works better. I wouldn’t be recommending it if it didn’t.

That’s All There Is to It!

 

It doesn’t take much to create a highly-motivated kid. Set internally-based goals, set a consistent schedule that you monitor lightly, avoid punishment, and reward consistency and work above all else. If you start early, and if you put these systems in place, you’re going to be in fantastic shape.

Next up, it’s time to discuss one of the biggest obstacles to elite testing performance: anxiety. For that, we’ll move on to our next guide!
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