During infancy, children need endless love and affection, and they thrive when they understand that our presence and support is a constant. But somewhere around age two, things begin to change, and what children need is greater independence.
There is no question that children in the first years of their lives learn from everything they do. Just as important, they’re developing attitudes toward learning that will last a lifetime. Motivation is a key part of this process.
Children are born ready to learn, curious about the world around them. This curiosity drives them to learn naturally, through experience and experimentation. Unfortunately, external rewards for learning, like grades and test scores are not only less effective motivators than natural curiosity, but actually undermine it.
Research shows that curiosity and self-motivated learning are critical for school readiness, helping children to remain engaged in the classroom and to develop the confidence that they are effective and capable students.
Babies are born learners and it is curiosity which drives them to figure out the world around them and how it works. Research shows that children have an internal drive to learn. It is this natural desire, rather than external rewards, which motivates them to seek out new experiences and leads them toward becoming lifelong learners.
The emerging science about children’s brains and how they develop shows that an adult’s drive to succeed socially, academically and professionally has its roots in self-motivation and curiosity during childhood.