Around our house, the leaves are just starting to turn from the greens and browns of summer to the yellows and reds of fall. The figs have all been picked, cherries are gone, and we’re getting to the end of the blackberries from the bush outside our living room window. It’s darker in the evenings and cooler in the mornings. The change in the air is unmistakable….

It’s Back-to-School time.

Today, I helped our daughters get ready for school… registration, a photo taken for her school ID, and a meeting with a teacher. Like a lot of families in the country and the world, we will still be dealing with the effects of COVID on our children’s education for months to come.

One thing is for sure, school will be different this year for our kids. For many of us parents–whose children are doing full or part-time distance learning–this means we will be more involved in our kids' education.

In comparison to last year, does the responsibility of your kid’s education feel heavier on your shoulders?

You want your kids to be self-motivated, to get their school work done, and to get good grades. You want your kids to succeed to the best of their ability.

But what if your child isn’t motivated to do school work? How can you help your kids to develop internal (intrinsic) motivation?

If your child doesn’t want to do their schoolwork, should you offer a reward or an incentive?

What does the research say about “carrots and sticks”?

We asked Dr. William Stixrud and Ned Johnson, co-authors of the Self-Driven Child, about the effectiveness of rewards–their answer may surprise you–and we talked with them about how to help kids develop self-motivation.


Get the full interview in The Village by Happily Family.

And if you’d like to be on LIVE, while we talk to luminaries like Dr. William Stixrud and Ned Johnson AND get coaching with Cecilia and Jason, join The Village, no charge for your first month.