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Motivation by Guilt continued

Positive Motivation


There are several wonderful substitutes for motivation by  guilt.


•Motivation by encouragement.

When we encourage others we help them to see what they are doing right, not just what they are doing wrong. Encouragement involves praise, support, and a spirit of togetherness. In contrast, motivation by guilt usually involves criticism, isolation and blame.


•Motivation by exhortation

Exhortation is another excellent means by which we can motivate. Exhortation deals with facts. To exhort is to lay the truth on the line. Exhortation emphasizes the truth and the natural consequences of not following the truth. In contrast, motivation by guilt focuses upon the person and the negative aspects of the person. It is often a matter of attitude. The most effective exhorters are those who gently but firmly lead the way. For example, they don't want their children to feel guilty because children who feel guilty usually lag behind.


•Motivation by  equipping.

Equipping involves showing, telling and leading someone until they have enough experience to carry on by themselves. The most effective parents and teachers are those who show their children what to do and how to do it.


As adults now, we are yesterday's children. Today's children are tomorrow's adults. If we don't encourage, exhort and equip them, we will leave the world in the hands of people who have no inner resources with which to cope with life. If we, as parents and teachers, find more positive ways to motivate our children we can foster their growth into a healthy future for us all.


Dobson, Dr. James. (1980). Emotions - Can you trust them?. Ventura, CA:  Regal Books.

Minirth, Frank; Meier, Richard & Hawkins, Don. (1988). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.


Copyright 1991, El Rophe Center, Inc.

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