You may believe that your child is unmotivated or lazy, but a learning disability may be the real issue.
Parents and teachers frequently blame a child’s learning struggles on them being unmotivated or lazy. This places the blame directly on the child’s shoulders and is merely masking the true problem. These kids tend to work harder than anyone else, they just don’t get very far for their efforts.
Every single person in this entire world will eventually give up on doing something they are completely incapable of. I’ve known people who will not make any attempt whatsoever to program a VCR no matter how much they want not to miss a program. They will get someone else to tape the program or just accept the fact that they won’t see it. They’ve tried to program the machine before and couldn’t so they quit trying.
My mother used to buy Ikea furniture and I had to assemble it for her. When I put my foot down and said I would not do it anymore she stopped buying unassembled furniture. She knows from previous experience that she can’t put it together and so she will no longer even try.
This type of behaviour is perfectly acceptable in adults. They can hire someone to do the job for them, delegate it, or make a different purchasing decision. Children do not have these choices.
If a child does not have the necessary skills to sound out words, he won’t develop reading skills by trying harder. Adults who cannot read, but want to very badly, can’t read just because they try hard.
Many parents try incentives. If the child finishes his homework he will get a reward. This might work for a short time but cannot be sustained. Falling in love with a small Ikea table might motivate my mother to assemble it but she’s not going to do that frequently or with a large complicated piece of furniture—no matter how much she wants it. (Remember, she’ll hire someone to do it for her.)
Motivation and laziness is not the problem. Lack of ability is. Abilities can be learned! Find someone who trains learning abilities and the problem will be solved. If you’ve tried before without much success, find another trainer. Not all programs or trainers are equal. In selecting a trainer ask to see before and after evidence that their methods work and speak with their clients who have completed the program.