Thursday, February 14, 2008

Intrinsic motivation!!

"Dhruv, if you stand up , you cannot answer this question. Ok now somebody tell me,.... On what continent is the Amazon River located? , Sukrit, you can't answer this question" (Here Drhuv is a 5 year old, and Sukrit a big 13 year lil more knowledgable old boy)

A soft, dulcet voice pipped higher than the rest. The authority in her voice was evident. There was no mistaking her role. How could anyone not stand and watch and listen?!

I still have to come across a sight so heartening and filled with warmth. 10 pairs of bright, sparkling eyes were looking unblinking at her, in rapt attention. They could not afford to miss even one word, she had very thoughtfully put forth. If they did, another child would put up her hand - a la classroom style, before they could, and they would lose all of 5 points.
I stood a few feet away, just at the turn of the corridor, eagerly awaiting the response. What I saw, will stay etched there in my forever filled heart. A petite, 8 year old girl ,Dia, was holding a book of TRIVIA and surrounding her in a radius of less than a feet were 5-6, four, five and six year olds...girls and boys all huddled , sitting cross-legged and staring wide eyed-eared at her. She had achieved what few of us adults can. To get a child of that age to sit still is an achievement and that too during their evening playtime- we momma's can vouch for that.

Now I understand why my little one had come home the other day from play and said in a very angry, sad, dejected tone and told me, "Ma! you're very bad, you didn't teach me the capitals of the world!, even Mahika knows :(" Then, I had wondered what brought this on and my mind had raced and delved in to his school schedules, to see if I had missed some test of his. I sat with him then and was beaming a huge grin. It was my favourite pastime, we were out with our Atlas ( I would read the Atlas when I was a kid, when I was bored) and my son was all ears and hands and legs looking at the small, tiny lettered cities and countries and rivers and mountains....

What could have been a time consuming, tedious, war logged task for us parents, who have hyperactive, restless and 'terribly short attention span' children, who think only of running, jumping, and falling, Dia had achieved it effortlessly .

Also spotted were a few older rather smug looking boys ( the 12-13 year olds) including her brother who sports a T-shirt, that reads, " I'd rather trade my sister for a video game" and my older one too, walking past and slowing down next to them, hoping to overhear her questions, and then running it through their mind databanks, if only to go back and show off their ' I'm superior skills',

Motivational skills developing early. I'm sure her little class will ever be thankful to her. And so will their proud momma's and papa's , even though it means asking her son for the millionth time, after being told,
Son,- "Ma! ask me what is the capital of Turkey"

Me ,-" What is the capital of Turkey? "

I'd like to leave you with a classic poem on motivation. I loved this and wanted to share it with all of you.

Promise Yourself

Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing
can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity
to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel like
there is something in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything
and make your optimism come true.
To think only of the best, to work only for the best,
and expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others
as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on
the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times
and give every living person you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself
that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, and too strong for fear,
and to happy to permit the presence of trouble.


Thinking aloud said...

Dia is a born teacher too...hats off to her...its so cute to see the lil ones manage their friends so well......did sukrit listen to her?

and the atlas game... it really is fun, isn't it...?

i loved the poem you shared...:D

Keshi said...

wow she's so smart!


Ziah said...

Kids never fail to amaze me:)

--xh-- said...

:-) Dia is a born leader - itz wonderful to see the quiz game, right. :) they must have been really hooked to it if they styaback without gng out to play :) well, all this mom - dad blogs r giving me lot of valuable stuff for my future :)

Ps said...

Yes--The Atlas is a great fun tool!

The poem is superb.

Guruprasad said...

the child being the father (or mother in this case) of man (woman in this case) and all that :)

my son's going through his cricket phase while daughter is going through her artist phase! earlier son was going through the 'bai' (domestic servant) phase where he would take the mop and work the floor feverishly!

kids are always a refreshing riot!

rayshma said...

one smart kid, that...! :) i used to love going thru the atlas too when i was a kid...

Preethi said...

wow.. Dia is a born teacher like Suma says!! that was so cute and amazing!! Loved the poem ..

Rambler said...

play group play an important role in what children find interesting, I still remember how I suddenly became very interested in western music only because I became a part of new group which only listened to western music.

As per motivation, being a part of group means participating in every activity that goes on in the group, so learning becomes pleasure as a part of play.

Great to see such kid groups still around

Vinesh said...

ha! nice study group your kid is in :-)

Madhumita. said...

I'm still reeling from the tee that said 'I'd rather trade my sister ... ". Wow, really?

Prats said...

@TA she looks like she's gonna win a lot of pupils soon. Sukrit was like huh!! Why can't I? but seeing he was over powered in terms of age he chose to remain silent :)

@keshi Yes, she's one small , tiny dynamite.

@ziah. yep....sometimes I feel all the kids just have it in them to make people adore them...they are such fun

Prats said...

@xh. Its more about watching them play so seriously involved that it is contagious not to get involved with them. You sure should store these info somewhere, who knows it might come of use one day :)

@ps The atlas can open up so many ways to express really is a great way of spending time. Thank you.

@guruprasad Yes children can one riot...but for me they are such lovely stressbusters. My son is also into the "great cricket phase" but these small timeouts have also helped him out

Prats said...

@rayshma Yes she is. The atlas looks like it was a well used manual hehehe

@preethi Yes looks like she is one. And the poem was so interesting I just could not, not share it with all.

@rambler It is the influence of these groups that can make or break a child too. But if one is in healthy environments it sure helps in the growth of the child a lot. Peer pressure in good swings

Prats said...

@vinesh. These are actually kids from my apartment complex, and this was one of their play methods, and they are such wonderful kids.

@madhumita Hehehe, that really exists yes!! The next time he wears it I should take a shot of it....I always ask him about it...and he very casually says yeah!! but I've known him to be so caring towards his sister...

Joy said...

Amazing kids!

Keshi said...

lol so cute! She sounds like my 3yr old niece Loshi who's supa smart,sharp and witty.


Prats said...

@joy yes they really are, and such a fun set

@keshi really. Then you'll know exactly how they enjoy themselves

Shruti said...

oh my! lovely poem. Nice..
Hmm.. Dia will make not only a good teacher but also a good disciplinarian! Interesting study group :-)

Whitesnake said...

Out of the mouths of babes!

Prats said...

@shruthi She is a wonderful girl , yes and pray that she will get to be what she sets out to achieve.

@whitesnake :) you bet. Thanks for dropping by

Adorable Pancreas said...

I like Dia already.

I don't like kids much, because I am easily coaxed into playing games, and then they cheat. No fair!

UL said...

this was a lovely post, prats. I enjoyed the eight-year old's story...we do have so much to learn from ended with a beautiful poem, there's only one line in the poem I would change for myself....'expect nothing in return' as opposed to 'expect the best for yourself'...expectations can be tricky, dont you think?

Prats said...

@ap Kids can be really convincing, yes! And you could just get pulled into their games :) But their innocence can really brighten u up

@ul Thank you and yes! sometimes expectations can be the source of a lot of stress within us. and you were right, it could be changed to that.

vEENs said...

Ohh. I wish in so many ways that I had been a teacher.. and a successful one as the one in your post~!

Atlas? damn.. I was never good.. in reading them.. I don't ever ever understand ...

I still can't place my finger on where Europe and England is? is it the same place by the by

i wish my kids wont be atlas-challenged.. jus as me :D

aww i loved the poem!