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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Winning over your kids to do what you want them to do

Two days ago I was watching my wife getting frustrated with my older one while helping her to do home work. It was a very simple homework where she has to learn eight four-letter word spellings using phonics. Observing what was going on, I decided to help my wife differently.

I asked my older one to come into a separate room and then we locked it inside. I had to do this because earlier TV was on and my little one was playing around which were distracting her like anything. My older one and I made a deal that if she writes the eight words for five times, she can go. She loved it. When she finished, she got lot of high five’s, hugs and kisses.

It didn’t take very long for her to finish writing and as soon as she finished it, she ran to her mother to show her work. Mom was very happy and checked her spelling knowledge by asking her to spell few words.

I want to share three things here. First is that we – parents need to realize that little children have very little attention span. While the homework was done, having the TV on and my little one around were too much for the older one to concentrate. We decided to remove those factors by going to a separate room.

Second, kids love goal oriented activities. Kids like to see how far they have to go when they have to go. When I told her to write for five times, each time she wrote, she told me “Daddy, only four more times…..three more times…..two more times”.

Last but not the least, kids love the sense of achievement and being loved. When she finished, she got lot of hugs, kisses and high five’s. This helped her to understand that completing a given task has rewards.

Well…..the bad thing is, Mom wants Dad to do it everyday.

Ruby

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