Now, I tend to be of the mindset that we don’t need much of a nudge in the right direction when we’re “feeling” the task before us. We’ll give it all we’ve got and then some, if need be. BUT . . . there are those instances when the task before us is one of the “undesirables” that we tend to pack away for a future date, or try to forget altogether, because we just don’t want to do the thing.
You know what I mean?
It’s like this: if there really was such a thing as “Procrastination Station” where we could drop off all the unwanted tasks, wouldn’t that be an awesome idea in theory? Well, maybe in theory. But reality always has a way of biting you in the you know what when it comes to facing the truth of the matter. And the truth says that there will ALWAYS be those tasks that are challenging or unpleasant but have to be addressed just like those tasks that are enjoyable or easy to take on and successfully complete.
So since we know we have to get after the undesirables anyway, wouldn’t it be in our best interests to make the most out of the situation and put our best efforts forward — make positive strides to do what we can with the situation and circumstances we’re handed?
Well yes, we should? Persevering in the face of adversity, of course, would be the grown-up thing to do. And many times, we GET THINGS DONE because we know we have to (even though there may be some reluctance to do so).
But what about our younger counterparts? What about those children we’re raising who are coming across their own “undesirables” that they’d rather ignore, avoid, and hope that the adults in their lives will forget even exist.
Here’s the thing, though. Our children are going to come across the same types of challenging and unpleasant tasks that we, adults, face and some that are totally specific to them as they go through their childhood development phases.
So, let me give you a little helpful advice for dealing with the reality of growing pains. We all go through them. And don’t we owe it to our children to help them get through those painful times when they have to take on some tasks that may not come as easy to them as they’d like? We do owe it to them. And if we love them and want them to succeed in life, then we need to teach them the importance of having a “growth mindset” to counteract those growing pains that will come along.
A growth mindset will tell a child to not give up when the going gets tough, to put one foot in front of the other and to keep moving forward, to persevere in the face of adversity (as I stated earlier), to try and try again, that practice makes perfect (or closer to perfect than not practicing at all), etc., etc., etc. Sounds like the kind of pep talks we give ourselves as adults, too.
But let’s focus on the children and see what we can do to make the learning process (with the growing pains) more tolerable and the undesirable tasks at hand a little more palatable. And here’s where I want to reintroduce the question I posed in last Tuesday’s post, DOM Build-a-Book Project: Market Research for Incentives Books.
How do we positively and productively incentivize the young learner these days?
Last week, I shared with you that I would like for us to work together to create a book (or it actually could be “products”) that “will incorporate real-life applications that will benefit all of us in helping our children to grow.” I also mentioned that this DOM Build-a-Book Project is meant to lead us “toward creating a book that helps us ALL who have children (or know of children) that we’d like to encourage to develop those skills and abilities that will propel them forward in life.”
A very lofty but worthwhile and doable goal, I might add. Yes, we can do it. I just need a little participation on your part to get this project rolling.
If you are the parent of a child, mentor a child, or care for a child of elementary school to early middle school age (5 – 12 years of age), I’d love for you to take some time to answer the 10 questions below and send those answers to my Contact page, where I should receive them in my email inbox.
Now, I’ll need for you to answer all the questions honestly and completely (to the best of your ability). And for your time and participation, you’ll receive your choice of one of the six journal cover themes (located toward the end of the post). Just let me know which one you’d like and I’ll email you a copy of it to print out and give to your child to use as a journal cover or a binder cover or whatever your child’s heart desires to do with it. And I reserve the right to email you back if I need a bit more info from you on an answer to a question or need clarification on your response.
A few notes about the questionnaire:
- I use the terms, “incentives” and “rewards” interchangeably throughout this post.
- I don’t need you to divulge the name of your child, but I would appreciate it if you’d include your child’s age in the email. This information will greatly assist me as I compile and analyze the responses for patterns and commonalities among age groups.
- No personally-identifiable data from this (or any of the other questionnaires) will be used to identify you or your child(ren). For purposes of the book, all analyses and conclusions will be based on the aggregate data of all the responses provided.
- If you have more than one child you’re completing the questionnaire for, please include the age of each one and answer all 10 questions for each child individually. I will make sure you receive the requested journal cover for each one of your children (unless you have children who want the same cover; and in that case, you can print off multiple copies of the same cover for the children who request it).
- If you have any problems with providing the responses per my “Contact” page, please let me know.
- This questionnaire is not a graded assignment, so complete sentence responses are not necessary. Ha. Ha. However, I do ask that you number your responses, so I’ll know which response goes with what question.
- I will try to follow up with you within 24 – 48 hours from the time I receive your responses.
- Thanks so much for your participation in advance. I look forward to us working together on this book project.
Here are the 10 questions:
- When thinking of challenging (difficult to do) or unpleasant (don’t want to do) tasks your child is required to do, what works as your go-to method(s) for getting him or her to perform those tasks?
- Do you tend to reward your child for certain behaviors or do you reward your child for completing tasks? In other words, is the “how” your child carries out the task rewarded or is the “what” the child accomplishes (the completion of the task) rewarded?
- What do you think motivates your child more: intrinsic rewards (internally knowing he or she did a job well done and receiving a complement, a hug, a pat on the back, word-of-mouth recognition, etc.) or extrinsic rewards (tangible rewards such as trophies, ribbons, toys, money, tickets to a movie or amusement park, etc.)? And why do you think that particular type of reward motivates your child more?
- What types of rewards do you think your child would like to see in an incentives program that encourages children to complete challenging or unpleasant tasks? (I would even encourage you to ask your child this question to get his or her first-hand feedback.)
- What types of rewards would you like to see in an incentives program that encourages children to complete challenging or unpleasant tasks?
- Do you feel that you need assistance in helping to motivate your child to carry out certain tasks?
- Do you feel that there is a need for a proven rewards system to help encourage children to successfully complete tasks that are difficult or not as enjoyable for them?
- If you said “yes” to the above question, would this proven system be something that you would be willing to purchase for use in helping your child?
- What do you personally feel your role is (what part do you play) in helping to motivate your child to complete challenging and unpleasant tasks?
- If the rewards system was explained to you, what means of communication method(s) would you like the information to be delivered by? (You can choose more than one method).
- by paperback book
- by ebook
- by audiobook
- by video
Here are the 6 journal cover themes (in order from left to right – top row and then bottom row): Beautiful Flowers, Construction Work, Interesting Insects, Safari Animals, Sports Fun, and Sweet Treats. (Please choose one for your child and include the name of your requested journal cover (highlighted above) in your email to me.)
I think I’ll close this post out by stating that I intend to include questions for you in each post for the next few Tuesdays until I can get a feel for how I can best serve you with a product that can answer that bolded question that I asked a few paragraphs and bullet points above.
I don’t have a predetermined number of questions to ask or weeks that are set in stone for the DOM Build-a-Book Project. We’re just going to go with the flow and see what we can create together. There are no time constraints when it comes to crafting quality. So, we’ll extend this project for however long it takes to get the results we need. Hope that sounds like a plan worth pursuing.