- Are you focusing primarily on your child’s natural gifts, or dwelling on what’s most difficult for them? -
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Have you ever found yourself wondering, “What’s it going to take to motivate this kid?”
The science of intrinsic motivation is complex, involving a wide array of factors. One of the most important, yet perhaps the most ignored, involves the following truths:
   Every child is born with a unique temperament and set of gifts.
   We can parent well, but we cannot change the essence of who they are.
   When we encourage them to focus on their gifts, this creates high motivation.
   When we obsess over their weaknesses, we create frustration and apathy.
Generally speaking, traditional education has focused on the identification and remediation of weaknesses. This approach works well with some students. For many others it creates a train wreck of negative emotions and conflict between students and teachers, parents and their children, and parents and teachers.
Consider the following scenario:
You had a horrible day at work because your boss was upset with mistakes you made on tasks that you loathe. You spent most of the day correcting these mistakes.
Now you’re heading home to your loving spouse. Entering the house, you hear, “We really need to talk. I visited with your boss over the phone today, and he told me that some of your skills are really low. That’s okay. I love you. That’s why we’re going to start spending the evenings working on these issues so that you can bring up your performance at work. That means no TV until we get these things addressed.”
Would you be highly motivated to work on your skill deficits… or highly motivated to find a more relaxing place to go after work?
Are you focusing primarily on your child’s natural gifts, or are you dwelling on what’s most difficult for them?
In our audio, Shaping Self-Concept, we teach how to help kids get excited about learning by building them up in their areas of natural strength..
Charles Fay, Ph.D. - BiographyThanks for reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible. If this is a benefit, forward it to a friend.
Dr. Charles Fay
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