Motivation and Compromise

My son is very goal motivated. It is not my natural style of parenting to bribe my kids with a reward, but he often will come up with his own chores and rewards haha. And it works for him, so not always does my parenting style match with his personal style. We find the happy middle ground.

Right now he is in full swing of a goal motivation phase of life. He has been waking up and asking if I have a job for him. While I think of something, he beats me to it and comes up with;

“How about I earn five coins on teach me (iPad school app), then get dressed, put all my dirty clothes in the hamper, make myself breakfast, clean up my dishes and earn an egg on reading eggs (a computer reading program) is that a good enough job for one Ben 10 episode?”

As I am waking up, sipping my tea and still in my jammie’s thinking about our day, I realize welllllll that does cover some reading, math and spelling…not to mention it will buy me time to sip my tea and relax before I have to get cracking on the day ahead. Yup, sounds good to me, go for it.

He zips around and accomplishes his chores then sits down to watch his episode of Ben 10. I’m still sipping my tea and in my jammie’s…haha!

After a while, I figure I better get moving, so I get up and get ready for the day.

Side note: Way less stressful morning, then the days when we used to race around the house in a state of chaos trying to get out the door for school, often forgetting lunches, backpacks, jackets, even shoes!

Well I’m up and ready, the episode is over and he’s hoping for another job. I hand him a spray bottle and rag, he goes spot hunting on the kitchen floor, then grabs a duster and eliminates most of the surface dust in the living room. I’m not ready yet for him to watch more tv, so I send him into his room to tidy up…to avoid child labor accusations Haha…, I send him outside to jump on the trampoline and hunt for a lizard as the final part of his job.

Television, computer games, iPad apps, audio stories, are all things my son will gravitate towards if they are options. We lump them all under the title of “tech” He would happily spend the entire day tech hopping if possible.

I don’t mind technology in our life, but I do mind too much of them, and I am extremely picky on what tech is approved. A degree of educational value needs to be involved for it to be on our list of ok technology. This is the area in our lives where I do not willy nilly give in to the nag factor.

I like to see my kids physically moving their bodies, spending time outside in nature, exercising their natural curiosity and being active creative kids. So this job situation has brought about many opportunities for compromise.

Yesterday I sent the kids outside with bowls full of seeds and their job was to plant the garden beds with these seeds. Immediately my son asks if all the seeds can go into one hole. Haha! I replied with specific directions, read directly from the seed packaging. They spent a good 45 minutes outside gardening. Which was not only a job, but also part of a lesson we have been doing on GMO crops and the bees. “Vanishing Bees” is the documentary that spurred this adventure. My children have gone from fearing the bees, to wanting a bee hive in our garden.

Another side note: take note of how all these aspects of our life are intertwined…our life incorporates learning, a job, responsibility, and yet it is all enjoyable for those involved…it’s our life not a desk or a classroom where my kids learn the most. I love the saying, we learn about the real world IN the real world, not a classroom.

I’m not sure if I have a specific point to my post, but I’m not the goal oriented one in this house haha!

I do like that even though I’m not a goal oriented person, my son is and I can embrace his needs in a way that benefits his growing mind and body. And that homeschooling or parenting doesn’t have to be torture, yelling, fighting, etc….you can find happy compromises that suit not only your needs, but your child’s needs as well.

Ah ha there is my point:

Find happy compromises that suit not only your needs, but your child’s needs as well.