Motivate 'Children' to do well in school!
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Is it wrong to motivate my child to succeed?

Is it wrong to motivate my child to succeed?

I wrote a bit about my book and my thoughts on motivating children to learn and I received an interesting comment from an anonymous commentator.

Comment: 02/5/2014 at 02:48 PM
I know of no child that wants to become rich and successful. They want to be happy. If they want to be rich, that's the way you taught them to be, and I find that shallow.

I may have addressed this before at another forum but I am going to share my thoughts here as well, since it’s my personal blog about my personal thoughts, opinions and beliefs.

As to the assertion of my anonymous commentator made that children “do not want” to be rich and successful – is troubling to me. My experience has been that anyone that is anyone wants to be successful in one thing or another.
fun upward game children
By this I mean that no one, especially a child goes around saying – I want to fail.

In fact children just like adults hate to fail. No one likes to feel like a failure or to be considered a failure and while many have the good intention of teaching children that we are all winner’s; the facts are that children know that we are not all winners.
Let me give you a simple example of how I know this to be.

My son has been a part of a Christian basketball team since he was about six years old. The goal of the organizers is not to teach basketball to these children – it’s to teach bible principals in a fun active playful way. The goals are to teach sportsmanship, patience, dedication, acceptance and love towards others. The games are played without keeping score, this is done to avoid any team or child from feeling like if they have lost – as in failure (you know, the opposite of success).

In the four years that I have been taking my son to these practice games, taking him to the team games on Saturday I never once saw a coach yell at a child, push the children to win – in fact the referees are extremely lax on many rules (walking and other rules are trampled with impudence). After the games the children get a snack and are given stars based on their attitudes during the game: a star for defense, a star for offense, you can even get a star for Christ likeness.

Yet every year, despite the efforts of the church, the organization and the coaches to make every child feel accepted and to feel like a winner – the children keep track of which team won and which team lost.

That is right, the score board does not keep track of the score – but the children do.

You would be surprised to learn that even the littlest of children who play the game come off of the court or walk out of the complex after the game; talking about who won (success) or who lost (was not successful). Can you imagine that – children being concerned about success?

I would have to assume that according to the anonymous commentator – the reason these children are concerned about winning is because every religious parent, coach, referring, the entire Christian organization is shallow and has secretly instilled this evil desire into each child.

I teach my children to be good people, honest people and I instill in them Christian biblical values. But this does not mean I will shy away from teaching them to strive for excellence, to struggle for self-improvement, to challenge them-selves to be better.

I want my children to be happy and because I do I teach them to be motivated – to dream big and to seek for more in life. My question to you and to my anonymous commentator: when your child comes home with failing grades and has no drive to accomplish things in life – are you happy or concerned?

Please leave a comment below I would love to hear your response.

No MATH Wizard but I can answer that - funny Dad

I am no math wizard but I love to hear that my son tells his teacher “Oh, I know that – my father already taught me that”.

funny math wizard
It’s a wonderful feeling. But as I said, I am not a math wizard and I certainly do harness the power of the internet. I used YouTube and other sources to teach my son math subjects like fractions, order of operations: I love order of operations it involves multiplication, division, exponents, addition and subtraction all in one equation. Personally I think it’s the best way to have a young child practice all of his basic math skills.

Of course that doesn’t mean I do not run into my fair share of mathematical problems but that is what the internet is for – it’s a life saver.

For instance, my daughter came to me the other night asking for help with a math problem – college algebra, I know a little about that so I said sure: this was way beyond my comprehension. So first I asked her to show me what her teacher had shown her in class and to give me a rundown of what she knew (as in formula), because now a days everything is about knowing the formula – remember the formula and you can usually find the answer.

funny math wizard joke
The problem was she kept getting a ridiculous answer so I grabbed the laptop and started a search, can you believe the question we were looking for was the first search option on google. Someone had taken the exact question and broken down for us to understand – while this was great, his answer was still wrong. So after much debate I asked my daughter to show me exactly what see was doing, formula, using the fancy above my comprehension calculator and I solved the problem: she was doing everything right except she kept adding one to many zero’s to one of her numbers. When I check the answer on that was wrong online – he too had one to many zero’s, so in the end, fat fast fingers were the problem.

Yet this was not the end, the adventure continues: she now gives me an even harder question and says that she has no clue how to solve it. So again I ask to look over her study notes. I ask her to use the formulas that were taught to her by her teacher and when we can’t find an answer I decide to cheat.

I decide that we need to learn this – the answer is not important, learning how to solve the question is, so I tell her to find the answer to the question in the back of the book and we will reverse-engineer the problem (working backwards to find the solution). Now knowing the answer to the problem we check her formula, her equations and each step she took: Bingo! We find what she was doing wrong and we fix it. After that my brain was toast – but there is nothing like the feeling of accomplishing, achieving and conquering a challenge. Hopefully my children will see my efforts and seek to do even better in life.

Book review critic hates the word RICH??

Book review critic hates the word RICH??

I was minding my own business and I get this interesting email notification on my cell: book cretic leaves comment on an Amazon forum. So of course being the curious type I just had to read it. This is what this Amazon critic had to say about my book: “Despite your books good intentions – your title is boring.”

ebook childrens book motivate learning
What? I was literally floored – who is this person and what do they mean by my book title is boring?

My first reaction was to want to rant: who the hell do you…… (“Expletive language” not appropriate for a person like me) – But I didn’t. So I did the next best thing, I wrote back to this critic asking what suggestions they might have to improve the title of my children’s book: for children how to become Rich, Successful and Do well in school.

An hour later I get a response which basically says: It is not my job to tell an author what his title to his book should be that is up to them. But the use of the word “Rich” in your title – if you meant it as gaining wealth makes your title boring.

So that was the crux of his problem, I doubt this individual even read the free excerpt that is given on Amazon or the other online bookstore that promote my book: it seems his only problem with the title is the use of the word “Rich”.

Now, I wanted to argue my case with this individual, but I decided I would take this to you: the people who read my blog, who know some of my life stories and know my heart that is shared for all to see in my blog post.

What do you think: Is it wrong, or for that matter boring to use the word rich in my title?

Honestly, I would like your opinion?

You see: in my defense I used the word ‘Rich’ in my title (throughout my book) for several different reasons.
1. Every person, every child dreams of being RICH, being successful and they want to shoot for the stars. So I used the word Rich to simply get their attention – you want to reach your dream of being rich, well let me tell you how to do it: do well in school.
2. I used the word rich also because it implies a better life style. We as parents want the best for our children; we want them to achieve greatness – to do bigger and better things. Like when describing “rich milky chocolate”, you are describing not wealth but quality. A better quality of life is what I refer to in the book.
3. When I looked up the word rich online, the definition started off by describing the word as in “having lots of money” - wealth, but then it added definitions that pertained to a rich sulky voice, highly productive (a rich mine) and it also included “meaningful and significant”. That is what I was aiming for: How to teach children that the love of learning can transform their lives into a meaningful and significant life.

success rich worth happines quote
Yes, I sort of did a bait and switch: I told them they could be Rich, Successful and then I threw in the ‘how’ – by doing well in school. But that is also reflected in the title as well.

I have worked in the school system for several years and I have been very involved in my children’s schooling and education. I have seen it done in the school system and I have put this practice to good use in my home: children need to be incentivized. Why should I do this? Why should I work so hard now? What good will learning math do me?

The answer is simple: do you want a rich full meaningful significant life, equating success with accomplishing goals that you have set forth in your life? If the answer is yes, then son, daughter – do well in school. How do you do well in school? Seek knowledge, crave learning, make learning a lifelong passion – never fear mistakes because you can learn from them.

So again I ask you: Is my title boring?

Please comment below, I would love to hear from you, thank you.
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