We have an extended family time ‘virutally’ every weekend. All brothers , sisters, their children and families come on a video chat for an hour. We don’t have a fixed agenda, just seeing faces is enough to keep the good harmones going till next week.

During extended conversations, we share our family experiences and get to learn from each other on handling typical issues… kids throwing tantrums, kicking out a bad habit, developing a new habit, the tips on home remedies, you name it.

I learned recently, how young parents, handle kids having expectations. The peer pressure drive children to ask for new Lego games and new places to go. You can’t say no for everything, yet you need to cap on entitlement.

One innovative solution came from brother’s daughter in Australia. She has a list of tasks to do for kids and each task upon completion gets some points. The kids earn points for their good conduct and are entitled to ask for something equal to the points earned. Kid wanting a new Lego game knows how many points to be earned and where he/she is at it now. You got it.

Some frown at quantifying character and measure it against a reward. So, a kid would wash her clothes , stay motivated to do so only upto the points she needs for her T Rex doll? Won’t she extend this to life, start quantifying and expecting rewards for each action? How to account for failures ?

I think it is the first step in motivating a kid to develop new habits and be disciplined. Rewards attract, advices don’t. Next would be to tell kids that efforts do not always yield rewards and that relation is not always that simple. Deliberate practice and inching towards the goal with smaller milestones to achieve would get them to face reality.

I am sure children of these days would understand this and embrace failures pragmatically. They need to be prepared. We need to tell them “face failures gracefully and work towards improvement”. Let us look at the first step now, clearly knowing that there is another step to be taken sooner than later.

Would I get a point for writing this article?

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