How to Get Children to Work & You Too – Use Positive Motivation

Eavesdropping isn’t good manners – unless you know the others don’t mind. At times you just have to. Mordechai – from Purim – eavesdropped on the conversation of Bigtan & Teresh and then told the kingdom that they were scheming against the king. One night, The King Ahashverosh was read the chronicles of good deeds and rewarded Mordechai. This was one turning points of Purim. Where the wicked Haman fell & Mordechai rose.

So eavesdropping could be good. Eaves dropping on Torah learning is good. Today I did just that.

Negative & Positive Motivation

The rabbi at a different  table was discussing a way of motivating children to do a chore. He made a fine distinction between giving ultimatums to children and motivating. He mentioned that ultimatums aren’t necessarily productive. If you don’t do “A” you will not go to the park to play. The child motivated by negativity is less responsive than one motivated by positivity. The proper way to motivate the child is to say “sure you can go to the park – right after you do “A”. Choose your “A” – clean your room, fold your clothes, do your homework, etc. Now he has a reason to do the job, He wants to go to the park.

A Cure for Procrastination?

Many procrastinate. Many years I tried to break the habit. I found a similar method to break procrastination. There are things I like to do and things I push off. So I make a rule – clean my desk before I check emails. I push off cleaning my desk – but if I know I must do it before I check emails – I am motivated to do clean the desk.

It’s a takeoff of the carrot and the stick – where you place a carrot on a stick before an animal. For the animal to get the carrot – it must walk – but unfortunately it never gets to the carrot. Here we get to eat the carrot. It’s more like putting the carrot 50 yards away on the ground. In order to eat the carrot – the animal must walk to it.

Find your carrot. Place it in front of your act of procrastination. Now move forward.


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