Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Smart Parent/ Smart Mentor - Don't, Don't, Don't! - Getting Kids Motivated

Good lord, we all know that one, don't we? I was reading an article recently about what rules are recommended to be posted in a classroom. The author said it is a lot easier to summarize the things we expect from kids rather than producing a litany of "no's."

Allow me an example.

No hitting. No pushing. No yelling. No stealing. Vs. Be respectful.

The author recommended no more than 3 positive "rules" for kids to live by in the classroom. But that got me to thinking. As , just having a couple of "rules" for the mentoring , for life even, makes sense.
What happens if in the mentoring relationship, we offer the we work with some basic guidelines based on how we live our lives? What if during conversation your admits to sassing a teacher? And what if you say, "Johnnie, respecting others is a rule I try to live by. You might want to think about it. It works." It feels better than "sassing is wrong, you shouldn't do that."

Or here's another one. Your student just doesn't feel like trying. "Sometimes I don't want to try either, but no matter what happens in the end, if I have done my best, I can always feel good about myself. Let's stick with it and get this done." Doesn't that sound better than "you're not going to get a good grade if you don't put out more effort?"

What if, just like in the , we show the kids we work with one or two universal "rules" that we expect from them? What if we forget all the things we don't want and instead, help shape them with universal rules to live by? Sounds good to me.

Consider this as you work with your student in the days to come. So many good behaviors can be shaped with some simple universal rules. Plus, when we share universal rules like compassion and hard work, the reward is in the behavior, not the outcome. That is something your student can have with them always, no matter what twists and turns life sends their way. Here are a few examples to consider.

Always do your best.

Be respectful to self and others.

Be kind to self and others.

Oh, and don't forget, you can talk about all the positive rules in the world, but if you want to give your student a mentoring one-two-punch, make sure you tell them the rule and see you living it!

Have fun with your students and remember to believe in the power of your every contribution!


No comments:

Post a Comment