All the world’s a stage…

These famous lines came from a monologue in William Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” (Act 2, Scene 7) and if you are interested, you can pick it up from All The World’s A Stage (Wikipedia).  This little “poem” (although it’s not really a poem) lays out the notion that the world is but a stage and a play, and the people are merely players and actors.  It goes on to mention about the “seven ages of man” or the seven stages in which a man would go through in his life.  Here’s an excerpt…

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms;
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. …

Interesting, isn’t it?  Are all kids like that?  Alright, all babies are like those that Good ol’ Bill described.  How about those who are schooling?  Whining.  Cleaned up.  Slow motion.  Obedient, yet reluctant.  Haha!  How many kids do we know who are NOT like that?!?  Good ol’ Bill really hit the nail on the head!  Does this mean that kids have been acting like this since the 16th century?!?  I mean, hey, the dude wrote this probably around 1599, give or take some years!  So, why is this though?

Well… if I reckon a guess, it would seem to appear that there is to be some general deep seeded inclination in kids NOT to want to go to school.  Are they not inclined to learn?  Even in modern days, I see kids acting this way.  Time to wake up, son.  Aaaaawwwww *grumble grumble mumble mumble* or Mom, can I don’t go to school today?  Why?  I’m sleepy. or Come on son, you’re gonna be late!  *drag drag* The age old battle of getting kids to go to school, although I must admit that there are kids out there who love to go to school… on their own accord and not because we, as parents, make them.

What is this inner strength or perspective or passion even that causes these kids to want to and love to go to school?  I kinda touched on the parental values on the last post and that is one possibility.  Is it the draw of going to school?  What is there at school that draws them?  What is the environment that encourages such inner passion in a child?  What is that culture that influences and motivates a child this way?

I’ll have to say that I do not have a straight answer for this, but I am inclined to say it is the teachers and friends who share a big role in this.  Teachers are natural role models for kids.  They are put in that position whether they like it or not.  They are in a position of influence.  However, is this enough to influence kids?  This, to me anyways, seem to be a command structure where the kids have to listen and obey the teachers.  Is this what we want?  I think, as teachers, they would should be in a position of “personal or connected influence”, and not “position influence”.  Connecting with the kids is a key.  It is the cornerstone to influence and motivate the kids in the right manner.  At least this is what I think 🙂  More than just knowing them, but also understanding them.  More than just talking to them, but also connecting with them.  More than just teaching them, but also walking with them.  Connectedness.  It brings out the best and the potential in kids.

Wouldn’t Good Ol’ Bill be disappointed if this works?  After all, his poem may then not be as accurate for modern times 🙂

Posted in Connecting with Kids, Environment & Culture, Influencing Kids, Motivating Kids | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Who is driving…

Heh!  Need a more catchy title 🙂  I wanted to explore the influences on a kid’s personal goals, objectives and dreams.  We can probably safely assume that the main influences would come from parents, and as kids get older, these influences shift (most of the time) towards their peers and friends.  I have always been told that teenagers especially, will eventually gravitate towards their peers and friends, so it is important then for parents to know who these individuals are and how much influence they have on a kid.

Let’s start with their homes today.  Father.  Mother.  Elder siblings.  These, I would think, are the typical role models for a kid in their natural home environment.  Each of these persons will leave an impression on any kid…easily, if I might add.  Kids, being the most impressionable of all, would naturally look up to and even emulate who and what they see.  Actions.  Styles.  Mannerisms.  Gestures.  And I believe, even words and values.  I think the outward expressions are the most easily seen.  How many times have you heard an elder sibling complain that their younger sibling keeps copying them?  It drives them nuts.  It’s almost like having their private groupie or following (sounds so cult).  I think this one is quite obvious.

What may not be so obvious are the values which the kid copies also.  Yes, you can probably hear some of the embedded values through the words and language they speak.  Are they negative words?  Words that pull down?  Worse still, words that discourage themselves or pull themselves down?  Are they words of strength?  Of optimism?  Are the expressions full of compassion?  Full of anger?  Full of fear?  Full of hope?  So, it is not so much about the “doing” as it is about the inner values.  These values build character, which would become a habit and eventually lead to a behaviour and a lifestyle.  These values, once learnt, are difficult to un-learn.

Whether we like it or not, many of us are already in this position to influence kids and drive their values.  The question, then, is what kind of values are we imparting to them.  Dads, Moms, Big brothers, Big sisters, here is a simple question – do you want your kid/ younger brother/ younger sister to be just like you?  What are the values that we hold?  That’s the starting point.  Recognising these is the first step to influence kids more positively.  Decide to hold the right values.  Decide to change, if need be, and drive the right values in kids.

Posted in Character Building, Influencing Kids, Personal Values | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Thoughts on “Skill vs Motivation”…

Here’s another thought to be all you can be… I am not sure if I am being too simplistic here, but I am of the view here that we can generally categorise kids by 2 main aspects i.e. the level of skill/ ability that they have at their fingertips and the level of motivation/ confidence that they possess within themselves.  By matching these 2 aspects together, kids can be then categorised into4 groupings:

1.  Those who are well-skilled and highly self-motivated;

2.  Those who are well-skilled but not very highly self-motivated (maybe they need someone to motivate them or push them);

3.  Those who are not well-skilled but are highly self-motivated (maybe they need to be taught or trained);

4.  Those who are neither well-skilled not highly self-motivated.

And each grouping of kids would have some form of tendency or tendencies, I would think.  Also, based on these groupings, it is obvious which category needs the most help and which needs the least.  I have managed to put some of these thoughts into a quadrant diagram below and used a “traffic light” approach to shed some light (pardon the pun) on these thoughts…

A "Traffic Light" Approach on Skill vs Motivation

Generally, highly self-motivated kids seem to need guidance and direction the most.  I mean, after all, they are self-motivated, highly self-confident and can probably hold their own.  They just need to know which direction to head towards, especially being kids, and I would think that the majority would not know “who they are”.  They know what they are – kids and students, but do they know who they are?  A reasonable question.  On the other end of the spectrum, the low self-motivated kids likely will need another focus other than direction.  They lack greatly in terms of confidence as well as identity.  They may not have a strong self-image of themselves.  How do we build these into these kids?  That’s the million dollar question!

In terms of the skills, low skills means that they will likely have to be taught or trained.  And high skills means that they should be learning to be more efficient and thinking outside their box.  Creativity would likely be more of a focus here rather than fundamental training.

Interesting thoughts to stir the mind? 🙂

Posted in Categorising Types of Kids, Developing Skill vs Motivation | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment