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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The motivator

I am sure there are many things that could qualify as a nickname for me. But lately it seems like "The motivator" would be the most likely candidate. To be a motivated person is a great quality to have. Sometimes it comes easy, and other times you have to persevere and look toward the end goal to muster up enough motivation to finish something.

This summer I have been working with my girls on their motivation. I have found that if there is a prize at the end, their motivation is so much greater. Prizes aren't always bad, and eventually I feel like they have a learned trait or habit, and they no longer require the "prize" to keep them motivated.

Reading is one of the areas I wanted to work on. I found these neat little charts on the clearance table at the Parent Teacher store.
For each book they read aloud to me, or each other, they get to put a sticker on the chart. When the chart is full they can turn it in to me for a $5 prize.

Being unplugged is another area that I am striving for in this house. There are just too many ways to become lazy and unproductive now a days. I gave up Face Book several months ago, for I could see how wrapped up I was getting in it. I mean, do we really need to spend an hour or two out of our day, learning about what so and so had for dinner?? They claim that it helps you stay connected, but I found it to do the complete opposite. I was less inclined to call and check on someone, when I read all about their day online. They didn't know I was checking their statuses to make sure they were ok. Sitting on the porch drinking ice tea and chatting. Now that is connecting! That's what I want. To talk in person. To actually know that someone cares about my day or week or month.

 TV is another one of our big ones, and after much thought we cancelled our  tv service. I am so excited about this one step to being unplugged. We wasted so much time and money on watching shows that did us no good at all. Very few shows on TV actually point you to the life God wants you to live, and it is way too easy to loose valuable time watching them. Sweet Man and I are also motivated by a prize. One step closer on our Dave Ramsey financial plan. See, prizes can motivate! To help our girls with this new "unplugged" lifestyle I found this neat little system.
 There a few neat ideas displayed on the white board in our class room to help prompt some creative fun!
They can earn up to two of these discs a day for an hour of unplugged playing. When they have 10 discs they can turn them in for a trip to the dollar store for one thing, or substitute the trip for a dollar to put in their savings jar. We are on our second week of this little program, and it is going great. The first week you could see them counting the minutes till their hour was up. The past few days, they haven't even asked to watch a movie, play the Wii or computer at all. They are playing things they never had a desire to before. Yesterday they spent the morning playing baseball and then they wanted to practice using my big shovel by digging ditches in our mulch pile. I love it!! Those are the memories I want for them to have!

Dental care is another area we are working on motivation in. There isn't a prize for this one, just a beautiful smile.
It's amazing how new dental products can motivate a child in their teeth brushing. They have been brushing after EVERY meal since we got these. I would say that was a good investment!

 Motivation is the key to success. There are many factors in life that determine the amount of motivation we have at any given time. What do you find that helps motivate you or your children?

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