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Sep 2010

Job Satisfaction – The Key to Motivating our Children?

One of the things that most of us come across as parents – or teachers – at some stage or another, is finding a way to motivate our children in one particular area or another.

Over the last couple of weeks I have been spending a lot of time meeting and speaking to homeschool families as we have been promoting the benefits of our online subtitled educational videos, as a fun, unique and very effective online education solution.

I have been finding that as I reach the end of each working day that I am feeling so exhilarated, that I have not wanted to stop work. In fact after finishing working 10 hours, I felt so energised that I wanted to keep going for another 10 hours. And all I can put it down to is purely and simply one thing – that wonderful feeling of job satisfaction.

If I am completely honest I have reached a stage in my life where I have a desire to combine running a business, with at the same time doing good for other people, especially helping children. There have been a number of situations during this last week on which I have been able to give away a number of our 12-month Gold Membership subscriptions completely free to some very deserving children and their families. And it has left me feeling rather like Father Christmas. The gratitude, thanks and appreciation that have been expressed by a number of those children and their parents, has been totally overwhelming. In other words I have been experiencing a very strong feeling of job satisfaction.

I have had a few quiet moments to reflect on the difference it has meant to me to experience that job satisfaction, and it has made me realise that in trying to motivate my own children, that if I can introduce them to that same powerful feeling of elation in their own lives, then the motivation might actually follow automatically.

Lack of motivation, particularly self-motivation is a real problem these days, and I am forever hearing parents and teachers ask the question “How can we teach self-motivation?” And honestly I have thought there is no clear-cut answer or solution. But maybe there is. I can’t help wondering that if by asking this question, we are not making the same old mistake of seeing the cup as being half-empty, rather than seeing it very much more positively as being half-full?

Maybe by trying to teach motivation we are trying to teach the cause, rather than the effect? Maybe if we concentrated on introducing them to the effect, our children would discover the cause pretty much all on their own.

And maybe if we went about tackling the subject of motivation in this fashion, then our task would be made much simpler, because we only need to spend the time identifying the tasks that their individual desires and abilities led them to have an interest in, rather than forcing upon them what we want and expect.

By enabling them to experience that wonderfully powerful feeling of job satisfaction, the motivation will come all on it’s own.

I might even go so far as to suggest that the users of various drugs might not resort to “artificial and synthetic highs”, if they had been able to experience those “highs” naturally.

Interesting thought isn’t it? I love being a parent!

As a footnote I’m going to add one last thing. Everything that I have discussed here is exactly what we found once we provided the use of online subtitled education video as a learning tool for our own children. They had the choice of watching, listening to, or reading each video presentation, and it allowed them to make the choice as to how they best absorbed and processed that information. We challenge any parent or teacher to put their child in front of our video library and leave them for a while. So many parents have been surprised to find that their children start to explore what choices they have, and then they gravitate towards the subjects that interest them. Suddenly learning is no more a chore because it has become a pleasure.

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