Technology, no doubt, is a big advantage to humanity. From improving the tele communications, curing diseases, reducing hunger and mortality rates, it can do so many things. However, technology can also have a negative impact on our children.
Today, our children spend a lot of time talking continuously on their phones or being online all the time. They lack motivation to do anything else such as studying on a day to day basis, doing their homework, getting excited on a physics problem or resolving a mathematical equation.
In this era of TikTok, Roblox and live game streaming, we as parents cannot compete with technology. For most of us, when we were growing up there was much less distraction, the television was limited to a few channels with interesting programs. Apart from a certain time at night, there was no binge watching TV dramas all the time. We had a few friends and most of them were from our school or mostly neighbors. But today, we hardly know our neighbors as we spend most of the time indoors, we don't even know how they look, how many children they have and whether they need our help. In our days, we used to see our neighbors everyday, they often used to come to play. We shared what we cooked and borrowed items such as sugar, coffee from each other.
Today, all of our children's friends are online, we don't even know who they are, how old they are and whether we share the same values and traditions. We don't even know our children any more as they spend most of their time locked in the room. Apart from dinner time, which is usually a fight for us to make them come out and share a meal with us. There's always a complaint that they are busy and not hungry.
Motivation is one of the keys to succeed not only in academics but throughout life. We need it at every stage. Without motivation, we will not be able to move forward. Humanity would not have made any progress without motivation.
Motivation needs courage, knowledge and curiosity. Culture plays a major role in developing motivation in children. With the right culture, encouragement and love, we will be able to build motivation in our children. Paying a child for reward is not sustainable in the long term.
Giving presents or rewards when a child succeeds or scores an A in an exam is not the right way to motivate a child. By doing that, we are creating a reward based child rather than an ambitious child who wants to scale any mountain and climb any obstacle.
There are two types of motivation: direct and indirect.
Direct motivation is based on rewards such as a good school score, bonus, a present etc. You might score an A by competing against your peer, however this will not last, the motivation will not last. When you stop getting something in return, you would simply stop putting any effort. Thus, this type of motivation does not last forever.
Indirect motivation can be classified into emotional, economical and inertia. Emotional motivation can be through guilt, disappointment, shame and self appreciation. The child might have motivation to satisfy his mother, to show to his father that he is a grown man, or to prove that he is not a failure or to try to be a role model in his family. Your motivation can be in Facebook seeing your friends posting amazing photos and you want not to be left behind, you want to be cool, you want to join the crowd, you want to be accepted. This kind of motivation creates pressure and it is not good or recommended for child development.
Economical pressure is when a child is motivated to win a reward, it could be winning a football game, winning a gold medal or getting a huge bonus from his employer in the future. This reward is not a continuous motivation because there will always be a bigger trophy, a bigger competition and more people to compete with in the future. This also creates a lot of pressure on the child and they might exhaust themselves at the end before even reaching their goal.
Inertia is the least motivating. You do it, because you have to do it, everyday, every week and every month, mostly routine, unmotivated. This is what happens in today's school, our children are forced to attend boring classes, boring lectures with boring teachers. School system is still the same from 50 years ago, however our children's minds are different, they have phones, they have laptops, iPads and unlimited information at their fingertips. Learning from these shouldn't be just about memorizing random formulas, learning has to be at par with technology. By doing that, our children will be motivated to learn anytime, anywhere irrespective of the circumstances, their age and even location. Let's build the citizens of the future, let's build learners instead of just listeners, let's aim to change the world into a much better place.