Dangling a Carrot

18 Apr

As a teacher, I encounter a child almost every year that is unmotivated to do the things that I need and/or want them to do.  This is something that all teachers struggle with, motivating the unmotivated learner.  I have sat through entire training sessions on this very topic.

I remember so many things running through my head:  What are some of these parents doing?  Why is their kid like this?  What have they done up to this point that has caused their kid to be this way?  I couldn’t handle it if my personal kid was like this.

Well, we all know that God likes to teach us lessons, especially when we think we can’t do something (or we say we would never).  Bennett can be very laid back about things, but he  is normally a wild child when it comes to playing.

He has enjoyed baseball up to this point, and he says he still likes it, but Tuesday night he was on the verge of sedation.  It was driving me INSANE.  I can deal with him being unable to do something, but when I know he can, it infuriates me for him to not try to do his best.  I think it’s one of his strong-willed ways of showing me that I can’t control him.

B Hustling to field

Check out the way he “hustled” onto the field while trying to carefully step on the white lines.

B dragging bat

He picked up the speed a little bit when he was up to bat, but drug the bat the whole way as if it were too heavy to lift.

B batting

Chris talked to B about keeping his eye on the ball and hitting it hard when the coach pitched it to him.  B’s response: Nah, I like to hit it off the tee better.

B running

He didn’t even attempt to run as fast as he does when playing with Klyde or racing with his friends.  Instead, he barely jogged to first base while kicking his legs out to the side.  We asked him why he didn’t run as fast as he can.  His response:  I just didn’t want to.  Uuugghhhh!

He is normally very observant and didn’t even notice when another runner was headed toward the base he was standing on.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love my baby and I am so very proud of him, but…

What is he doing?  Making me eat my words.

I know it’s his first season and only game two.

I know he will get better.

I know this is a learning process for him…and me.

Buuuuuuuttttttttt, I can’t stand it!

I am not above a little bribery, but I want to help him become  intrinsically motivated to work hard and try his best.  There won’t always be a cool prize at the end of the job.  This is so important to me because I AM a teacher and I SEE kids that behave in ways that I don’t want my child to behave.

Where is my parenting handbook?  I get an instruction manual with some of the most rediculously self-explanatory things, and I get this complicated individual, and basically one shot to get it right, with no one right or wrong way to do it.

Help!  I need some ideas.  How do you motivate an unmotivated child???

Thanks for reading,

Jaime

 

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3 Responses to “Dangling a Carrot”

  1. Terri Frankenberger April 18, 2013 at 7:21 pm #

    I wish I had an answer for you, I really do.
    This is soooo my oldest. All I can say is keep trying. One day they’ll get over the hump.
    XOXO.

  2. Shelley Martin April 18, 2013 at 8:08 pm #

    In my experience, most kiddos act this way in the beginning of their sporting career. Eventually it clicks and they get that competitive edge (if sports are truly their thing and it is a sport they enjoy). My son acted the same way upteen million years ago (ok he is only 14), but until he really “got” the game he just messed around. Now, with his overly competitive spirit, I sort of wish for the days where he played in the dirt instead of chasing the ball around the field. At least then he wouldn’t beat himself up when a hit or catch or throw didn’t go his way. :::SIGH::: You are doing fine as a mommy. Laugh!

  3. Laura @ Walking in Memphis in High Heels April 18, 2013 at 9:54 pm #

    He is so adorable though!! He will get there. At this age they have a mind if their own! I thought the same thing about Carter. That title made me bust out laughing for some reason. I wasn’t sure which direction this post would go in. ; )

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