Tarana Thakurdas, teacher and presenter at BYJU’S, the world’s leading edtech company, flagged off the May edition of the BYJU’S Parent Club with an insightful session on how parents can help their kids be disciplined and organized. The webinar was attended by several parent bloggers and their children from all over India who actively participated in the session and received solutions on how to remain focused and motivated towards their goal. Tarana’s interactive session included activities like listing out things parents and children like doing from their daily schedule and things they don’t. Tarana also asked parents to write down and share things they want to do but are unable to due to various reasons.
Being disciplined and organized enriches both parents’ and children’s lives. This is exceptionally true for children who reached a school-going age during the COVID-19 pandemic and thus were unable to socialize the way they were supposed to. But as normalcy resumes, parents would eventually have to get their children to go to school and have an organized schedule.
In the first activity, Tarana asked all the parents to make a list of all the things they do in a day and make a schedule. Then she asked the parents to divide the list into three categories. They were, things that the parents liked doing, things they didn’t like doing and things that had become a habit.
Motivation and discipline can turn an activity into a habit
Tarana shared that while we do put in some thought into our day-to-day activities and sometimes shift things around depending on whether we like doing these activities, our habits have become an integral part of our day and we don’t put in any thought into them. Thus the idea is to create healthy habits based on our goal so as to make them an unchangeable part of our routine. To this end, the parents were asked to list out things that they know they should do more often but don’t do enough of and why?
One of the common things that came up during this activity was taking time to oneself, whether it was for relaxing or for working out.
Tarana shared that sometimes we purposely leave things out of our schedule because we don’t feel like doing them…for whatever reason and this effects our motivation and also creates a feeling of sadness or guilt.
Quoting the founder of Global Academy of Meta Mind Alignment and happiness guru, Avinash Ananda, Tarana said, Discipline is doing what you know you should do even if you don’t feel like doing it. She discussed how a “feeling” is often our reason for not doing something. Feeling or emotion is the distractor here. The secret to a disciplined life is the undivided focus on the goal. Motivation is a positive feeling that can steer an individual towards their goal and move them to action and sustained motivation can lead to the effortless incorporation of healthy habits in a person’s schedule.
Inhibiting the ‘disciple’ in discipline
The word ‘disciple’ often has a religious connotation. This is because we associate that kind of determination and conviction with faith and religion. But the same determination can also be applied to our goals if we put our mind to it. Shaping and restructuring our lives according to goals helps us to stay motivated and gives a level of importance to the goal. Motivation is the fuel that propels us forward to achieve our goals. But creating that kind of motivation is tricky and sustaining that motivation is trickier.
How to get kids motivated and how to sustain it
According to Sigmund Freud, the father of psychology, the two biggest motivators are pain and pleasure. If we consider this principle for our kids, the reason they play video games is because they get pleasure out of it and the reason they don’t do chores or avoid studies is because it’s not pleasurable. To help with this, both parents and children need an attitudinal change towards education. If parents orient their kids to believe that education can be fun and entertaining then getting the child to study will be easy. Often parents use labels and words that orients their children in a certain way. To create a positive attitude, positive emotions and positive labels and words should be used.
Creating a positive learning environment
Usage of words and labels is tricky when it comes to children. Not only because it could be their first exposure to that word but also because the child starts seeing themselves with the same lens as the adults around them. For example, if our kids have not cleaned up their room, we may say “you are so messy” or “you are so lazy” – the sentence here is incorrect because we are not labeling our children, in actual, we are labeling the behavior. Instead it is always better to say, “Your room is so messy”. Parents should also remember that while we are reprimanding the child for bad habits, we should also reward the child for good habits. In this scenario, if the child cleans up the room, the parent should reward that behavior. As a parent, it is our responsibility to create a positive environment that focuses more on what the child should do rather than what they should not. For example, if our child is spending too much time on video games, it is always a good idea to say, “why don’t you also read this book”, or “why don’t you go outside and play”, instead of simply saying, “don’t spend so much time on video games.” Another aspect of creating a positive learning environment is to be a good role model and practice what we preach. Parents are the first teachers to any child. Children learn most things through mimicking their parents, so it’s important to not just ask them to be disciplined and organized but to be disciplined and organized ourselves. Creating daily routines together with your child can help by not only giving you and your child some quality bonding time but also help your child understand the importance of a well-planned day.
Creating a well-structured day
Sometimes we miss out on certain activities that we may have planned for the day, not due to the lack of motivation but because of poor time management. The best way to make the most of a day is to create a realistic schedule – one that also accommodates breaks. It is important to both focus and unfocus. We are all aware of what focusing means but to unfocus sometimes can be a challenge. It not only means taking a break but also refers to consciously diverting the mind to things that give us mental peace and help us remain calm through the day.
The BYJU’S Parent Club session culminated after the floor opened up to parents who voiced their own personal experiences, observations and successes. With a focus on making children more disciplined and organized, the April edition helped parents explore the myriad ways in which children can learn to be motivated and organized through their parents. Here are some fun filled activities for children at home!
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