Engaging Kids Today
What does engagement mean? Sometimes we mistake conformity for engagement. When kids don’t do what we want them to do, we regard that as non-conformity.
A dictionary definition of the verb “engage” is to occupy the attention or efforts of (a person, etc.). However, “engage” can also mean to attract and hold the attention of (a person, etc.). Do we really attract our kids’ attention or do we just lock them in?
Dan talks about giving kids a sense of autonomy, a sense of mastery (which is to get better for the sake of getting better), and a sense of purpose. And the relationship that lies at the heart of learning, such as the relationship between teacher and students, is important. Often students who can do well at a subject don’t do as well because they just don’t have a good relationship with the teacher of that subject.
When we get engagement right, it can greatly enhance our children’s wellbeing. Hence, Dan would like to ask: Can you create a virtuous cycle (or a virtuous upward spiral, as inspired by Dr Barbara Frederickson) for your children which incorporates the key ideas of engagement and the sense of achievement that comes out of genuine engagement?
Dan Haesler, Teacher, writer, speaker, Emanuel School, Sydney, Australia
Live from Young Minds Conference: Awakening Young Hearts and Minds
His Holiness the Dalai Lama will join us in Young Minds 2013.
WORDS BY “MYSTERY BLOGGER” WAI CHEONG KOK