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Force vs. Choice

Did you know that by forcing your child to “learn,” you may actually be limiting her opportunities and abilities? Here are some things your child learns when she is forced to do schoolwork that has no meaning to her:

  • Do the bare minimum that is expected.

  • Please authority figures.

  • Their opinions and likes are not important.

  • It's important to do what everyone else is doing.

  • Learning and study are not fun and it should be avoided, if possible.

  • The things that they are bad at are more important than the things that they are good at.

You may feel secure with a planned and sequential plan. It gives you the ability to assign, demand, and mete out consequences. You have been conditioned to believe that this is what education is, that anything else must be less valuable, less effective, or irresponsible.

Truth is, force kills the spirit, dampens passion, and destroys the zest and life of learning. Force trains followers, not leaders. When children are given choices in their learning, the learning is more powerful. Wouldn't you rather that your child:

  • does more schoolwork than expected?

  • knows how to confidently communicate with adults?

  • has her own opinions that she can articulate?

  • knows that it's OK to be different?

  • enjoys learning and asks you for more learning materials?

  • knows that her skills are important?

  • learns within her own learning style?

Would you like to try using more choice and less force? Here are some things that can help you better inspire your child to become a powerful, independent learner:

  • Talk to him about his future and help him set goals.

  • Provide a variety of learning experiences to him, not just textbooks and workbooks.

  • Expose him to lots of interesting topics.

  • Take him on field trips.

  • Help him accomplish projects of his own design.

  • Have lots of interesting books on hand.

  • Give him a smorgasbord of inspiring learning opportunities for him to pick and choose the things he craves.

  • Show him what an independent learner looks like. Model learning through interests by letting him see you learn things on your own.

  • Support him in his interests. Take him places and buy him things that enhance his good qualities.

It may not be comfortable to you at first, but if you stick with it, you will find that your child:

  • has increased confidence and self esteem.

  • loves to learn.

  • Has increased brain power.

  • Is an individual, not just a brick in a wall

When your child is sufficiently inspired he can become a voracious learner on his own! This is a whole different experience that will be enjoyable for both of you!!

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