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Reward Is the Energy Generator

– Suppose a group of children carried out some kind of project and completed it. Should we reward them in some way? Can an adult praise a child?

– Of course he can! We make it a point to do that whenever adults get together for some gathering and there are children participating together with them. We call the children to the stage and warmly thank them and the educators. They stand in front of us together with their educators while we applaud and “admire” them, so to say.

– Meaning, they earn social recognition.

– Definitely! How else!? There must be a reward. It is the energy that keeps a person going. If a person is not rewarded, how will he keep on working?

– Suppose I observe things as a specialist (behind the instructor’s backs) and I see that a child did something very well and overcame a difficult state. Can I come up to him, compliment him, and say, “Great job, I really liked that!”? Or should I not do that and leave it up to the group?

– You can do that. In fact, I do it myself, too. But the issue with it is that it must be done gently, in a friendly manner, and in a way that doesn’t evoke conceit. There is a risk of pride, of making the child feel superior to others because then he might start bossing people around, thinking, “Now I know how things should work around here.” It all depends on the preparation, the child, and the circumstances.

– Over the last 100 years psychology has developed a method of becoming aware of and working with “negative” emotions, such as a grudge or a sense of guilt. Is there any point in revealing to a child how this mechanism works so he is able to overcome his touchiness, for example? This is also a behavioral mechanism. If a child knows how it works, perhaps it will be easier for him to get rid of this flaw or use it correctly?

– We definitely discuss and tell children about the reasons why negative emotions arise. But we don’t try to abide by today’s doctrines because tomorrow those doctrines will change. Instead, we just point out the things that naturally follow from our observations. This is the most important. You do not dictate ready-made formulas for the child, but find them together with him: “Wow! Look at how things happen in life.” And together with him you discover his dependence on certain qualities he has and their expressions.

From this standpoint, I really like natural museums where a child can conduct little experiments, watch some phenomenon, set it in motion by himself, and observe the result. Maybe something unpredictable occurs, and then we get an explanation of why this happens in Nature.

Then the child can write this down, and there’s a physics lesson for you. You don’t need any classes, or to sit in front of a boring teacher, a blackboard, or even a computer screen. This is the best form of learning whenever it is possible. But if it’s impossible to do something like that, there are still many scientific movies. But it’s best to do it in real life and discuss it afterwards.

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