My girls both enjoy going to school but it can be hard to motivate them in the morning to get their shoes and coats on and to brush their hair ready to go out on time. Yesterday, though was different.
There was a box of chocolates with a few left in (yes, they were mostly coffee creams) and the girls asked if they could have one. I said they could as soon as they had shoes and coats on and they had brushed their hair. My children proved in that moment that they are capable of moving at high-speed. We set out and arrived at school on time all thanks to the power of chocolate!
Incentives are a wonderful thing but I wonder if we can ever be truly happy if treats are our only motivation?
If my motivation in getting my children to go to sleep at night is that I can then watch TV (and eat chocolate?) then if they fail to go to sleep on time then it feels like they are depriving me of my treat.
If my motivation in getting my children to go to sleep at night is that I love them and that I want them to have enough rest to enjoy life the next day then I will feel differently if they fail to go to sleep.
In the first instance I go to deal with children who won’t sleep when they should in an angry and frustrated state, but in the second I go to help them with a loving and calm attitude.
I love chocolate and treats as much as anyone else, but if we make them our goal in life then I think we are missing the point.
To care for people, to treat one another the way we want to be treated, to do good and to please God, these are the things that should motivate us.
So, what motivates you?
Whatever it is, you can have chocolate as well!