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Make Encounters Appealing through Novelty

Introduce novelty in activity, in tools, in words, in tasks, in colors, and shapes. Anything that looks new and fun filled is apt to be attractive to children and motivate their interests. Whenever children feel their own inner attraction to something, they are motivated to know it, explore it, spend time with it, and value it. While self-motivation provides a drive for success, success helps build self-esteem. That was my basic principle throughout my work as a teacher and therapist, and to the degree that I was conscious of it, I tried to put it into operation in all my relationships with children, including my three daughters and my three step children.

In teaching and tutoring, I introduced novelty at the very beginning of each new relationship by bringing in fascinating objects, such as prisms, kaleidoscopes, crickets, and pets, in order to attract children into relating to me. That was the first step. Then I used novel tools and techniques that seemed like toys and games (and sometimes were) to make the learning of academic skills seem like fun. For example, as I mentioned before, with several children I taught reading, writing, and comprehension by utilizing jokes, poems, riddles, limericks, magic tricks, and scientific experiments. I taught measurement using crickets and friends. Kerry taught counting by having children jump up and down stairs and by noisily chairs from one side of the room to the other.

Self-Esteem Principle: Children self-esteem grows when interaction is attractive and appealing and has a sense of freshness or novelty geared to their special and unique interests.

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