How to motivate kids

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How to motivate kids

How do you motivate kids? What a tough question seemingly because we think that it is hard to motivate people, but kids, like everybody else, need affirmation. I will start with affirmation. I think when you affirm a child even when they have not done a fantastic job. For example, if my son brings back a B and we were aiming for an A, I do not say oh my goodness, what happened. Are you serious? I say oh, I thought you told me you were going to get an A. What happened? And I am with a smile. And he says I don´t know. And I say you have got to tell me what happened because I can probably help you. And as I probe and get interested, really interested, then he will say I just did not understand what the teacher was talking about. And I say next time that happens, let me know because this is not just you doing it alone. It is for all of us. If you become a doctor, we are all going to be wonderfully blessed by you becoming a doctor. So I always affirm them by telling them that their value is my value. So I attach their value to me and my value to them. That way they see the responsibility of that motivation. The number two, I really will go back to this important piece that when they make a mistake, when they fail, I help them understand what the failure looks like and what it means versus reverting strictly to punishment, which we are prone to doing. And I used to punish a lot. No more Nintendo game. No more this. No more that. And you could tell that they did not understand what the punishment was all about. They thought you are being a mean dad. But then when I sat down and talked them through the whole failure and said Kevin, you really hurt me with this. This is what it means. By you not taking the bus, I remember one time he forgot to get onto the bus. And I had to leave work and drive all the way back to school to pick him up. I told him exactly what that meant. I said my boss is looking at, seeing I left work early. Do you know what you just did, Kevin? And as he understood the power of his failings, he has never missed the bus again.

View Derreck Kayongo's video on How to motivate kids...


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Derreck Kayongo

Parent with a Purpose

Derreck Kayongo is a social entrepreneur and the founder of The Global Soap Project. An executive and development expert, Derreck Kayongo has more than 15 years experience developing strategic social campaigns within organizations for cause-related advocacy, public policy, issue management, and community organizing. His work has made a profound contribution in raising awareness aimed at realizing permanent solutions to global poverty.

Kayongo’s journey from child refugee to fearless visionary is filled with moments of inspiration (along with the benefits of good, old-fashioned sweat equity) that make him one of the most popular – and authentic – speakers on the circuit today. From Africa to Atlanta with nothing but a dream and tenacity, Kayongo beat the odds, earned an education, and has served in leadership roles in some of the world’s most respected non-governmental agencies (NGOs) since 1994. Today, he shares his vivacious spirit and invaluable experience in the areas entrepreneurship, environmental sustainability, global health, social justice and professional engagement with audiences in both the corporate and not-for-profit worlds.

Derreck Kayongo’s ability to motivate others to understand the role their work and skills can play in problem solving is one of the many reasons he was chosen as a finalist for the 2011 CNN Hero of the Year AwardAdd to that the mantra of being a voice for the voiceless through his noble work of giving back, including dedicating his life to improving the lives of marginalized and vulnerable people across the globe: he has worked with the American Friends Service Committee as Program Director for the Southeast Peace Education program; joined Amnesty International as the Director of the Southeast Region; and currently serves as Senior Advocacy Coordinator for the Southeast region with CARE International.

In 2009, Kayongo and his wife Sarah embarked on a new journey pursuing their life-long passion of starting an NGO of their own. The Global Soap Project focuses on repurposing partially-used soap from hotels into new soap for needy populations, particularly in Africa. To date, The Global Soap Project has been able to donate 9,000 bars of soap to Swaziland, 5,000 bars to Kenya, 10,000 to Ghana, 1,000 to Uganda and another 3,000 to Haiti.

Derreck Kayongo is a proud naturalized U.S. citizen. He has been recognized as a 2011 CNN HEROES finalist and a COX Enterprise nominee; honored by Congressman John Lewis with a Certificate of Congressional Recognition; is currently writing his autobiography; has been featured in more than 20 news stories in the U.S., featured on Fox News as part of the Real American story series; featured on CNN with Fredricka Whitfield.

Since 1994, Derreck Kayongo has given more than 300 speeches on key issues related to poverty reduction in Africa; mainly on water and sanitation, soap, HIV/AIDS, Child Soldiers, Health and Sanitation, Impact of Landmines in Africa, Countries in Conflict and role of basic Education for Girls in Africa.

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