A mom is trying to increase the amount of peas that her two children eat. She uses a sticker chart to monitor the amount of peas they are consuming and rewards them based on the number of stickers they have at the end of the week. The mom has found that this works for one child, but not the other. a 350- to 700-word paper discussing the following:
Title: Understanding Differences in Motivation Towards Eating Peas in Children: A Sticker Chart Approach
Motivating children to eat nutritious foods can be a challenge for many parents. In an attempt to increase the consumption of peas, a mom employs a sticker chart reward system for her two children. While the strategy appears to be successful for one child, it fails to motivate the other. This paper aims to explore the potential reasons behind this discrepancy and suggests alternative strategies based on motivational theories to enhance the effectiveness of the sticker chart approach.
The Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation Framework:
Motivation can be broadly categorized into intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation refers to the internal desire or pleasure derived from engaging in an activity, while extrinsic motivation involves external rewards or incentives to encourage desired behaviors. The sticker chart approach primarily utilizes extrinsic motivation to stimulate the children’s interest in eating peas. However, the issue at hand arises when one child responds positively to this extrinsic motivation, while the other does not.
The Varied Response to Extrinsic Motivation:
Individuals differ in their response to external incentives due to several factors such as personality traits, past experiences, and cognitive processes. While the mom’s sticker chart method is effective for one child, the other child may exhibit different motivational preferences. Understanding the potential reasons behind such variations can guide the development of targeted strategies to enhance the motivation of the less responsive child.
1. Personality Traits:
Each child possesses unique personality traits that influence their responses to external incentives. One child may be naturally motivated by rewards and enjoy the challenge of earning stickers, making the sticker chart alignment with their personality. On the other hand, the less responsive child may prioritize different factors or have personality traits that do not align with the sticker chart’s extrinsic reward system. Factors such as introversion, self-confidence, or sensitivity to external evaluation may inadvertently affect the child’s motivation.
2. Past Experiences:
Past experiences can shape an individual’s motivational preferences. It is possible that the child who responds positively to the sticker chart approach has had previous positive experiences with a reward system, leading to a stronger association between rewards and motivation. Conversely, the less responsive child may have experienced negative experiences associated with rewards or may have previously lacked success in earning rewards, leading to reduced motivation. Careful consideration of the child’s past experiences and associations with rewards can inform alternative strategies to increase motivation.
3. Cognitive Processes:
Cognitive processes play a crucial role in motivation. The effectiveness of external incentives depends on the cognitive appraisal individuals make regarding the rewards and the expected benefits. The responsive child may perceive the stickers and rewards as meaningful and valuable, reinforcing their motivation to eat peas. In contrast, the less responsive child may attach less significance to the rewards, perceiving the effort required to earn the stickers as outweighing the perceived benefits. Adjusting the cognitive evaluation and improving the perceived value of the rewards can potentially increase the child’s motivation.
Alternative Strategies to Enhance Motivation:
To address the discrepancy in motivation towards eating peas, alternative strategies can be employed based on motivational theories.
1. Intrinsic Motivation:
Intrinsic motivation is driven by internal factors such as curiosity, enjoyment, and satisfaction. To increase intrinsic motivation, the mom can explore alternative approaches such as making the pea-eating experience more enjoyable through creative presentation, incorporating games or challenges, or involving the child in meal planning and preparation. By tapping into the child’s intrinsic motivation, the focus shifts from external rewards to internal satisfaction and enjoyment.
2. Mastery Goals:
Adopting mastery goals can shift the child’s attention from extrinsic rewards to personal improvement and growth. Instead of emphasizing the number of stickers earned, the mom can shift the focus to achieving personal targets or increasing the child’s mastery of eating peas. Setting achievable goals, praising effort, and providing constructive feedback can foster a sense of accomplishment and improve motivation.
In conclusion, the discrepancy in motivation towards eating peas observed in the mom’s sticker chart approach can be attributed to variations in personality traits, past experiences, and cognitive processes. Understanding these factors and employing alternative strategies based on motivational theories can enhance the effectiveness of the approach. By considering intrinsic motivation and adopting mastery goals, parents can create a motivational environment that fosters the desired behavior in their children.