Friday, September 11, 2009

What does spaghetti sauce have to do with it?

I find inspiration in many places. Recently, I stumbled on a rich array of videos on many topics. The one I want to share with you today is a presentation made by Malcolm Gladwell who discusses the psychology of marketing by way of spaghetti sauce. In this clip entitled What we can learn from spaghetti sauce Malcolm explains how we went from marketing what we wanted to market to the masses by creating focus groups with leading questions to asking consumers to try many varieties of options to see which best suited their tastes. At first it is not clear how this is so significant, and as you watch this entertaining clip (about 19 minutes), you begin to understand the significance of this one revelation. Enjoy the clip and let me know what you think.

So what does this have to do with children? I am glad you asked. What if we offered more options and let our kids choose what they want? What do we normally do, we ask questions like: would you please go and get dressed? What we want is our child to get dressed; the problem lies when they answer the question in a way we don't want. So you ask the above question and they say "I don't want to." Now we are backed into a corner and this now becomes a confrontation. What if we became more resourceful and planned a little better. Then we could say: Which would like to do first, get dressed or have a snack? Then let them do both successfully.

Yes I know that seems like a lot of work, but if we can get into the habit of empowering our kids to make good choices, I believe they will rise to the occasion. Just a thought from this homeschooling-business mom.