What is the opposite of control? Trust.
Control implies that when our kids don’t perform in our programs, we have to find a way to “make” them perform. While the guidelines for Program Admins are to not trick, threaten or bribe our way into getting the kids to do the program, anyone who has ever worked with kids will know how easily it is for frustration to set in. Especially for our new employees, letting go of control is a very difficult first step.
However, Self-Worth dictates that we trust the kids, not control them. Allow the kids to fail. Allow them to choose how hard they want to work. Allow them to determine exactly how much of the program actually takes place.
In our Clear the Boards program (10th Std board exam prep), the kids are given take-home tests. We only see them for 30 min a week, so we give them the practice tests and allow them to complete as much as possible. The first week, the kids decided to do the opposite. The kids collectively chose to see how little they could do and get away with it. None of them answered any questions on the practice tests.
The second week was no different, and the third. Frustration began to set in. Our weekly meetings became a time to vent about the kids.
Especially for a program like Clear the Boards, which is designed for 10th Std kids who have their board exams coming soon, losing week after week is a lot of time wasted for the kid. Or so it seems.
Little did we know that the kids were slowly warming up to the idea. They were realizing that our approach of trust is based on their own Self-Worth. They get to choose whether their practice test is worth it for them, just as one day they will have to choose whether the real board exam in April is worth it for them.
After the fourth week, the answers started trickling in. Now, after eight weeks, all the kids are attempting the practice tests.
Trust won out.
Kudos to our Program Admins for their patience.
I love these stories.