My cousin invited me to play an online word game with her yesterday.  I don’t like spending any extra time at the computer, but I’ve got a weak spot for word games, so I agreed to try it.  After playing once on my lunch break, and being something less than satisfied with my score, I found myself waiting for the day to be over so I could try again.  I knew I wasn’t going to come anywhere close to scoring as high as the others who were playing, but I really wanted to do better than I had done.  It made me curious – the outcome of the game has absolutely no impact on my life whatsoever, but there I was looking forward to playing it again, just to see how I could do at this thing that I find interesting.  I didn’t just want to play, though, I wanted to See How I Did.  I wanted the results, and I wanted to keep comparing them with my other results.

I’ve seen this happen with kids, too, this kind of intense relationship with results – whether it’s short lived or longer standing.  But I’ve also seen lots of resistance to results.  I think that adults think that kids don’t want to know how they’re doing, or don’t think it’s important to know, but in fact they really do want to know how they’re doing. It’s just that they want to know how they’re doing on the things that they’re convinced are important.  That of course raises the question of whether or not they should have to be convinced of what’s important, and I won’t get into that now, because I only have a few minutes and that one’s a real button-pusher, but I thought it might be a good inquiry to raise.  See where you notice your children being really interested in results, and where you see them being less interested…