The secret to motivating your child | Jennifer Nacif | TEDxSanDiego


Translator: Danielle Sarah Reeve
Reviewer: Denise RQ I’m so excited! (Laughter) Well, I’m excited not only
to be in TEDx San Diego, but to touch on my favorite subject: the secret to motivating your children. I mean we try to motivate,
we do [our] best, but generally what do we do? We use fear: “Ah, if you don’t do this,
mmm, big punishment.” Or we bribe them: “OK, if you do this,
you’ll get this prize, or this payment.” And, well it works, on the short term. But there are ramifications, consequences
that we’re not aware of in the long run, when we educate in this manner. So, today I want to ask you a question: How many of you would love to have
a better relationship with your children? Raise your hands. Everyone, of course! Now, a harder question: How many of you believe you know,
exactly, how to motivate your children? Don’t worry, don’t feel bad,
I don’t see any hands. Don’t take it personally. My studies – I’ve been studying this
for more than 20 years – are that less than 2% of parents
have the exact answer to this question. The good news is: all of you, by the end of this talk,
are going to know, exactly, in one word, how to motivate your children. So, let me start
by telling you a real story. I live in Mexico City
and we were at a party, it was a girl’s 10th birthday; my friend has four daughters
and they were behaving, not [badly], no, [terribly]! (Laughter) It came to a point that my friend was
very tired and went to the four girls: “The four of you come here, either you
behave well or we’re going to leave.” Oh, and let me mention, in Mexico
the best part of a party is the piñata, the famous piñata.
(a figure filled with goodies). No kid wants to leave before the piñata. So the first daughter
stares at her mom and says: “Mom you’re right.
I’ve been telling my sisters to behave, but they don’t pay attention,
what can I do?” So the mom goes:
“Good job, I’m doing well.” The second daughter looks at the mom (She sobs) “I’m so sorry mom, I hate disappointing you, but see, if I don’t do what my sisters say
then they think I’m a goody goody, and I always follow you,
and then they don’t like me.” “But I didn’t want you
to not like me either.” (Sobs) (Laughter) Total depression.
She goes to a corner, depressed. She needs therapy, probably, after that. The third daughter stares at her mom: “My mom, beautiful,
wonderful ‘preciosa mamita’. (Laughter) “You keep enjoying what you’re doing,
of course I’m going to behave.” “I’m having a wonderful time.” She waits five minutes
and guess what she does? She goes back to doing what
she [was doing]. And then, the last daughter stares
at her mom and she says: “Oh really?
Then we leave right now!” (Laughter) What happened? Same household, same education,
[they were raised in the same place]. Why did they react so differently? You might all say,
“Obvious, they’re different.” So if it is so obvious,
why do we so often give one instruction to different people
expecting the same outcome? That’s what we’re going
to talk about today. So, what I did is that, all the way from
Mexico city, I brought the four girls. (Laughter) And they are going to tell you
a bit [about] themselves, and the most important part:
what motivates each one of them in several words and in one word. So let me introduce you
to the first daughter. Oh, these are mine by the way. (Laughter) Let me introduce you
to the first daughter. Her name is Donna
because she’s so dominant. “Hi, I’m a controlling child, yes I am.
I know it and I don’t care. I like things done, not fast, super fast. I’m very independent, I like things
fast, direct, I have a lot of willpower. I mean, since I was a baby, you know,
if I was going maybe 4 hours drive, I didn’t like the car seat,
so I would cry. And I wouldn’t stop crying, ’til
the 4 hours were over. I mean, I get what I want.
I don’t ask for it, I demand it. I mean, that’s how life should be, no? Let’s get what we want,
let’s insist on it. I’m adventurous, I’m powerful.
So, what do you think motivates me? OK, challenges? I love being right. I know they say
that it’s more important to be happy. I don’t know who says that. I mean come on! Being right is super more important
than being happy. Winning and control, very important. But if you can only remember one word,
remember this: I need power. I like to feel powerful. So the next time
you’re communicating with me, if you [take] away my power,
you bring [out] the worst in me. “So If I’m at a party and my mom [says], ‘if you behave [badly],
I’m going to take you [away]. Oh really? We’ll see, we’ll see who wins.” So, the question here is:
what should the mother have said? Well, the answer, before creating things, is ask yourselves:
what motivates my D daughter? Power. So, why don’t I tell Donna:
“Hey Donna, I need to ask for a favour. See, your sisters follow you.
I wish they would follow me more, and I need your help. I know I’m asking a lot
because you’re just 10 years old. And what I’m asking you to do,
well, generally, we ask adults. So I hope you can do this. Can you help me set an example
for your sisters? Can you do that?” What? D is going to resist that? I mean that’s gold to my ears. So we get the first good outcome. And now I want to introduce you to Sally. Before introducing you to Sally,
this is my D daughter. So this is how I’ve become
an expert on the subject. (Laughter) “Hello, I am Sally the social [girl]. I’m a happy kid, I love fun,
I love doing happy things, and connecting with people,
talking to people, knowing people. Is there anything else in life
than knowing a lot of friends, and having a lot of friends? So to me, helping others
and having a great old time is wonderful. [At] the party you must ask yourselves
what motivates us? OK, so [as] social people,
we need [to connect] with people, [to make] friends, [to help] others. Our keywords are: connection and fun. My mother could have just come and said, how about if she would have said: ‘Hey look at all those trees,
don’t they make amazing hiding places? Why don’t you organize
a great hide and seek game?’ You think I’m going to resist that? You think I’m going to want
to go back to do what I was doing, when I can do a hide and seek game? See how it flows, how naturally it comes, when we are motivated to do
what we were born to do? So that’s our social [girl]. And let me introduce you to Vivi,
my social sister. She has given me the experience
to deal with social people. If you’re hearing a laugh,
it’s my mom. (Laughter) Third, I want to introduce you to Patty. Good afternoon. (Laughter) “My name is Patty. I love helping,
stability, my family. I love being close to my family.
I miss [them] when I’m away. I don’t like pressure,
I hate confrontation. I really stress out with that. I like for people to get along,
to love each other, to share, to care. What motivates me the most? Harmony, safety, kindness,
acceptance, helping others. A key word for me: safety. If I feel safe,
I’ll go to the [end] of the world, But If I feel threatened, well,
I don’t do much at all. I can freeze even. So, what should have my mom said to me? She could’ve approached me
and in a very loving and caring way said: ‘Patty, I know you want to please
your sisters, I understand. And I know you feel bad
because you want to please me, but remember, life is not
about pleasing others. I know deep down in your heart
you know what’s right. Trust your heart, not people
outside of you, but yourself. No matter what happens,
I’m always here and I love you.’ (She takes a deep breath)
That felt so good. So let’s remember,
if you have kids like me, always through patience,
love, and understanding. No pressure please.
We don’t do well. Thank you.” And, this is my beautiful Valentina.
She’s my Patty daughter who has taught me [about] the kindness and wonderful
human heart of that style of personality. Last but not least: “Hi, My name is Anna.
I am a very responsible child [ever] since I was born,
I do what I am suppose to; I follow rules, that’s why they exist,
I wish everyone would. I’m very ordered, I organize
my things wonderfully well. So, I’m a very good child.
I have good grades. Hey, so, you could almost say
we’re the perfect children. The problem is we need
to lighten up sometimes because we take so much responsibility
and so much so [seriously], that we always have stomach problems. When we grow up, if you know people
like me, we have gastroenteritis and a lot of other stomach things. (Laughter) We are just way too apprehensive. So what motivates us: order,
structure, mental challenges. Key word: clarity. Step by step, specific instructions
and you will get the best of us. And from the daughters, Anna was
the one who reacted in the best way because she said, “I know mom.” So we could give her instructions [on] how she could help
her [sisters] do better things. So, in conclusion…
Oh, and let me introduce [you to] Vane, my analytical sister who, when I grew up, [helped me understand]
the importance of cleanliness, that’s next to heavenliness right? (Laughter) So, just to conclude, I hope that you remember, when you talk
to your children, what motivates them. Is it power? Is it connection and fun? Is it safety? Is it clarity? Be it what it may be, I invite you
to create a chain reaction for all parents to change
manipulation to motivation. Thank you. (Applause)

100 thoughts on “The secret to motivating your child | Jennifer Nacif | TEDxSanDiego”

  1. This is basically DISC personality model. Using the model to assess your child and using the techniques is a good way to motivate your child. Nice presentation. Enjoyed it. For those keen to know more, google about it. Understand your child. Cheers

    (D – dominance, drive, direct

    I – influence, influential

    S- steadiness, stability

    C – conscientious, compliant, careful, cautious, calculating)

  2. That was wonderful, clever, funny, informative and so helpful. I wish she would give us some questionnaire so we can answer the question about each child and then we will have an answer which type our child is. I have a POWER child, my 3yo son, and my 5yo son is a SAFETY child.I need to rewatch the video and try to find some more info, maybe another video or a book. I've never felt good about manipulating my children: fear or prize. We do that in our home – I use fear, my husband promises toys, that is both wrong. I'm the Anna, btw ( CLARITY )

  3. i needed this. thank you so much. my son feel traumatised for not doing well in school and i didn't know how to motivate my son. so i will try this.

  4. I do not like the way she puts responsibility of being a parent onto parents. I think I shall continue doing what's fashionable today and put that responsibility on others. Such as teachers.

  5. Omg! She described me to the T…the one child was me now…lol…perfectionist with stomach problems… I really paid attention cause she described me at that point…wow…lol

  6. This is just fantastic, thank you!!! Emotional intelligence in parenting. 🙂 Thanks for showing my own personality as well as my children.. I think I have one D child and another child with some P&A. Your speech is just so memorable, not just for your topic or content, but also on the delivery!

  7. I explain to my kids why I'm expecting certain behavior. I also let them make their own decision. They can either turn the tablet off and be able to continue after homework or they can lose the tablet for 24 hours…to the minute. It's their decision. We parents aren't raising children, we are raising adults. Include your son or daughter in their own rearing. It will become the most amazing bond between the two of you and will empower them 😊 Just my two cents.
    Be kind and do something nice for someone today just because you can 💞

  8. Absolutely love this ladies talk. Please upload more stuff about good parenting skills and how to approach common struggles and conflicts of raising a child.

  9. This is the four temperments. Dominant=choleric. Social=sanguine. Patient=phlegmatic. Analytical=melancholic.
    My daughter is phlegmatic and I'm choleric. When with all my knowledge of who we are and how to act accordingly, it's rough. It's like the very essence of love for me everyday to get who she needs me to be and not just who I am. Then switch gears immediately and be who the others need me to be. Sometimes it's tiring and I just want them to conform to me. Parents don't get that luxury though, at least while their kids are very little. As they get older I've been able to express to them that they are increasingly responsible for loving me for who I am. Man! Parenting is not for the light hearted or the lazy. By the grace of God….

  10. would have been such a help to my poor wonderful children if I'd heard you 30 years ago!!! Really enjoyed your talk & will certainly share your wisdom with others. I've taken notes!

  11. I recommend you to support philosophy for children , it is great:
    polakpotrafi . pl / projekt / filozofuj-z-dziecmi (delete spaces)

  12. This is all good–unless you don't know what the main motivator of your child is. I have no idea although we spend a lot of time together and we're close.

  13. Wheras, if your'e a boy, you are just supposed to be a, duh, boy. You can shout at him, beat him, belittle, threaten, tell him to "man up" in so many ways…. or just ignore him

  14. Thank you!!! Now I have new ideas about how to manage my daughter behavior in critical moments. I just have to breathe put back my self and go to my daughter with this in mind! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  15. In my school, one of the teachers had a big bullying situation. There was a lot of consequences and no learning. I pulled the child over and told them they were in charge of making sure the whole group behaved. Within a week, there was no more bullying. No one could explain what happened to the child. (except myself and the now well-behaved child)

  16. There is a version of this for kids from a book called, "The Treasure Tree" and it's a story that talks about the four temperment types; Lion, Otter, Beaver, and Golden Retriever. It's excellent to help kids understand temperment types as well as adults.

  17. There is good content in this video if you can stand to listen to this woman for more than five minutes. Her presentation of the material, while engaging, is incredibly annoying.

  18. Oh my gosh!!!!! I was laughing so hard. That is exactly my household. She has given me such an insight. Amazing!

  19. I’m a newbie primary teacher. I’m Struggling how to adjust on how to deal with my divergent students in class thankfully I found this very helpful video. The hardest part of being a teacher is not how to teach them the lesson I think It’s how to deal and understand them.

  20. Nothing todate works better then the old carrot or the stick trick in my home, but good luck with that idea.

  21. This seems a little like a horoscope to me. I can see aspects of at least 2 of these a piece in my own kids, and all 4 personality types at times in my own personality. I don't think you can really draw a perfect square around something as complex and dynamic as a human personality.

  22. Soooo simplistic!! You think you can understand a human being (yes, your kids are complex human being, just inexperienced) to know the right thing to tell them in every circumstance? Good luck! Are you a psychologist? I hope you are because in that case your chances to have such an understanding of another human being will be 0,000001 instead of zero. After the experience with my daughter, I can tell this lady forgot to mention the really hard ones (remaining in the realm of kids with no diagnosed disturbances of the personality, which your kid, let's hope not, might be one then you really need a lot of patience and take them to an expert): the ones with a communication problem! All she mentioned is based on verbal communication. Small problem, not all kids listen to you. Attention is just one of the feature of the brain and some are not good at it. Even more, for the first 2-3 years communication is largely non-verbal even for kids with normal attention skills. Imagine with the difficult ones! By the time your kid is 2-3 years an important part of the kind of relationship you will have with your kid has been settled. And all of that has been decided with other than words. If you don't DO the right things early, by the time you can talk to them you will manage to influence the ones that are prone to listen to you in any case. Secondly, another feature of the brain is concentration. And again some are not good at it. You tell them the perfect thing, they listen to you but 10 seconds later it is gone from their mind and they are just concentrating on something else. If you have one with the communication and concentration deficit you can tell them whatever you like and it will make no difference. That said, maybe your kid has got what it takes to behaves well if only motivated the right way and this talk might help. Yes, for a small percentage of family that is the case, I am sure.

  23. I clicked on this video and I learned a lot about myself too (analytical) and my partner (Patient). This is helpful not just to solidify our relationships with our children, but with adults as well. ✊🏾 I feel empowered. Thanks a lot for creating this talk.

  24. absolutely loved this! We really just need to love them as they are, only then can we help them become who they're meant to be. Not who we want them to be.

  25. I have to figure out my kids but I know me: I’m Responsible, need to lighten up, need specific instructions

  26. I have this problem where my husband and son are both very into control and power and I am the patient one who just wants everything to stop being a power struggle. I am currently trying to figure out how to motivate my son to care about school and learning, and I can't quite see how this applies. I've been trying to offer him simple choices that are all acceptable for years, but lately he's been opting for the "avoid doing anything productive and waste time" option.

  27. I have a sensitive sweet one and a serious rule follower. This is so true about what motivates them. You cant approach them the same way.

  28. Now imagine accomplishing this with 30 to over 150 students and you have a sense of what an average teacher must achieve along with all the other planning and administrative work being asked of them.

  29. Wow that was an excellent video!!! I had to pause and think and figure out which one my child is… but Thank you so much!! Great job explaining things I didn't know, that will help me and my family!!! God Bless you 🙂

  30. Yea my Stepson is a Patty. Sometimes trykng to pretend to be though and then crubleing the second he realizes it he can not see that through 😅 he is so sweet but sometimes its chalanging…

  31. So Motivation was the ONE word that will give us the secret? I don't get it….. this is ridiculous, so everybody can be taken down to 4 types of personality?

    those studies maybe needs another 20 years I think.

  32. Kelly Hicks reminded us about 4 typical human behaviors, but I truly believe that everybody has a mixed off all. I used to be very social, but as a parent of 3 girls, I am turning to more dominant/authoritative figure, but I dont deny to experience melancholy low key moments. Why do we always have to find a name for everything? Why do we always have to justify and judge our actions? Look at animals with their unconditional love to their kids, prioritising the little ones over everything even their own wellbeing! No words – just actions. Accept and respect people for who they are. Do your diligence as a parent! Find time to know your kids better.

  33. The photos of your children were very sweet and embraced the unique light in each. Sadly, most parents do not have the energy and aptitude to employ advanced pychological techniques to everyday struggles while raising them. Parents usually do the best they can and God is there to reconcile how it turns out.

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