Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Virtues of Selfishness: PART TWO

Awhile back, I proposed that selfishness isn't necessarily a bad thing.  I advocated for a child's right to say No, make choices, and do things their own way in their own time

But selfishness isn't just a right.  Selfishness actually WORKS.  When children make choices to be kind not because they are required to but because it works well (i.e. it feels good, others are more likely to listen, they are more likely to achieve their intended outcome), intrinsic motivation flourishesIn other words, the positive behaviors have positive effects (for everyone involved), and so children are likely to repeat the positive behavior because it works.  
We've found that when we support the natural connections between doing something that works and feeling good, children are naturally and selfishly kind to each other:  it feels good to be kind! 
And you want to know a super cool thing that happens?   
Selfish kindness, or perhaps kind selfishness, spreads...

W connects with A.
T is comforted.
T comforts W.
A connects with L.

L's sister comforts S.

S connects with J.
J connects with W.
 So c'mon!  Be selfishly kind!  It works.

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