An infant when physically, mentally, emotionally ready, rolls over her body, crawls on fours, stands, walks, babbles, talks all by herself. She didn't need motivation to do it. She didn't need sticky stars to do it.
A toddler learns to zip, unzip the bag after repeated failures, climb up a hill after repeatedly rolling down a few times, uncaps her water bottle, walks over edges, carries glass of water across the room, undresses herself, and many more without having the need to give sticky stars, without having to compare with peers.
More so, the child actually does not even bother if the parent has been noticing her achievement. She had been busy exploring, trying, failing, trying again and achieving. She neither needed any 'yes, you can do it' in the background nor did she need 'yay, you've done it'.
She knows what she is aiming for, she is clear about her attempts, failures and the new path that needs to be taken. She achieves.
Suddenly, the child's learning journey is moved towards learning alphabets, numbers, singing rhymes, memorising facts. Her learning and her attempts at learning are being noticed, scrutinised and judged by a set of adults. The child cannot figure out what happened to her natural learning path. The adults cannot figure out what the child needs. In this chaos, adults start to trade the child's learning(read as homework/classwork), writing, counting, activity sheets, reading with sticky stars, treats, chocolates, play time and phrases like 'who completes first will get sticky star', 'whoever completes can go for outdoor play' etc.
What is this leading to? Where is it going to? A confused child who is in the battle between wanting to explore the world to achieve little things and doing what is asked to please the adults.
Children are already aware of their purpose of life. They are close to their consciousness. Let us keep them so without interfering with our authority that we think we have over our children.
After all the rigid childhood that they have gone through, it takes years and many years of their adulthood to actually look back at their self, realise their self worth, know their goals and achieve them
Let the child be.