As a marketer I see the world through content and its influence. All our decisions are influenced by content and all of that content is designed by someone. So basically our decisions are designed by someone via content. As a parent I want my kids to understand this, and I want them to be designers and not only consumers. I have no doubt that they will have a better life if they do more than just consume.
But how to get kids to design and create?
I believe all kids can be designers and creators, and I have been experimenting with a simple reward system for my 13 year old daughter, which I hope will solve two problems:
1) I want her to be able to judge what is good and bad content;
2) I want her to try to create as much as possible.
She gets points when she consumes good content or creates her own original work, and those points can be used for her to request special privileges.
Here are the points she can earn:
Participating in a sports competition: 40 points
Watching a theater or a music performance: 20 points
Inventing a new food recipe, then preparing and eating it: 10 points
Watching a culturally relevant film: 5 points
Reading 50 pages of a book which is not obliged school reading: 5 points
Training for a sport for 20 mins: 3 points
Watching one episode of a culturally relevant series: 3 points
Writing a 100 character poem, story, or essay: 1 point
Taking a quality Instagram photo: 1 point
These are the points for our work for her:
Driving her around: 5 points
1 hour of chaperoning: 10 points
We document what she accomplished so we have a nice history of movies, training, and all other activities to look back on. I also created a Netflix list of culturally relevant movies that she can easily access. It includes films by acclaimed directors such as Kubrick and Spielberg.
I suggest that you try the content reward system with your kids. It will place emphasis on good content and creation. Children today are bombarded with poor content, but it is not necessary to block them from everything we perceive as negative. I believe we should try to educate them which content is beneficial and which isn’t, and how they can be content creators as well.
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