Watching a little person grow is fantastically emotionally rewarding…and educational.
At just 4 months little baby Jarrah is doing a great job validating Self-Determination Theory. That’s the theory of motivation that says we’re motivated to do things that increase our:
a) autonomy (seeing our actions arise from personal choices rather than outside control);
b) competence (being able to control our environment so we get predictable outcomes); and
c) relatedness (authentic participation in our social world).
The easiest way to measure motivation is to observe the time we freely invest in a given activity without getting bored or distracted.
Here’s the evidence:
Baby Jarrah’s time to boredom or freak-out:
– playing on the baby bouncer (see pic)= 35 minutes [= autonomy and competence]
– playing with mum or dad = no limit [= relatedness]
– interacting with toys = 3 mins [= none of the above, they’re just dumb toys]