In this memory, my little brother is two years old. He has recently started having his own “study time” with our mother. The task is to complete a few mazes in a toddler workbook that my mother got from an educational program for young children.
The first time he tried it, I heard, he did not understand the rule and connected the start point and the end point with a straight line. But these days, he is familiar with the rule, and he can draw a path avoiding any dead end in the maze.
My brother loves his study time. Every day, when my mother calls him for his study time, he eagerly runs to the little table my mother prepared for him.
Other than the maze task itself, what he looks forward to is our mother’s applaud at the end when he has successfully completed a maze. It makes him proud and want to do more.
“I’ll do more! I’ll do more!” he exclaims with excitement.
No sooner than my mother provides him with a page with a new maze, my brother dives in to work out the path.
A few mazes later, though, my brother’s focus level dwindles. My mother notices this and tries to end the study session. She wants to end it when my brother is feeling a sense of accomplishment.
“Let’s stop here today, Sweetie.”
But my brother does not listen.
“I’ll do more!” he insists. “I’ll do more!”
So, my mother gives him another maze task, knowing fully well what will happen next.
A few minutes in, my brother hits a dead end. He cannot figure out how to continue. Soon, his mood plummets.
“I won’t do anymore,” he stands up with a grumpy face, then walks over to another room to play with his toy buses. My mother is wise enough not to tell him anything. She waits there, looking cool and making her busy with some other task.
Several minutes later, my brother comes back to the table, refreshed and ready to tackle the maze he could not finish. He succeeds this time. My mother says this is it for today, and this time, my brother agrees. The study time is over.