“Learning, Yet Not Obeying” by Andrea Zambrano

My three year old nephew Mateo was given a four wheeler motorcycle to ride around on. At first, he found it a bit strange since he had never encountered one like it before. In order to ease things a little, his mother got onto it with him to teach him the buttons and their functions. There were only two buttons on the vehicle: the upper button to go forward and the bottom button to reverse. In addition to the acceleration pedal which he had to press upon every time he wanted to move. Mateo seemed to have understood how the motorcycle works pretty well so he put it into practice. He was doing great at first, as he kept riding, he got a little carried away and forgot to push the bottom button to reverse. His mother and I reminded him about the reverse button once again. Right after that, he crashed one more time. Once again, we told him “no Mateo, not like that.” So now he took it as a joke or a game even though he learned that it wasn’t okay to crash it. Bottom line is that humans tend to always lean towards doing the opposite of what somebody tells them to do. If a person says “no, don’t do it” you are more eager to commit the act.

Reference | Personal Experience

Who: my 3-year old nephew Mateo

When: around the end of July

Where: home, in my backyard

1 thought on ““Learning, Yet Not Obeying” by Andrea Zambrano

  1. An interesting set of observations. I would like to know more about how you think it is that Mateo learned to ride. I would also like to understand better what it was he was doing that you didn’t approve of. The notion that telling people what to do – or not to do – can have perverse effects is certainly worth examining a bit deeper, too.

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