A New Reward System To Teach Children Sikh Values

As online reward systems become more popular, SikhNet steps forward with the first online reward system designed for Sik...

Child care professionals always emphasize positive reinforcement. There is the famous 'star chart' used by many school teachers. In our technologically advanced times, there are even apps that help motivate children to do their chores. As adults we also get reward points for things like credit cards, and many companies use point/reward systems as incentives. It seems that point systems are becoming more predominant and are reaching every age group.

As we start 2012 our children are exposed to more media influences than ever before. Facebook games, like Farmville, have spread like crazy. In this game we are rewarded digitally by seeing how we've built and maintained our farm, as we level up and earn gold coins etc. It is our responsibility to decide which behaviors to reward.

Until now, there has been nothing online made specifically for Sikh values and lifestyle.

SikhNet has created a reward system for children doing Sikh activities like meditation and seva. The inspiration from this came from Disney's "Pixie Hollow", where your character can do various online things and earn digital badges in different categories. You'll see this reflected in SikhNet's Karma Game. Here at SikhNet, we decided to take that idea a little further, and apply it to real life. We created a whole system for "Dharma Badges". What are they? Simply, your child starts a task, and then once completed writes about their experience, and/or uploads a photo of him or herself doing that task. Once they've done all the given tasks, they will see that badge turn from gray to gold and the hidden badge artwork will be revealed. There are ten badges available in five categories right now, but the potential exists to expand and create many more badges.

These are are the five categories in the Dharma Badge system:

Meditator: Some of the tasks include reciting the mul mantra, reading/listening to Banis, breath exercises and other meditation techniques.

Sevadar: Get your kids to do some selfless service like cleaning the dishes, serving langar, cleaning, doing seva at the Gurdwara etc.

Warrior: This badge is about physical strength, health and balance. It includes training exercises, gatka, and warrior Banis.

Eco-Sikh: We thought to add this category because we feel that the environment is a very Sikh issue, and it's good to teach sustainability awareness at a young age. Tasks include things like turning off the lights when you're not in a room, recycling, using less water etc.

Expressive: This category is for creative work like writing, drawing etc. It also includes things like taking a personal hukam.

The Dharma Badge system is independent from the Karma Game. You can play either or both.

Each badge earns a certain amount of points, and you can see who has the most points on the leader-board. The reward for doing the tasks is a beautiful digital badge that you can share on Facebook. But also, the reward is the fact that you can share your accomplishments with the online Sangat. You can also see other people's accomplishments and get inspired by that.

So staring in 2012, show your kids how to use the Dharma Badge system. You can even use it yourself! It's for all ages.

Dharma Badges

Do Sikh things, enjoy the personal experience, enjoy the artwork, get inspired by others, and share.

What do you think about the badge system? Please leave your comments below.


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