If you have kids, you must have often wondered how to get them to listen to you. Unlike adults, children are very simple, and it is not difficult to understand their behavior. Well, mostly.
Anyway, if you have a kid then how do you get them to learn positive things and behavior? Positive reinforcement! Even if you don’t know what this is, you must already be making use of the concept.
What is positive reinforcement?
The concept of positive reinforcements was documented by a pioneering psychologist B. F. Skinner. He concluded that if children are given rewards for good behavior, they want to keep repeating that behavior. If the children are conditioned from a young age to exhibit good behavior, it becomes a habit with most children and stays that way even as adults. It becomes ingrained.
Now that we have a brief history out of the way, how can you do this with your children? As a parent or a caregiver, you must want your child to be good. Children are very simple and innocent. You definitely want to capitalize on this!
Ways of positive reinforcement
We are sure that you’ve already done this! How many times have you handed your child candy for doing something good? How many times have you rewarded your child for their good behavior by making them goodies? You may even have taken made ‘deals’ with them where they got something they wanted for toeing the line.
This is a great way to teach young children, below the age of 10, positive behaviors. Candy is generally the best tangible reward that most kids prefer. If you’re looking for the best choices in candy for your child, click here.
There are myriad ways in which you could reward your children with intangible things as well. Children love to be praised in front of their friends. You could talk to their friends about their good behavior and praise them. You could set them as an example of good behavior.
You could even try planning activities with your kids. Kids always have places they want to go to. Reward them by taking them to places of their choices and having fun with them.
Just expressing your glee when your child does something good can make your child happy too. Clap your hands and kiss your child.
This will make your child want to please you more, and they will try to indulge in good behavior. Ensure that you always reward their good behavior; else the child may feel dejected.
Sometimes we accidentally reward our children for negative behaviors. For example – if a child is crying for attention and you talk to them, you unknowingly give them attention. This reinforces the attention seeking gimmick. The best way to discourage this behavior is to completely ignore the behavior and not give in to the child’s demands.
Positive reinforcement works not only for children but for adults as well. If done right, you could mold your child into the model citizens you want them to be.