Improving Parenting Styles: The Power of Positive Reinforcement
Parents| | By Rosie Hallie
Parenting can be very challenging, especially for new parents. This may be one of the main reasons why they conduct twice as many Google searches compared with non-parents. Raising children to be upstanding individuals is a challenge in itself, and there are various schools of thought on how it can be done successfully.
Here is something that all parents should know: Positive reinforcement is powerful, and it will make you a better parent and your children better individuals. This video from Parents.com defines positive reinforcement as the things you do after your children exhibit good behavior; those things make it more likely for the behavior to continue. Saying, “good job,” to your children when they make their bed in the morning, or “very good” when they count from one to 10 correctly are just two simple examples of positive reinforcement, but they can go a long way toward promoting good behavior in kids.
Positive reinforcement is one of the pillars of Family Education’s 12 Disciplinary Elements, and is largely based on these two premises:
- Kids want approval for who they are and what they do; and
- Kids want to please you.
By using positive reinforcement to highlight what your children are doing right, you are effectively encouraging them to do it consistently — to the point that it becomes second nature to them. However, it can’t be a one-time-only thing; if you want your children to develop good behavior, you will need to reinforce it continuously.
What’s more, there’s science behind positive reinforcement. According to Very Well Mind, it is part of operant conditioning, in which learning occurs through rewards and punishments for behavior. There are many layers to this learning method, and studying patterns of human conduct can help us develop a versatile knowledge of how people of all ages work. Having a better understanding of these principles can help you recognize the contextual nuances of everyday behavior. When paying more attention to how you reward and reinforce certain actions, you can enhance your own awareness of your children’s feelings and motives. In doing so, you will be able to foster a strong bond with your children and inculcate in them the values that will make them respectable adults in the future.
Encourage your children at every opportunity so you can watch them grow into upstanding adults.