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Most of the parents often scold or reward their child for helping them avoid their misbehaviour. But trust me, both the ways are completely incorrect, instead choose Positive Reinforcement, because it has some proven benefits! Positive reinforcement is an effective behaviour modification technique that encourages a kid to do good.
This technique boosts selfless behaviours like caring, sharing, and following the right directions. Moreover, parents can also encourage and motivate their child to become more responsible for their chores. They can also get along with their siblings very well, and complete their homework assignments without contemplating.
I have been personally trying Positive Reinforcement for my daughter for so long. Hence, here are some easy examples of how you can use positive reinforcement for kids at your home and shape their behaviour.
1. You put a lot of effort into keeping your toys clean, I’m proud of you!
Whenever your kid is done playing with his/her toys, don’t go and clean the mess all on yourself. Instead, encourage them to do it, and when it’s done, offer them the right praise. Do remember that rewards don’t mean offering your kid chocolates or their favourite toys, even words matter a lot. When you choose the right word to encourage their actions, it will have a great impact on them. Having said this, you can use verbal praise like, “I like how properly you are keeping your toys at their desired place, everything is looking great, Well done!”
2. How good you are while eating, you never spoil your clothes and the table? That’s really appreciating!
Whatever your kid’s age is, asking them to eat what they don’t like is a battle indeed. And at every mealtime you will have to struggle with their list of likes and dislikes. But with Positive Reinforcement you can help your kid take a bite, even if they don’t want to eat the whole meal. This will surely be a slippery slope at first, but you can appreciate them for eating healthy with your kind words. Also, the quick tip here is to appreciate them the way they eat their food without messing with everything. In this way, they will try to eat every meal just to heat your appreciation!
3. Praise all those little steps but not the struggles
Instead of asking them to complete their daily homework, appreciate them for their handwriting and the little steps they will be taking to do the work. Because when you will stress on asking them to do work, you will be reinforcing struggles and not the positivity. When you will appreciate each little step of what they take while doing their work, the whole process gets a lot easier and happier. You can also praise them for solving a sum, or their handwriting, and how they neatly do their homework on time.
4. Appreciate when they start with a new thing individually
Whenever you will see that your child is taking an initiative to do their things on their own, let them do it. And in return you use verbal positive reinforcement as a way to encourage them to continue to do the same. Like if they woke up early without you waking them, then you can say “You did a great job” or “You’re a punctual kid!” Likewise, try celebrating each little effort, because it really matters a lot to your child.
5. Focus more on Value learning than grades
Even if your kid scores well in their exam, praise in a way that you are appreciating their effort and not the grades. In this way, they will always try their best to put a lot of hardwork in all their examinations. Also, be mindful of what words you will be using to praise your child. Like, never say “You’re the smartest boy”, or “Nobody else can score this much”, as these words can affect your child’s self esteem, if in future they would ever do bad. He or She will always work hard to be the best, and not to learn the best!
There are several long term benefits of Positive Reinforcement for kids, and what I have seen in my daughter are as follows –
Develops the overall character of the child
Children who are encouraged properly by the means of Positive reinforcement will show more Positive results. They will have a positive approach in their work, and they will never fear punishment. Instead they will keep everyone around them motivated, everytime!
Helps the child to feel loved and content
Helping a kid understand the values of discipline and kindness is very difficult, because even adults fail to understand the same. And that’s the reason they behave in a certain way because of which they always get scolded by their parents and elders. But with Positive reinforcement a child understands these little things step-by-step, and even they feel loved when their parents teach them.
Self-esteem plays a major role in the growth of any individual. And Children who are confident and positive enough about their actions are more likely to find success later in life. With positive reinforcement, parents are making their child feel good about themselves; especially when they have done something correct, and that’s how they develop the right self-esteem.
And last but not the least, Positive Reinforcement will make you feel good inside out as a parent. No parent feels proud while scolding their child, and later they end up feeling guilty, but this technique will help you to stay happy. Positive reinforcement focuses on praising the process and not the outcome, hence it has much better results. It will surely take some time for you to analyze the overall process practically, but when done right it will strengthen your relationship! Happy Parenting!