Did You Know?
Positive reinforcement is an important tool of a form of learning called Operant Conditioning. This term was coined by American psychologist B. F. Skinner in 1937.
It is important to understand that you cannot have any kind of control on your child's behavior and temperament. It's a natural trait, not only in children but in all of us. Parents should make peace with the fact that influencing their child's behavior is more effective than just controlling it.
An important aspect of child behavior modification plan could be associated with what is known as positive reinforcement. It simply reinforces a desired behavior in a person. This technique works on a principle which implies that if a person's behavior is rewarded with what they desire or want, then such behavior is more likely to increase in frequency and be more consistent. Furthermore, the duration, latency, and magnitude of the same behavior may also increase with time. This technique is considered to be the most rational way for your child to realize that their action and 'hard work' is being tangibly and verbally recognized and praised by their elders.
➚ The above technique can be implemented in classrooms too. You can keep a close watch on the behavior (or something close to it) that you want to see in a child. For example, if you want a child to sit quietly in their seat, and you see that they abide by it, then approve this behavior and praise it right away! Do not wait for so long that the child begins to squirm and finally you have to scold them.
➚ Immediate reward or recognition is what is required to let your child know that they must behave in a manner like you want them to. Your child will eventually know that this is what pleases you and they too will feel good about it. It is an obvious fact that a child develops a positive feeling if their good behavior is noticed and praised - we all do!
What's Not Desired
➚ Equally important is to highlight behavior that may cause your child to lose their earned rewards. Common examples could include non-compliance to a request, arguing, throwing tantrums, using abusive or explicit language, etc.
➚ Let your child know that shunning these and other undesired behavior will earn them more rewards, points, privileges, etc.
Review and Followups
➚ Consistency in following all such techniques is required for the plan to be successful in molding your child's behavior.
➚ Review and praise the child's progress in performing the behavioral tasks everyday; this will help your child in keeping up with the changing situation.
Parents or teachers must understand that a behavior modification plan that may work for one child may not always work for others. So depending on the emotional and physical state of the child, the plan may be improvised and implemented.
Remember the fact that your child's undesirable behavior may be an outcome of lack of attention or recognition. So changing or influencing the behavior requires a child to learn and unlearn things. This is where a behavior modification plan takes a crucial turn. It is most likely that your child will be less co-operative to things that are new to them, and even uncomfortable at times. However, consistent effort with 'lots of love' on your part will eventually make things easier. We all know that, maintaining good behavior at all times is difficult even for adults, and when it comes to kids, they still have a long way to go!
The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of an expert.