By Sochna Noeu
When your child misbehaves, rewards might be the last thing on your mind. It will be greater if you can use positive reinforcement to motivate and improve your child’s behavior. It can be one of the most effective behavior modification techniques. You can use positive reinforcement to encourage prosocial behaviors, like sharing or following directions and you can use it to prevent misbehavior, like hitting and rule violations.
Positive reinforcement can also be an effective way to encourage and motivate your child to be responsible, do their chores, get along with their siblings, or complete their homework assignments without arguing.
There are many ways to reinforce the behavior you want to encourage, and there are many free or low-cost reward options you can use. Positive reinforcement doesn’t necessarily need to be a tangible item. Instead, you can positively reinforce a child’s behavior by clapping and cheering, giving a high five, giving a hug or pat on the back, giving a thumbs-up, offering a special activity, like playing a game or reading a book together, offering praise, telling another adult how proud you are of your child’s behavior while your child is listening.
You can also offer positive reinforcement by giving a child extra privileges or tangible rewards. For example, if your child cleans their room without being asked, you could take them to the playground as a reward. Chances are that they’ll be more motivated to clean their room again. If your child patiently helps their sibling with their homework, you could offer more time to play video games.
It’s important to reward your child’s efforts and improvement, rather than focusing only on perfect results. If you see them try or if they did better than last time, let them know you notice.
Reference: Amy Morin, LCSW (2020), “Using Positive Reinforcement to Improve Your Child’s Behavior”. Retrieved from: https://www.verywellfamily.com/positive-reinforcement…
By Sochna Noeu