When most of us think of discipline, we may not realize it, but we’re probably creating a stressful situation for ourselves and for our children.
Worse yet, we’re likely using methods that are actually negative reinforcement. Punishment fits into this category, as do some consequences that are enacted in a negative way.
So where does positive reinforcement fit in? Can it really help shape behavior? Positive reinforcement does have a place, say experts – perhaps a very big place.
Additionally, positive reinforcement creates a pleasant, often joyful atmosphere which can significantly reduce stress in the home.
Stress Relief Techniques For Home
The video below shows you an easy way to relieve stress that does’t require special exercises. Be sure to watch the video now.
Here are some thoughts and suggestions on the role of positive reinforcement in parenting, and it’s side benefit of stress reduction.
1. Long-Lasting Results
Sources agree that positive reinforcement has longer-lasting results than negative reinforcement. Kids learn to “duck” the negative stuff – punishment becomes the thing to be avoided and the focus is on that rather than behavioral improvement. Positive reinforcement, on the other hand, encourages good behavior, and behaving in ways that get the reward – the positive reinforcement – becomes the focus instead of avoidance.
2. What Constitutes a Reward?
If you’re going to use positive reinforcement, there are some techniques that are considered healthier than others.
* Food – Experts nearly all agree that using food as a reward is not the healthiest thing to do. It may encourage your child to grow into an adult who seeks comfort food as a reward for something, which becomes anything…your child may end up eating “treats” any time he or she can come up with an excuse.
* Praise – Verbal praise is a great way to offer positive reinforcement. Your kids want to please you (really), and knowing that they’ve made you happy and contributed to a happy atmosphere helps reinforce the good behavior.
* Brag – Tell the rest of the family about the good thing that your child did. You don’t need to overdo it, but let the other parent know in such a way that the child can hear you bragging on him. This makes anyone feel good!
* Extra privileges – Does your child like to watch videos? Does he like to read? Try giving him some extra time for those activities as a reward for desirable behavior.
3. Positive Language
Avoiding negative phrases is key. Instead of telling your kids they’re so annoying/frustrating/aggravating/hopeless/etc., verbalize their strengths and positive attributes. It’s amazing how negative language can drag your kids down and cause them to behave badly.