Sunday, 12 July 2015

Positive reinforcement and praise - a key to good relationships and behaviour!

Sometimes I feel that we are too quick to point a finger at something wrong and never quick enough to praise what was done well. Children thrive when we praise them. Not only children. We all do! We should use every opportunity to praise our children, colleagues, spouse, parents or neighbours. 'Good job,' won't cut it though! We should make sure our praise is very concrete and specific. The homework only half way done? Make sure you appreciate the half that is done before pointing out the part that isn't. Go through your children's notebooks regularly and appreciate everything you like. Is his handwriting bad but then in one page you see a significant change? Make sure you not only notice it but praise your kid for showing so much patience and interest to actually focus on the handwriting. 

The whole idea of positive reinforcement is neatly put together at the following article i stumbled upon online:
Think about the times you’ve been honoured for your contributions at work, gushed over for cooking a delicious meal or high-fived for rocking it at karaoke. Likely, the recognition made you feel awesome and motivated to do more of the same. Positive reinforcement helps bring out the best in all of us, especially children! Focusing on and praising your kiddo’s desirable actions is the best way to shape consistently good behaviour. Here’s the scoop on positive reinforcement.

How positive reinforcement works
Rewarding your sweetie right after he does or says something increases the likelihood that he will repeat the behaviour again. That’s because your praise makes him feel really good – it helps boost his self-esteem – and he’ll continue to do the things that gain your attention. For example, when you give your child hugs and hoorays for putting his toys away properly, he’ll be motivated to continue cleaning up nicely in the future. In contrast, if you give a lot of attention to what he’s doing wrong and little recognition to what he’s doing well, the rate of his negative behaviour will rise.

Put positive reinforcement into action
To increase a particular behaviour, you must reinforce your kiddo as soon as she does it. That way it’s clear to her what action has earned her an awesome reaction. Let’s use the example of sharing toys at playtime. The instant Sriya calmly gives her Dora doll to a pal, deliver specific verbal praise – “I love the way you share your toys!” – and give her a tickle, hug or high-five. Celebrate each positive step she takes – be your child’s cheerleader! – and ignore any negative outbursts until sharing toys appropriately becomes automatic behaviour. Once that happens, you can fade back reinforcement, giving praise intermittently.
(The article borrowed from: )

So, let's take this one week ahead and try to full - heartedly focus on positives and make sure we praise everyone who deserves it! That said, of course we should never lie when praising! That would do more damage then good. Praise should come when deserved and if you focus on positives the opportunities will be plentiful!

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