Reinforcement is considered as an integral part of raising a future-fit leader and it involves providing the child with verbal encouragement or tangible rewards that will encourage the likelihood of certain behaviors in a child. The reinforcement can be positive or negative and both forms are widely used by parents for the overall growth of their child. This blog looks into the types of reinforcements in length and also the ways in which we as parents can encourage certain behaviors in child in terms of increasing their likelihood or reducing their frequency and intensity in everyday life.
Reinforcement is defined as the result or the consequence that we may incur based on the way we engage with a certain stimulus. The concept of reinforcement is classified as a more long-term way of either increasing the behaviour that was shown to the stimulus or decreasing its frequency towards the same stimulus. For example, if our child is engaging in making notes while studying a certain subject and we would like them to continue engaging in such behaviour on a regular basis, for that we can reinforce the behaviour by either appreciating it whenever they engage in it or by providing them their favourite meal or by giving them time with their favourite toy, which would increase the frequency of the said behaviour in our child. As mentioned in the previous example, reinforcements may be of two types, namely, positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement.
Positive reinforcement is the form of reinforcement where we give our children an appetitive or something tangible in the sense of a compliment or their favourite meal which may increase the child’s likelihood of engaging in that said behaviour with something to look forward to. Negative reinforcement, on the other hand, is the sort of reinforcement, where we try to increase the frequency of a certain behaviour, by decreasing something in the child’s environment, such as putting on earmuffs, if someone next to us is snoring away to glory.
Reinforcements are considered as a beneficial way of increasing the likelihood of our children engaging in the behaviours which we may think as positive behaviours and make themfuture-fit leaders. These reinforcements may act also as anchors, which will keep the child going and showing those behaviours in everyday life. For example, if the child engages in taking initiatives of doing chores around the household, we may reinforce that with compliments and appreciation for the child, or with other tangible goods, thereby increasing the frequency of said behaviour.
1. Give their efforts due attention, especially in the current day and age where everything is so fast paced, we may often forget to pay attention to our child’s effort towards certain tasks, but this is where we can improve effectively and reinforce the child’s efforts, so that they out in the same hard work in other avenues too.
2. Praise the child, not only for the result but for all the work that he has done to reach the end goal. This can be done using positive affirmations with your children and will not only encourage the child to keep going and make them resilient enough to not give up but will also reinforce within them the behaviour that they were engaging in, ranging from building a block tower to working through a hard maths problem.
3. While rewarding the child’s behaviour we must make sure that the child sees the reinforcement as a reward. This is also very important in reinforcement because the reward is the only way we will be increasing the behaviour, hence, the reward must appear appealing to the child.
4. As a parent who wants to reinforce the behaviour, we must try to vary the frequency of our rewards towards the behaviour we want to reinforce. For instance, if we want to reward a behaviour, let us increase the time of giving reward based on the number of times they showcase a behaviour. This will keep the child on their toes as they would be looking forward to a reinforcement, but they will not know when they get it, hence, engaging in the behaviours more often.