Reinforcement is a powerful tool for teachers and parents to use to increase positive behavior choices in children. Research shows us that rewarding good behavior has a stronger effect than punishing inappropriate behavior, and it is certainly more fun to reward than punish!
What is Positive Reinforcement?
Positive reinforcement refers to anything that increases the likelihood of a behavior occurring again. It may be social recognition, tangible items or social activities. Verbally praising a child is a form of social recognition. It is especially powerful if the praise is specific. For example, instead of saying “good job”, try saying, “I really like the way you made your bed this morning!” or “I love the way you’re keeping your room so clean!”
Although there are certainly times when we must redirect a child’s inappropriate behavior, it is beneficial to make a conscious effort to use positive reinforcement more often than redirection. We want to give more attention to the positive than the negative.
13 Free Ideas for Positive Reinforcements
- Stay up 10 Minutes Late
- Choose the Family Game or Movie
- Choose a Special Dessert
- Go to the Park
- Invite a Friend Over to Play or Spend the Night
- Chore Pass
- Extra Story/Reading Time with Parent
- Time on Computer or iPad
- Bake a Favorite Treat
- Make a Craft with Parent
- Have a Family Picnic
- Get a Massage or Pedicure from Mom or Dad
- Take a Bubble Bath
If you liked this article, you might like this: 3 Terrific Tips for Practicing Gratitude with Your Child
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