Thanks to Pavlov and his theory on classical conditioning, the world now knows how to condition and guide behavior towards acceptability. By using reward and punishment, you can mould certain actions towards a desirable end result.
Parenting is no easy feat, especially with so many external influences and distractions. And it’s not easy to get kids to behave a certain way at all times! So what’s the new parenting hack? Conditioning!
Parents have begun to condition their kids to perform a desired behavior that will result in reward, in hopes of making it a habit. By using positive reinforcement, they’re encouraging children to strengthen the behavior they just displayed, and by using negative reinforcement, they’re hoping to diminish the undesirable behavior from occurring in the future. This subtle parenting hack is a way to socialize kids into becoming integrative members of society and inculcating your own values in them.
Reinforcement of behavior to encourage kids to act a certain way to produce a specific outcome is better than punishing kids. Although punishment can be effective, it aims to deter undesired behavior; in comparison, reinforcement helps to inculcate desired behavior in order to obtain rewards.
Hack #1: Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement is pairing a positive stimulus after a behavior is performed to encourage its repetition in the future; in other words, when parents positively reinforce their child’s behavior, they’re rewarding good behavior.
For example, if your child completes their homework as per your instructions, you’re likely to prepare their favorite meal or allow them extended playtime. In the long run, this will encourage your child to complete their homework to reap benefits.
Ways to positively reinforce your kids’ behavior:
- Giving a high five
- Giving extra privileges
The concept of positive reinforcement is simple: Reward good behavior so that your child is encouraged to perform it again in the same or similar situation!
Hack #2: Negative Reinforcement
Negative reinforcement means to encourage behavior that removes a negative outcome. In other words, you subtract a negative stimulus from the equation. For parents, negative reinforcement requires them to encourage behavior which helps to avoid negative circumstances.
For example, encouraging your child to bathe after jiu-jitsu so that the odor doesn’t cause discomfort at the dinner table. By encouraging your child to bathe, you’re helping them avoid negative reactions towards their sweaty jiu-jitsu attire, which saves them from embarrassment or admonishment.
Some ways to negatively reinforce your child:
- Keeping curfews untill responsibility is learned (ex. Grounding child if they’re an hour late)
- Removing one item on a to-do list if the rest have been satisfactorily performed
- Removing the stimulus that produces undesired behavior (ex. Taking away a toy two kids are fighting over)
In other words, negative reinforcement is a peaceful way to deter kids from acting in a manner that’s unacceptable.
Want educational and effective ways to condition kids? Check out this cool Martial arts for kids program!
Javill Byron is an accomplished martial artist, entrepreneur, businessman, and philanthropist based in Miami. As the owner of Top Shot Miami and WMB Martial Arts, Javill strives to serve as a valuable resource for individuals who want to improve their physical abilities and learn to protect themselves. Javill is especially passionate about helping children with disabilities and children who are bullied.
As a philanthropy-minded person, Javill Byron devotes much of his time to his nonprofit, WMB Foundation, Inc., which provides services to families and children diagnosed with ADHD, ADD, or Autism and aims to promote academic success and generally enrich their lives.