I’m sure that you are familiar with results of rewards for good behaviour and punishment for the bad behaviour. Children quickly learn that some negative things can bring satisfaction. For example, they will receive A if they learn a lesson from a history that is boring to them. This method of learning is called operant conditioning.
However, punishment and reinforcement aren’t good for children always. This depends primarily on how, when and why parents use them. Punishment and reinforcement affect a child’s behaviour, but also have long-term consequences on it. Therefore, it’s important that parents know how to use those. I will introduce using punishment and reinforcement tips in the raising of children that every parent needs to know.
1. Parents must consider a child’ behaviour and their own reaction to it!
Think about what is wrong with your child’s behaviour, why your child behaves like that. Many children have bad behaviour just because they know that they will get attention if they behave badly. If you pay all your attention to the child every time when he/she has a bad behaviour, maybe the child just wants to spend more time with you. On such child, you will use different punishments in a different way than with a child who lies to you to protect a younger sister, for example. In fact, first, it’s important to consider all the ways of our actions and their consequences. For example, if your child spends too much time playing games, then you shouldn’t punish the child by a ban on going to a picnic.
2. Children needs to understand the parent’s behaviour as a care for them.
Children should experience parents’ punishment and reinforcement as a concern and a desire to they be good. Paying attention to childrens’ emotions, a parents show that actually care about them. That establishes a quality relationship between parents and children which is necessary for using punishment and reinforcement with positive consequences. Accepting requests, children will be very proud and happy when parents praise them for some good action. At the same time, that will encourage them to have a good behaviour and further. Over time, external control will establish internally so children will be satisfied with their actions and without any compliments.
3. Punishment and reinforcement must be in accordance with the child’s age, abilities and characteristics.
Let children express feelings and emotions. It’s disadvantageous if children are defended to manifest they own opinion and if parents don’t show compassion and understanding for them. Parents cannot prevent children from being angry, disappointed, vindictive, or furious. Above all, they cannot prevent these feelings from themselves. Even if parents punish a child for some behaviour, without considering his/her emotion, the child will experience that emotion as forbidden. Because of children difficult control emotions, as well as us, fear, confidence, confusion can occur in the child the next time when the same feeling recurs again.
4. Punishment and reinforcement must be justice.
Even very small children have a sense of justice. Children perceive a too strict punishment as an injustice. Such punishment confuses them and makes them indignant. Then they will not understand their mistakes but will understand the punishment as a mistake of the parents. Usually, because of the too strict punishments, they become defiant. As result of that, they will behave badly whenever they can and when parents don’t see them. With too much punishment, parents don’t teach children anything.
The parents are wrong when they punish a child because they are angry, nervous or in a bad mood. Also, it’s wrong to punish a child if he/she did something unintentionally, break the bowl from the table while he/she was running for example. Usually, parents are justified by the fact that punishment is a preventive measure in those cases. They just want their child to learn not to repeat the same mistake. That’s exactly the problem. A child, if breaks something accidentally, will not get reproach only, but will also be afraid before his/her parents see the broken things. In addition, if a parent broke the same thing, nobody wouldn’t punish him. Therefore, in such cases, a child considers punishment as an injustice. That isn’t useful for an establishment of a quality relationship between a parent and a child.
5. Punishment and reinforcement shouldn’t hold off.
If children deserve a punishment for their behaviour, then they should be applied immediately. If the punishment is postponed and applied later, a child will forget that he/she had a mistake. Then, the punishment loses effect. Therefore, the punishments which been hold off, as well as the excessive punishment, is an injustice children. That confused and indignant them. This is especially true for children of the younger age whose quickly forget feelings that they have made a mistake. For example, if your child misses something in the evening, forbid him/her to watch television immediately, not tomorrow.
6. Don’t overdo with punishments and reinforcements!
The constant rewarding of someone is less effective than just occasional rewards. This also applies to punishment. No matter how badly a behaviour is, a constant indication of it and punishment will not stop it. On the contrary, it can be amplified, because of that cause stubbornness and disrupts self-confidence in children.
7. You are not trying to make too many changes at once. Gradually.
In order to correct the child’s behaviour, you need time. We will positively influence the child’s behaviour only by direct and immediate support, but we shouldn’t despair if the child repeats the same behaviour. Sometimes it’s necessary to repeatedly show a child that his/her particular behaviour isn’t adequate. How much time it takes depend on a child’s characteristics, maturity, and the relationship that parent have with the child. So, be patient! Solve the problem by problem, and you will surely get the desired results.
8. Use a punishment and reinforcement so that the child understands them.
Always explain to your child the consequences of problematic behaviour. We don’t change a child’s behaviour, the child changes it. That’s why children must know their own mistakes if we want that they correct these. The purpose of that is to direct a child to make the right decisions without the compulsion to listen to you.
9. Consistency is important!
If you forbid a child something someday, and you allow the child the same next day, the child will be confused. As well, a child will be confused if mum says no, and dad says yes. Also, what is valid for you should apply to the child. If a child accidentally breaks the glass, don’t punish the child as you wouldn’t be in the same situation.
Why is consistency important? In that way, we clearly show a child what he/she must and what not. We create clear rules and set limits for both, the child and us. Stick to this golden rule of parenting in order to avoid a lot of ambiguity in the child.
10. Use more positive than negative reinforcements and punishments for raising children.
We don’t have to beat children and yell at them if we want to let they know that something they not done properly. As far as physical punishment is concerned, it’s not controversial it’s effective, under the condition it’s current and consistent. However, even if there is a possibility that a child will correct behaviour in order not to get beats, we are sending a message to the child that physical violence is quite right to solve the problem. If you want to teach your child not to act in a certain way, a punishment and negative reinforcement aren’t the only ways. Instead of punishing, you can just not pay attention, apropos don’t reinforce such behaviour. This educational measure is especially appropriate for younger children who often try to attract parents’ attention by bad behaviour. If you don’t corroborate a certain behaviour, it will stop by the time.
Do you use punishments and reinforcements in rising? Have you find some advice which means as helpful to you in this article. Share your opinion, experiences and emotions with us. Every experience more is a good way to our improving.