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As a parent, how might you use positive or negative reinforcement to bring about desirable changes in the behavior of a child? As a parent, how might you use positive or negative reinforcement to...

As a parent, how might you use positive or negative reinforcement to bring about desirable changes in the behavior of a child?

As a parent, how might you use positive or negative reinforcement to bring about desirable changes in the behavior of a child?

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accessteacher eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The old favourite stick and carrot method. Well, as a parent of four children who desperately tries to do a good job, I think it is all about finding whatever lever you can that will work. Our friends just told us an excellent example. Their daughter always sucked her thumb with disastrous results. After trying everything, they agreed to buy their daughter whatever she wanted only if she could stop sucking her thumb for 21 days. After the first 5 days of success, they bought her a doll that she wanted but left it on top of the fridge so she could see it but not get at it. After the remaining days she was given the doll, but only on the condition that if she was caught sucking her thumb again she would have the doll taken away. This has happened only twice, and now their daughter no longer sucks her thumb. Finding the right leverage is essential!

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marbar57 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I teach in a charter school that uses the positive reinforcement method to train our students (with excellent results).  Rather than focus on a particular student's negative behavior, we focus on and reward desirable behavior that we see in a neighboring student, in the hopes that the one misbehaving will see and change their behavior to a more desirable one.  This also reinforces the excellent behavior of the student that is doing what they're supposed to be doing! 

Remember the words of the song sung by Bing Crosby, "Accentuate the positive! Eliminate the negative!  Latch on to the affirmative!  Don't mess with Mr. In-Between!"?  Well, no truer words were ever spoken! 

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brettd eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Negative reinforcement could also involve the return of privileges after they have been taken away, such as no longer "grounding" a child, or allowing television or phone use after they have been taken away.  Positive reinforcement can also involve modeling on the part of the parent, perhaps in the proper manners and etiquette at the dinner table, or in social interactions with others.

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Lorna Stowers eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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While the above postings offer wonderful insight into positive reinforcement, I will look at the negative.

Questions about negative reinforcement always remind me of when my father was trying to break me of biting my nails as a child. My father would paint my nails with a biter solution which made me not want to bite my nails. Given that this "treatment" made me wish to not bite my nails ("because a negative condition is stopped or avoided as a consequence of the behavior"--http://www.mcli.dist.maricopa.edu/proj/nru/nr.html).

 


 

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wannam eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Positive reinforcement is usually the more effective tool for parents. Children are praised or rewarded for good behavior. The danger with this type of reinforcement is that it can turn into bribary. There is a difference between positive reinforcement and bribary. A bribe might be a parent in the check-out line saying "if you'll stop whining,...

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