“Reinforcement is something that will increase the probability that an individual will exhibit the identical conduct once more sooner or later,” says licensed psychologist Nicole Beurkens, Ph.D., CNS. “You might be aiming to extend a desired conduct resembling talking politely, doing chores, enjoying properly with siblings, and so forth.”
And chances are high you are seemingly doing this already in some capability: You reward your child for tidying up after themselves, you praise them after getting good grades in class, you are taking them out for a deal with after hitting a milestone or doing nicely in an extracurricular. As Pressman tells us, it is merely “giving children consideration for a sure conduct.”
Nonetheless, reinforcement can backfire, if achieved incorrectly. And this comes again to selling intrinsic motivation, versus extrinsic. Ideally you need your children to develop some intrinsic motivation—which is what occurs when folks do one thing as a result of they discover it rewarding or see the profit in doing it fairly than doing it for an exterior motive. And getting children to that time does take some work (and it’ll not occur for each single form of job—not even adults have intrinsic motivation for all that we do!). The issue arises when mother and father lean on reinforcement an excessive amount of and youngsters begin to worth exterior rewards for behaviors that they need to actually require self-regulation.
Pressman notes, nonetheless, that you just actually ought to take into consideration what kind of stuff you need to encourage this end result: “Each guardian has totally different objectives and priorities, and that is not for us to evaluate, however you need to take into consideration the stuff you need your children to worth and assist reinforce optimistic behaviors round that,” she says. “However for issues like easy habits that you just want them to undertake, like potty coaching? You need to use considerate exterior rewards for that, as finally it’s going to simply change into a part of their each day lives and routines.”