How I Do It: Positive Reinforcement

Before heading off to our photo session on Saturday morning.

I hope y’all had a wonderful weekend!  The weather was beautiful here, and we enjoyed every minute of it…okay, except for the Carolina loss vs. Duke.  Cannot believe how poorly we played.  Enough of that, on Saturday morning, we had our first professional photo session as a family.  I’m so very excited to see the final products!  And of course, once they’re available, I’ll share them with you!!

Shown here with my husband’s parents and aunt and uncle.

On Sunday, little V was baptized at our church, in front of our beautiful, loving family, friends and congregation.  Nothing can compare to having a “tangible reminder that he is God’s”, as one of my best friends put it.  😉  I think as the years pass, we’ll always remember that while March will bring Easter and spring, it will also remind our family how important our little ones are, and how God has a very special plan for each and every one of them, as all four of them were baptized in March.

How I Do It: Positive Reinforcement
I know I’ve done a segment on Disciplining, but I thought I should balance out that segment with rewarding good behavior, as well.
Incentives.  Rewarding good deeds, even when it isn’t requested.  The in-your-face reward is, If I ask you to do something (i.e. put the books back on the bookshelf), then I’ll give you a treat.  While I totally agree that this does exemplify positive reinforcement, I feel like many times when I’ve seen that my child has done a good deed, without being asked, that that even deserves a better recognition.  It shows that they know how to help, love, etc. on their own.  And I think acknowledging that, whether it be by a candy treat, big hug, or even just telling them that you noticed their action, works wonders.  And the end result always, always, always ends with a smile.  And to me, that’s the best part!
Tasks that Deserve Rewarding.  Most good behavior deserves a reward, but it doesn’t have to.  If a child always thinks they’re going to receive a treat, for doing things they’re supposed to, then they’re probably going to get pretty frustrated when you tell them that they don’t get one this time.  I always make it a ‘maybe you will, maybe you won’t’ situation, when it comes to treats.  And let’s be honest, if they can make their bed, they don’t need a treat EVERY time they do it.  One thing to note, make sure you verbally thank them, while rewarding them, and explain why they’re receiving the treat.  It’s easy to toss them a piece of candy, and say good job, but that’s not enough.  Which leads me to chores…
Chores are Fun!  Even as young as my girls are, they can still help out around the house.  Make it a game!  My girls sort our socks, calling it ‘The Matching Game.’  And they seriously fight over who gets to help mama undo the dishwasher.  At their age, they want so badly to do everything I do.  And one thing I’ve learned, thank them every single time they help you.  Once they realize you’re “using” them, they’ll stop with the eagerness to help (coming from experience here).
One thing to remember is that if your child, just like mine, may be acting out, with tantrums and screaming, he/she may not be getting the attention they want/need.  I understand that young children think they are the center of the universe, they need to know that they aren’t always going to receive  constant attention.  But by rewarding good behavior, it not only shows them you care, it gives them attention, hopefully decreasing the number of tantrums.

Hope y’all have a great start to your week!

4 thoughts on “How I Do It: Positive Reinforcement

  1. Great tips. I also find that I can kind of play my kids off one another. Like, if one is doing something good and getting a lot of praise for it, the other will start doing the same good behavior. It's all about the mind games. 🙂

  2. Congrats on the baptism. That is such a great family picture and I love love love your dress. I've been eyeing the scalloped one too and cannot wait to try it!

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