Positive reinforcement

Have you ever heard about positive reinforcement?

According to Wikipedia: “Reinforcement is a term in operant conditioning and behavior analysis for the process of increasing the rate or probability of a behavior (e.g., pulling a lever more frequently) in the form of a “response” by the delivery or emergence of a stimulus (e.g. a candy) immediately or shortly after performing the behavior.”

This means that you “reward” a child after he/she have done something you consider a good behavior, in order to stimulate them to keep doing it. This reward could be simply pointing out what the kid have done right: eg. I really appreciate that you have done your homework today, great job!”

“If a child lives with approval, he learns to live with himself.” 
Dorothy Law Nolte

It looks quite easy, but the truth is that we are used to point it out what is wrong instead of showing what is right. Kids need to know the limits and what is acceptable, they need orientation. We may think that what they are doing is only what is expected, but do they know what is expected from them?

By giving positive reinforcement, kids learn what is right and it boosts their self-esteem. This also occurs to teachers. The institution may keep a teacher motivated by giving positive reinforcement, which means they point what has been right at their work. If you only give negative feedback, then their self-esteem will be affected and they may lose faith in their work.





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