Автор: Н.И. Козлов

Reinforcement in the upbringing of children

Reinforcement is an indispensable condition for any teaching and learning. The main rule: "What is reinforced – that’s what we get."

When parents approach a child, they reinforce the behavior that the child is doing at this time. If parents approach a small child, when he smiles, take him in his arms when he reaches out to them, talk to him when he walks with them - they bring up a calm, cheerful, positive and loving child. If the parents are very busy and approach the child, only when he screams or pisses, they bring up someone who will increasingly cry and piss.

A story of the smart dad:

Once we went in a shuttle bus and my daughter (then she was 4 months old) woke up 40 minutes before the end of the road. I woke up hungry, but there was no opportunity to feed her. A few minutes after awakening Alisha began to cry.

I tried to communicate with her somehow, but to my words she began to cry even louder. Then I turned away, I sit, I ignore it. She was tired of crying, only sighed. Silence. I turn to her, I smile: "Alisha!". On my smile, she starts to cry again. Then again I turn my back and do not pay attention to her crying. When it is silent, I turn back to her and start talking.

Then I even stopped turning away, but simply began to lower my hands on the car seat arm so that her hands could not see my face. When she cries, I put my hands on the seat arm slowly, and I can not be seen! She ceases to cry - I take one hand away, behind it another.

After the third time I noticed that Alisha starts to cry "hands". When I brought my hands to the handle of the car seat, she looked from one hand to another and cried them alternately. The wife said that the daughter’s crying changed: she asks for "hands" to open her face.

After a while Alisha stopped crying and began to communicate with us and the world around us :)

So I learned to quickly calm a crying daughter - she probably realized that with me crying does not work.

With her mother, Alisha let her cry more than with me. Probably, Mom’s "heart was bursting," and her mother in response to the cry began her daughter as if to beg: "Well, do not cry, please..." with asking intonations. When his wife changed tactics and intonations, her daughter began to cry much less.

Of course, Grandmother received a prize for crying. She began to moan and lament, and now we have such a picture: for me daughter practically does not cry, for mother - very little, for grandmother - long and pitifully.

P.S. It took 4 more months and we adhered to the same tactics, noticed that approximately once in 7-10-14 days the daughter decides to test our resistance to crying. And if we stick to the installation: we talk with her when she does not cry, but expresses her demands more quietly and calmly, then for the next 10-14 she communicates with us in quiet and not loud ways :)

Most often reinforcement occurs unconsciously

We are talking about educating children, and so: it is very useful to read the article "Unconscious reinforcement in the maintenance and education of dogs" - very curious! Fragment from there:

Our elderly newfoundlander Chalzie lived with our relative for some time. Quite a healthy dog, despite the most sophisticated and well-organized care, began to get seriously ill - it got to the point where she stopped getting up. Having moved to our own house, we took the dog to ourselves, thus isolating ourselves from sympathy for her ailments. We did not make any difference between cheerful (despite a decent age) German shepherds and a "dying" invalid. Three days later, Chalzie was tired of lying and moaning, she began to slowly get up and indignant, why she was not given legal yogurt, quail eggs and validol, and two weeks later she hunted in the fields on mice and thought about her sores. The dog s disease was, in fact, formed by a touching manifestation of the care for her well-being! And your dog and your children never get sick from the desire to receive more attention and sympathy?

A student of the University of Practical Psychology Lyudmila Bukhteeva wrote an article "Unconscious reinforcement in the upbringing of children".

What is reinforced, then we get

Mom, going to work, asked the teenage son to clean up the room. Left alone, his son watched TV for a long time, then he played in a computer, his mother s request was never fulfilled. You can say that he just got distracted and forgotten, you can see behind it and other motives - and the desire to defend your territory ("My room, what I want in it, then I do"), and counteracting the parental influence ("I’m an adult myself I know what to do"). Anyway, Mom came and, looking tiredly at the untouched mess, she cleaned everything herself ... How will this affect future situations? Most likely, it will reinforce the installation of the son: "Oh, you can do nothing, she will clean herself." You can consider another option, when my mother came and started to swear (option - offended, angry and now he does not talk). What kind of reinforcement, and reinforcement of what will be such a reaction of my mother? Unfortunately, this is difficult to predict. For some child this will work, the other will be strengthened in another: "I can have fun playing on my mother’s nerves," in any case, the level of scandal in the family is increasing.

More successful options: seeing in the evening a mess in the room, call your son, tearing him away from any cases, and calmly ask him to again in the room to get out. If the request sounds calmly, directly and strongly, the son quickly brings order, after which it can be praised and thanked. This is a positive reinforcement of the fact that he complied with my mother’s request. Alternatively, you can add to this an honest and open conversation with your son about why sabotage occurred during the day and what to do so that it does not happen again. The conversation should be constructive, while the very fact of such a conversation is a negative reinforcement of not responding to the request of the mother.

Watch out for the format: the invisible enemy on the way of habit formation.

As a general rule, the habit is developed with repetitions with positive reinforcement, and usually 20 to 40 days is enough time for developing a good habit. However, it is not uncommon for parents to remind their children every day of the need to brush their teeth and do exercises in the morning, children do it reluctantly every time, but good habits are never produced - for years! What is the reason? The reason is precisely that the children do each time, unwillingly. Decipher: they do not just go brush their teeth, but do it with a displeased face and internal (and even external) grumbling. They do exercises in an emphatically lazy and dissatisfied manner ... What skill do they actually reproduce and reinforce every day? They daily strengthen the discontent of cleaning their teeth and morning exercises, they fix daily reluctance to do this, day after day they form a habit of not wanting to do it. What conclusion? Watch out for the format: how children go to brush their teeth and how they do exercises. How? Cheerfully and with pleasure! You need to follow exactly this!

Money for the good behavior of the child

Give the child money for good behavior - right? Is it reinforcing good behavior or reinforcing the belief that it’s silly to behave well for free?

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