Harvey Howard is the owner of My Gym Children’s Fitness Center in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. He is a certified special education teacher, elementary teacher, guidance counselor, and student assistance professional located in New Jersey.

When it comes to reinforcing positive behaviors as a parent, what you want to do is identify when the child does a behavior that you desire and immediately praise him. You can draw attention to them in connection with the positive behavior, which will lead the child to make a direct association between his or her behavior and the positive reaction. Time wise, children are not good with delayed responses, which is why this positive praise should be given as soon as the behavior is observed, since they connect best with immediate responses.

Especially with younger children, the abstract reason is not there yet. Everything in their eyes is entirely concrete. So for example, if they clap their hands—and let’s say that is a desired behavior—and you jump up and down and clap your hands and mimic their behavior and cheer and smile at them, then they will see that reaction, think that it is a good thing, and do the original behavior again. The more you identify and specifically reinforce the positive behavior in children the more of this specific behavior you will get. Truly, there is not enough time in the day to spend reinforcing all the positive behavior.

Conversely, if you in large part ignore their negative behaviors—so long as this negative behavior is not disruptive to the point of being counterproductive to your experience—then children will not repeat the behaviors. For the most part, children are looking for attention from their primary care givers—their parents and the significant others in their lives. So if the significant others turn around and refuse to watch the negative behaviors, then that will essentially extinguish the behavior. Usually this leads to the child searching for something else to do that will get the approval—and therefore the attention—of their parent or significant other. Children love approval and attention, they just have to be taught to find it in the right way.

Specific ways to reinforce positive behavior:
Show your approval of your child’s behavior with a simple smile.
Express excitement—through cheering or clapping—when your child exhibits the positive behavior.
Hug, kiss, or throw your child into the air immediately after he has done the behavior.

Ultimately, reinforcing positive behavior is about showing the child that he or she is at the center of your university. By showering him with positive attention because of these behaviors—while also ignoring the negative behaviors—you will see more of what you like.Harvey Howard is the owner of My Gym Children’s Fitness Center in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. He is a certified special education teacher, elementary teacher, guidance counselor, and student assistance professional located in New Jersey.

When it comes to reinforcing positive behaviors as a parent, what you want to do is identify when the child does a behavior that you desire and immediately praise him. You can draw attention to them in connection with the positive behavior, which will lead the child to make a direct association between his or her behavior and the positive reaction. Time wise, children are not good with delayed responses, which is why this positive praise should be given as soon as the behavior is observed, since they connect best with immediate responses.

Especially with younger children, the abstract reason is not there yet. Everything in their eyes is entirely concrete. So for example, if they clap their hands—and let’s say that is a desired behavior—and you jump up and down and clap your hands and mimic their behavior and cheer and smile at them, then they will see that reaction, think that it is a good thing, and do the original behavior again. The more you identify and specifically reinforce the positive behavior in children the more of this specific behavior you will get. Truly, there is not enough time in the day to spend reinforcing all the positive behavior.

Conversely, if you in large part ignore their negative behaviors—so long as this negative behavior is not disruptive to the point of being counterproductive to your experience—then children will not repeat the behaviors. For the most part, children are looking for attention from their primary care givers—their parents and the significant others in their lives. So if the significant others turn around and refuse to watch the negative behaviors, then that will essentially extinguish the behavior. Usually this leads to the child searching for something else to do that will get the approval—and therefore the attention—of their parent or significant other. Children love approval and attention, they just have to be taught to find it in the right way.

Specific ways to reinforce positive behavior:
Show your approval of your child’s behavior with a simple smile.
Express excitement—through cheering or clapping—when your child exhibits the positive behavior.
Hug, kiss, or throw your child into the air immediately after he has done the behavior.

Ultimately, reinforcing positive behavior is about showing the child that he or she is at the center of your university. By showering him with positive attention because of these behaviors—while also ignoring the negative behaviors—you will see more of what you like.

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