When children have poor language skills, you will often find they demonstrate many unwanted behaviors and those behaviors are their form of communication. What should also be considered is the possibility that a child\’s behavior is also based on the response they expect or have already experienced. For all children, it is very important that parents understand the key components of behavior management.
What is Positive Reinforcement?
In operant conditioning, positive reinforcement involves the addition of a reinforcing stimulus following a behavior that makes it more likely that the behavior will occur again in the future. When a favorable outcome, event, or reward occurs after an action, that particular response or behavior will be strengthened.
For example, if your two-year-old begins to cry as a request for an item nearby, if your response results in the child being able to access that item, you’ve now reinforced the use of a cry to have a need met. Similarly, in a different situation, if you gave your three-year-old a toy and he or she purposely threw the toy (whether in anger or not) and you fetch the toy and hand it back, you have also reinforced the throwing of the toy.
In both examples above, the parent reinforced the behaviors by providing a positive response. As a parent, the choices you make now in managing undesired behaviors will undoubtedly affect your current household and your child\’s future interactions with the world around them.
How to Improve a Child’s Behavior?
Without question, behavior management starts with how you respond; for children that means creating boundaries and consequences. If you choose to omit either of the two in rearing your child(ren), the possibility of undesired behaviors will be the bane of your existence. Even when a child is identified as having a developmental delay, you cannot skip behavior management, as it is a very important piece needed for healthy development.
Believe it or not, there are some gems in reality TV; one of which is Super Nanny, which aired on ABC over a decade ago. The show features professional nanny Jo Frost, who devotes each episode to helping a family where parents struggle with their child-rearing. Through observation first and then instruction, she demonstrates for parents alternative ways to discipline their children and regain order in their households. Frost is a proponent of the \”naughty chair\” theory of discipline and is strictly opposed to physical discipline.
Jo has a fiery face-off with a couple whose six out-of-control children rule the house.
This family’s personal nanny contacted Super Nanny with significant concerns about the children\’s safety.
Twin girls rule the roost and older brother is often blamed for their bad behavior. Supernanny helps Mom and Dad to implement the Naughty Corner.