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Today’s Big Q: Positive and Negative Reinforcement for your children

Today's Big Q: Positive and Negative Reinforcement for your children

Is your child misbehaving? Is he showing his rowdy behavior when he does not get what he wants? Do you think you spoiled him too much? How do you deal with these situations? How do you discipline your child? Some parents usually prefer to scold their children so that they will not repeat the bad actions again. There are other parents who prefer to talk and let the children understand their behavior and make them realize it is not good. Positive and negative reinforcement has its bad and good effects.

Today, on this blog, we will discuss the nature and effects of good and bad reinforcements.

A positive reinforcement according to, is a reward for doing something well. There is nothing wrong with giving praises and positive reinforcement. In fact, we advise this to parents and even teachers. Whenever your child does well in school or even when they are able to accomplish simple tasks, always take the time to make them feel that you appreciate their efforts and what they are doing is correct. This helps them aspire to do better and achieve more.

Some examples of positive reinforcements include:
1. A mother gives praise to her son who got a high score in the class activity.
2. Rewarding your child with a new toy for behaving well at school.

Many parents are using these strategies not only to show how much they value their children’s effort but also to encourage the child to keep up their good work.

However, when it comes to dealing with misbehavior or unruly actions, we always result to spanking them or yelling at them just so they realize their mistake. Negative reinforcement is different from punishment. It does not involve physical contact with the child but it is more on the verbal. According to a study presented in, negative reinforcement occurs “when a certain stimulus is removed after a particular behavior is exhibited.

A good example that would depict negative reinforcement is when you ask your child to do a particular chore and they fail to follow. Our natural instinct as parents is to yell at them and nag them because they do not listen to us. If you have actually tried and experienced this, then you may have seen your child not being fazed by your nagging and yelling. This is because studies show that negative reinforcement increases the bad stimuli instead of decreasing it. The child will only keep doing the negative act despite the reinforcement.

If you want to discipline your child and make them realize their mistake, do not yell at them. If you want to increase their response based on your negative reinforcement, see to it that you use the right word and tone when reprimanding them. It does not have to be condescending, the important thing is the child remembers the consequences of their action.


Another way of treating your child for misbehavior is through punishment. It can either be a good or bad punishment. Actually, it is difficult to identify one from the other. Generally, punishment refers to a consequence to a behavior which can either increase or decrease the frequency of such habit. Punishment is similar to negative reinforcement but it is more inclined to the procedures to be used when it comes to rewarding particular behavior.

Positive punishment, according to applied behavior analyst of, works by “presenting an aversive consequence after an undesired behavior is exhibited”. This means that the way of the teacher or parent in dealing with the child’s behavior is constructive. For example, if a child is picking on her classmate and the teacher saw it, the best way to deal with this is to reprimand the child.

Negative punishment, on the other hand, works when the bad stimulus of the child is totally removed from them so that such habit will not be done in the future again. Taking the same example in the aforementioned paragraph, if the child who was exhibiting the bad behavior will be separated from the class or he will not be given a star by the teacher for behaving well while the other kids have one. This will only make the child feel worse than they already do and it is more destructive rather than constructive.

Indeed, as adults, we have the responsibility to our children. It is our task to make them good individuals and we should start it while they’re still young. We need to reprimand the bad behavior and appreciate the good ones. In this manner, they will grow up to be good individuals.

For more tips on child reinforcement, trust only Clemens Home Preschool and Childcare in W. Cerritos Anaheim California. For details, please check


Blogs, content and other media uploaded online are for informational purposes only. Contents on this website should not be considered medical advice. Readers are strongly encouraged to visit their physician for health-related issues.

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