It dawned on me the other day as I was thinking of how I can implement this successfully with my kids that we all use positive reinforcement and probably didn’t realize it.
I used positive reinforcement for training my kids to use the potty. When they would use the potty, I would do a big song and dance number and follow-up with a candy, making the chances for the behavior to be repeated more likely. How I didn’t realize this before, is crazy to me but it is definitely positive reinforcement. I gradually decreased the song and dance and candy-giving once the behavior became habitual and the kids continue to use the potty because the reward of not messing up themselves was just as great/rewarding as receiving a candy was because now they can be considered, “a big kid.”
Meanings of Positive Reinforcement:
From http://www.study.com = Positive reinforcement is the addition of a reward following a desired behavior.
http://www.dictionary.com = the offering of desirable effects or consequences for a behavior with the intention of increasing the chance of that behavior being repeated in the future
http://www.businessdictionary.com = Condition where the introduction of a stimulus (challenge, penalty, reward, etc.) increases or maintains the likelihood of the recurrence of the same response (behavior or output).
https://www.alleydog.com = A stimulus which increases the frequency of a particular behavior using pleasant rewards.
As you can see 4 different sites, written in their own words regarding their views on positive reinforcement however it all comes down to the same thing. The subject does something you like (desired behavior), you give them something they like/love (reward/the reinforcement) and that increases the likelihood (future behavior) of it happening again in the future. Pretty easy right?
So why is it so hard for people to comprehend that positive reinforcement is better than positive/negative punishment? Regardless of how many times, I try to tell people we need to “EMPOWER” the animal, child, subject (whether husband/wife or co-worker) people revert back to negative behavior needs to be punished. Think about this, if you get a raise at the end of the year for good behavior what are the chances you will perform bad behavior knowing that you will lose that raise if you do? We go to work and do the work that is required (desired behavior), we get a pay cheque (reward/consequence), which increases the likelihood that we will continue to show up for work until we find something better where the reinforcement is either the job is more to our liking or better pay. This is the exact same concept!!!!!!
Positive reinforcement EMPOWERS while Negative punishment FORCES. Just ask yourself which would YOU prefer?
If you know of a way that you use Positive Reinforcement in your life already please leave a comment below. Also, don’t forget to fill out the follow our blog info at the bottom of this page and our YouTube channel is up and running so please remember to subscribe!