The Power of Positive Reinforcement

As parents and educators a key role in today’s busy world is to help our children to learn in the most natural way. We need to instil a love of lifelong learning in our future generations. Parents and teachers need to model positive behaviour and attitudes to learning.

The educational psychology behind this theory is that positive reinforcement strengthens desirable behaviours by presenting the learner with a motivational stimulus, such as a reward or praise. This makes it more likely for the child to repeat and exhibit that behaviour in the future.

Learning needs to be about curiosity and discovery. It is the role of the parent and teacher to encourage and facilitate this wherever possible.

Here are Foodoppi’s Top 10 Tools to kick start your positive reinforcement: 

  1. Build feelings of confidence. Praise for effort, perseverance, patience and hard work.
  2. Give children autonomy and choices where possible.
  3. Set goals and targets but keep them short and achievable. When entering into a task be prepared and organised. This will allow for a much higher success rate and positive outcomes.
  4. Try to include some fun along the way. If learning is boring no one will ever want to do it. Make it exciting and creative when possible.
  5. Make sure the instructions or directions are short, concise, clear and simple. Give specific praise according to specific actions and outcomes
  6. If things don’t go according to plan, always take one element of the task that was successful and praise that. 
  7. Focus on the positives the Do’s not the Don’t -what they can do, what they did do well……..
  8. Small consistent actions will be the most effective in the long term.
  9. Try to set a good example as you go.
  10. Say thank you to your child and you appreciate the great effort they made.