Positive Reinforcement Discipline
Positive reinforcement is the preferred form of discipline. Selective rewarding is a positive influence on the child's development.
There are two approaches to discipline- the carrot or the stick approach. If the parent uses the persuasive carrot approach, the response is quick. In the long run, this technique isn't effective in the child's psychological development. If the parent uses just the stick approach, it kills the child's inner desire to achieve and behave for himself. Obedience is only to avoid punishment.
Rewarding positive behavior with material things does not work in the long run. Children may tire of the external reward and refuse to obey. Discipline by teaching the internal reward of satisfaction for their good behavior.
Discipline is best taught during the preschool years. This is when the child is most receptive to parental guidance. His parents are all he has for now. When the child starts school, then there are other problems like peer pressure to interfere with discipline.
Discipline using rewards has limited usefulness. It works when the child hankers after the reward. This doesn't develop his social, moral and emotional character. However, rewarding children can be made a positive influence on the child's development by giving selective rewarding. Below are some techniques of selective rewarding:
Give internal rewards of praise. Even adults need encouragement to keep going.
Give tangible rewards as unexpected surprises for major achievements or good behavior.
Give rewards as positive reinforcement for desired behaviors for very young children. Don't give rewards as bribes after the child is disobedient. Bribes spoil the child's moral and social development.
Give threats only to warn consequences of bad behavior. Explain why bad behavior deserves Give encouragement to good behaviors. Explain how good behaviors beget good results and consequences and that is reward enough. This is also moral development. Good moral development is also the fruit of discipline.
Discipline is tough to enforce but it builds the child's character... Every child needs to learn that obedience to authority is compulsory. This lays the foundation for becoming a law abiding citizen.