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Psychology is a science that has been practiced throughout the centuries and passed on generation to generation. Child psychology is a specialized field modeled after ideal parenting. This sub-science differs in respect to reinforcement, authority, and also methods of punishment. Child psychology is useful in accomplishing many things, ranging from shaping a child’s mind set, to teaching them morals. Typically, however, it is used to modify a problem child’s behavior.

Unfortunately, once a child reaches adolescence, it becomes much more difficult to shape their behavior. The groundwork must be placed at an early age in order for it to be fruitful. At the age of six children discover compassion and their sense of being. If a child has been raised to believe that they are a useful and essential person in the family, they will strive to increase the well-being of others.

In the worst situations, children discover that they are in a “bad” situation, a situation that has done nothing for them throughout their life. In such circumstances the child will rebel, and reject all morals that are introduced. In such cases it is possible to remedy the behavior through reinforcement and punishment.

In the 1800’s children were better behaved and respected authority to a greater extent. Part of the reason for this was their role in their family. If the parents asked them to go collect eggs for breakfast, and they didn’t, there were no eggs for breakfast. The consequences were immediately evident to the child.

As shown in the above example, immediate reinforcement or punishment is necessary to shape behavior or create morals. Children must see their role in a family and understand the consequences of delinquent behavior. Reinforcement must never be too strong for then it becomes the object instead of the motivator. Punishment must never be too harsh or fear will captivate the situation, increasing the role of chance in the circumstances.

The American culture does not promote constant and efficient use of child psychology. The role models for child rearing use their reinforcement intermittently and improperly. However, done right, any child can be a lifelong success, and achieve happiness.