- Recognition can take numerous forms – a word of praise, an embrace, thumbs up sign, and at times a tangible reward. But every bit is important to reinforcing the speed with which the approval is shown – the praise should be immediate so that the child can make connections between his act and the pleasant consequences that follow.
- The Knack of Praising seems like negative things come out faster than saying positive things.
- It takes skill to praise well. The trick is to praise particular behavior instead of making general statements. “What a good boy you are?” is not as effective as “You have been very patient, while I was taking time with Nancy.” Obviously, this statement helps the child to understand what you liked about his behavior and helped him repeat the same to get similar praise in the future.
- When a youngster is engaged in a difficult or prolonged activity, don’t wait for the task to finish rather encourage him during the entire process. This will help him keep his interest in the activity. Also, with such encouragement: “That’s really hard and you are doing just fine” is the kind of supportive remark a child loves to hear.
- With reinforcing behavior, never hurry the child and never expect the change right away. If your goal is to make the child sit at the table for twenty minutes, then you need to praise his attempts in this direction throughout the sitting. And you might have to do this for several times. But trust me, outcome of reinforcement is not only for a more cooperative youngster but also a better teacher-child relationship.
- Remember, there is a difference between a reward and a bribe. Some teachers think that reward is the same as a bribe. It isn’t! There is a clear difference: reward is promised ‘before’ a child is asked to do something, as a way of eliciting a positive response and reinforcing the good behavior. A bribe is offered ‘after’ a youngster has refused to comply with a request, as a means of inducing him to do so. An example, if the child was playing with toys, and as a part of good behavior, he should put the toys back in the toy box. If he refused to do so, then explain to him to do so and enforce a punishment till he cleans the mess. But if you often, end up saying “Please put the toys back, and I’ll give you a piece of candy,” this is where you have offered a child a bribe and power to not to comply with the request. In case of rewards, teachers are the ones who dispense rewards and only they can decide when they can be rewarded.
Finally, “The tougher the job, the greater your reward.”