Written by Alana George
What is Positive Reinforcement?
At ABA Therapy Solutions we take pride in focusing on your child’s individual strengths and positive behaviors. Positive reinforcement is a strategy in which reinforcement is given immediately following a behavior. In simplest terms, when the child displays positive behavior, the child is rewarded. This reinforcement is given in order to increase the occurrence of positive behavior (Applied Behavioral Analysis Program Guide, 2020). The goal of positive reinforcement is to teach correct behavior as well as increase your child’s positive behavior. A bonus of using positive reinforcement is the act of celebrating your child’s accomplishments and acknowledging their hard work. This praise encourages your child to continue their positive behavior as well as learn new ones. Positive reinforcement can come in many forms such as verbal praise, tangibles, and activities.
Examples of Positive reinforcement
- Tangible: Toys, puzzles, books, stickers
- Edible: Candy, M&Ms, fruit snacks, popcorn
- Activities: Going to the park, playing a board game, listen to music, painting
- Social: Verbal praise, play date with friend, video chat with family, smile, thumbs up
- Physical: Hugs, tickles, high five, squeezes
Why Positive Reinforcement is Important
Implementing positive reinforcement is important to your child’s success by creating a positive consequence for a preferred behavior. Reinforcement must occur for behaviors to continue to happen. Without reinforcement, the behavior will be unlearned and no longer occur (Capella University, 2020). As a parent, implementing positive reinforcement with your child is key to increasing their positive behaviors at home, in the clinic and. community. It is important to provide positive reinforcement in all environments for a given target behavior in order to generalize the positive behavior. Increasing positive behavior results in a decrease in negative behaviors through replacement. Positive reinforcement reinforces what the child is doing correctly rather than focusing on what the child is doing wrong. It increases the likelihood that the behavior will be repeated. It supports your child’s positive choices and qualities through enthusiasm, descriptive encouragement, and natural rewards. Like many adults, children who receive positive reinforcement for their good work are encouraged to continue working hard (Morin, 2020).
Capella University, 2020