Positive Guidance Helps Manage Bad Behavior!

Jan 27, 2017
Positive Guidance Helps Manage Bad Behavior!

Positive Reinforcement 

We all have our day-to-day hardships when we are working in a classroom full of small children, often the biggest struggle I have seen is our inability (or constant struggle) to get our students to obey.

The most effective method of managing behavior is through the application of positive reinforcement. When teaching a new behavior, reinforce it every time you see it happen!

New behaviors require immediate and continuous reinforcement to be learned and maintained. For more complicated behavior, it’s best to reinforce small steps. For example, to reinforce a child who is cleaning up the block center, which appears to have about 200 spread all over the floor, ask the child to put five blocks on the shelf and then praise her. Don’t wait until the entire job is completed.

Behaviors that are followed by positive reinforcement are likely to be strengthened and repeated. You can do this in several ways:

  • Social reinforcers are smiles, praise, a pat on the back, a wink, or a thumbs up.
  • Activity reinforcers are special activities as a reward for desired behaviors.
  • Tangible reinforcers like stickers, stars, or prizes should only be used for short periods of time when other reinforcers don’t work with a particular child. The reason we use this as a last resort is obvious – there won’t always be someone there to reward them – and it can turn children into negotiators in ways that wear grownups out quickly!

The Power of Praise

It can be easy to fall into a daytime routine, getting so caught up in the micro-managing of running the classroom that we often forget that our biggest job is to nurture and grow our students.

Giving praise to our students is a great way to teach nurture positive behavior in our students but we need to be careful that we are being sincere in our praise.

  • Effective praise: Effective praise is selective, specific, and positive. It provides encouragement for an individual child or small group of children, contingent on the performance of desired behavior. Effective praise fosters healthy self-esteem.
  • Ineffective praise: Ineffective praise is given indiscriminately, meaning you say the same thing to everyone regardless of what they’re doing. It tends to be discounted by children. It may actually lower children’s self-confidence, inhibit achievement, and make them reliant on external praise for everything in order to feel good about themselves.

If you want to learn more about Positive Guidance, Take Our Course!

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