Positive Reinforcement On Children: Tips and Benefits

                  Positive Reinforcement On Children: 7 Tips and Benefits


Positive reinforcement is when parents show their children how important it is to repeat or keep up good behavior by giving them rewards or other good things. It is a key part of parenting styles used all over the world and a way to encourage and reinforce good behavior in children. 

Positive reinforcement is also a key concept in psychology. It means rewarding or otherwise reinforcing behaviors that you want to see more of. It is a powerful tool that can be used by parents to shape and encourage desirable behaviors in their children.

There are several methods to reinforce the desired behavior. Positive reinforcement does not necessarily need a physical object or a fixed situation. Instead, according to VeryWellFamily, you can reinforce a child positively by:

  • Clapping and applause
  • Exchanging a high five
  • Hugging or patting on the back
  • Displaying a thumbs-up
  • Offering a unique activity, such as reading a book or playing a game together
  • Offering laudation
  • While your youngster is listening, congratulating another adult on your child’s behavior

For example, if a child always picks up their mess when asked, a parent could praise the child, give them a small treat, or do something fun with them to reinforce this behavior. By associating the behavior with something good, the goal of positive reinforcement is to make it more likely that the child will do it again in the future. We’ve all experienced the impact compliments have on us, and it’s the same case with children, only more amplified when it comes from their own parents. 

Why is positive reinforcement important? 

  • Promotes regular habits 

Parents can shape and encourage good behavior in their children by using positive reinforcement. Positive reinforcement can increase a child’s likelihood of repeating a behavior in the future. Because the child associates the reward or other positive stimulus with the behavior, he or she is more likely to repeat the behavior in the future, often making it a habit. 


  • Improves self-confidence

Positive reinforcement can also boost a child’s sense of self-worth and self-esteem. When children are consistently praised for good behavior, they may feel more sure of themselves and like they are important to their parents. This can result in a more optimistic outlook and a stronger sense of self-worth, which can have a positive effect on their overall health and growth.


  • Improves parent-child bond

In addition, positive reinforcement can strengthen the bond between a parent and child. When a child thinks that his or her parents appreciate and value his or her efforts and actions, he or she may feel closer and more connected to them. This can result in more open and honest communication, as well as a greater sense of trust and respect between parent and child.

Yet, it’s not all easy. 

It’s important to remember that positive reinforcement works best when used consistently and correctly. This means that the child’s behavior needs to be reinforced right after it happens and every time it is shown. Additionally, it is essential to select rewards or positive stimuli that have meaning for the child and that they desire. This will improve the effectiveness of the reinforcement and make repeating the process more worthwhile. 

Additionally, it is essential to consider the reinforcement’s frequency. If a child is praised too frequently for a particular behavior, he or she may become dependent on the praise and stop engaging in the behavior when it is not forthcoming. Conversely, if a child is not praised often enough, they may lose interest in the behavior and stop doing it. Finding the optimal level of reinforcement is essential for ensuring its efficacy.

Positive reinforcement is an effective method for teaching and shaping good behavior in children. It can make the behavior more likely to happen again, boost the child’s sense of self-worth, and strengthen the bond between the parent and child. When used consistently and in the right way, it can have a long-term effect on a child’s development and well-being. 

An Example 

The following example breaks down how positive reinforcement can be effectively used by parents in regular situations: 

Imagine a child who struggles with completing their homework assignments on time. The parent might get angry at this behavior and want to punish the child for not doing his or her homework. However, instead of punishing the child, the parent decides to use positive reinforcement to try to get the child to act in a better way.

The parent sets up a reward system in which the child is rewarded with extra screen time or a small treat every time they complete their homework on time. The parent always praises the child when they do their homework, and over time, the child becomes more and more motivated to do their homework so that they can get the praise. Long-term, this can also help them believe that they are disciplined and care about doing their homework on time, which is beneficial for their self-discipline as an intrinsic value. 

Over time, the child gets better at doing their homework on time, and the parent can gradually cut back on how often they are praised. The child learns that doing their homework on time is a good thing that gets rewarded, so they are more likely to do it in the future without needing to be reminded over and over.

Closing Thoughts 

Every child is different, and there is no one formula that fits all kids and families. It is important for parents to realize what their children need the most help with and what their kids value as rewards. Moreover, it is often a dilemma for parents to understand how certain « rewards, » such as screen time, can be harmful to their children. 


When it comes to screen time, we’ve got a solution for you. SuzyApp steps into this gap to help parents make their child’s screen time healthier by encouraging children to learn during their screen time in order to unlock a game after. Through positive reinforcement components like badges and game points, SuzyApp also promotes consistency in learning and persistent motivation in kids. Parents are able to set time limits and protect their children from the internet, and children are given the independence to choose the gamified learning apps that match their interests the best. 

SuzyApp is based on a number of psychological, philosophical, and scientific theories to help you better manage your kids’ screens and make them healthier for the kids who use them. You can learn more about how we do this here. 


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