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Reinforcement in parenting

Reinforcement is a prerequisite for any learning and training. The main rule: “What we reinforce is what we get.”

When parents approach the child, they reinforce the behavior that the child is doing at this time. If parents approach a small child when he smiles, take him in his arms when he reaches for them, talk with him when he walks with them – they will bring up a calm, cheerful, positive and loving child. If parents are very busy and approach the child only when he screams or describes himself, they educate someone who will cry and write more and more often.

The story of smart dad:

Once we went on a shuttle bus and my daughter (then she was 4 months old) woke up 40 minutes before the end of the road. She woke up hungry, but there was no opportunity to feed her. A few minutes after waking up, Alisha began to cry.
I tried to somehow communicate with her, but in my words she began to cry even louder. Then I turned away, sitting, ignoring her. She was tired of crying, she only sighed. Silence. I turn to her, smiling: “Alisha!” To my smile, she begins to cry again. Then I turn away again and do not pay attention to her crying. When it falls silent, I turn to her again and start talking.
Then he even stopped turning away, but simply began to put his hands on the handle of the car seat so that she could not see my face behind her hands. When crying – slowly I put my hands on the handle – and I can not see! Ceases to cry – I take away one hand, followed by the other.
After the third time, I noticed that Alisha was beginning to cry “hands.” When I brought my hands to the handle of the car seat, she looked from one hand to the other and cried them alternately. The wife said that the daughter’s crying has changed: she asks for “hands” to open her face.
After some time, Alisha stopped crying and began to communicate with us and the outside world 🙂
So I learned how to quickly calm a crying daughter – she probably realized that crying does not work with me.
Alisha allowed her to cry more with her mother than with me. Probably, my mother’s “heart was breaking”, and mother in response to crying began to beg her daughter as if to beg: “Well, do not cry, please …” with begging intonations. When the wife changed her tactics and intonations, her daughter began to cry to her much less.
The grandmother’s prize, of course, was weeping. She began to groan, lament, and now we have such a picture: my daughter practically does not cry, my mother – very little, my grandmother – for a long time and pitifully.
P.s. Another 4 months passed and we, adhering to the same tactics, noticed that about 1 time in 7-10-14 days the daughter decides to test our resistance to crying. And if we adhere to the attitude: we talk with her when she does not scream, but expresses her demands more quietly and calmly, then for the next 10-14 she communicates with us in calm and not loud ways 🙂

Most often, reinforcement occurs unknowingly
We are talking here about raising children, and so: it is very useful to read the article “Unconscious reinforcement in keeping and raising dogs” – very curious! Fragment from there:

Our elderly Newfoundland Chalzie lived with our relative for some time. A fairly healthy dog, despite the most sophisticatedly thought out and competently organized care, began to get seriously ill – it got to the point that she stopped getting up. Having moved to our own house, we took the dog to us, thereby isolating us from compassion for her ailments. We did not make any difference between cheerful and cheerful (despite a decent age) German shepherd and a “dying” invalid. Three days later, Chalsi was tired of lying and moaning, she began to slowly get up and resent why they were not given legal yogurt, quail eggs and validol, and after another two weeks she hunted mice in the fields and forgot about her sores. The dog’s disease was, in fact, formed by a touching manifestation of concern for his well-being! And your dog and your children never get sick from the desire to get more attention and sympathy?
What we reinforce, we get

Mom, leaving for work, asked her teenage son to clean the room. Left alone, the son watched TV for a long time, then played on the computer, and his mother’s request did not fulfill. You can say that he simply got distracted and forgot, you can also see other motives behind it – and the desire to defend your territory (“My room, I want to do it in it,”) and opposition to parental influence (“I’m already an adult, myself I know what to do “). One way or another, my mother came and, looking tiredly at the untouched mess, she cleaned everything herself … How will this affect future situations? Most likely, this will support the installation of the son: “Oh, you can do nothing, she herself will tidy up.” You can consider another option, when my mother came and began to curse (option – offended, pissed off and now does not talk to him). What kind of reinforcement, and reinforcement of what will such a reaction of mom be?

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