Positive Reinforcement vs. A Bribe - Effective Strategies for Motivating Your Child
Generally speaking when children are not motivated to do things they may require some type of incentive to complete the task. Reinforcement can be a great tool to help shape behaviours. What is key in utilizing something to motivate is in how it is utilized, specifically when it’s offered.
Be sure to offer the incentive BEFORE you place a demand. This is way it is not because they are misbehaving that you are offering it, but rather because they did what you requested.
i.e. “Remember if you can stay with mom in the grocery store and not
ask for treats to buy, when we leave I have a treat in my purse for you.”
2. Ensure the reinforcement occurs right after the target behaviour you are looking for.
i.e. “first clean your room and then you can watch that TV show you wanted”
3. Providing reinforcement correctly should see an increase in the desired behaviour.
4. Reinforcement becomes a bribe when it’s offered after the problem behaviour and just like above behaviour will increase in this scenario, just not the behaviour you want. In this scenario you are teaching your child that doing t the behaviour you don’t like will get them what they want.
5. Remember not all reinforcement has equal value for each child, so be sure you have checked in first to know if a child desires what you have. If they don’t want it and it’s offered after they do something desired, they are not as likely to repeat that behaviour.
Establish reinforcement Make the request Target behaviour Provide reinforcement DESIRED BEHAVIOUR of your child occurs MORE LIKELY TO REOCCUR
Make a request Non-compliance/problem Provide an incentive to PROBLEM BEHAVIOUR IS
of your child behaviour occurs comply = BRIBE MORE LIKELY TO
- Michele Shilvock, Behaviour Analyst