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In matters of education we have evolved from punitive punishment, based on sanctioning a child's behavior that we do not like; towards a contrary trend known as positive education based on positive reinforcement to reward good behavior.
The goal of education is that positive behaviors occur in children and suppress those that are negative. This challenge is much better accomplished through reinforcement than through punishment.
When we talk about reinforcement we mean any positive consequence that occurs after the child shows the behavior we want him to learn. For example, giving him attention when he performs a task such as setting the table to eat.
When we use positive reinforcement we can use two types of resources:
- The one with the material reward
- The one with the emotional reward
Rewards are a resource that parents have to motivate the behavior of the little ones by giving them rewards for their good behavior. In addition, they are very varied such as, for example, going to the cinema, going on an excursion, etc.
The problem appears when positive reinforcement is confused with the resource of material reward. With this type of prizes we mean, for example, buying toys, sweets, etc. We must be careful when managing these types of awards. Why?
- If we reward each positive behavior of the child we run the risk that you believe that the real benefit of your behavior is the gift itself. You may think that it is not worth making an effort in what is not going to be awarded.
- If all the prizes you receive are material, we run the risk that the child develops materialism and underestimates other types of satisfactions. You will become a professional blackmailer.
Material rewards are less rewarding in the long run than emotional reinforcement. In addition, behavioral learning occurs more slowly and can even be counterproductive.
The emotional reward only requires the time and patience of the parents, leaving aside the materialism and consumerism in which our society is immersed. There are a multitude of immaterial resources, such as: a kiss, a smile, an I love you, use a compliment, hit a rubber band, draw a smiley face, play with him, go to the park, go out on a bicycle, tell him a story, etc. .
This type of immaterial rewards can be used in the incentive tables and will give much more results than material rewards, since prizes of this type produce more pleasure than a toy because, really, what a young child craves is attention and time shared with their parents.
You can read more articles similar to Dangers of material rewards in the education of children, in the category of Motivation on site.