Positive Reinforcement- Tips for Parents

The best way to make sure your child develops good study habits is to be proactive in their life. Too many parents fail to pay close attention to their child when they are succeeding but are knee deep as soon as the child is failing. This is unconsciously teaching the child that they will be able to gain your attention when they do something wrong. This is frustrating to the parent as well as the child and it can create a hostile environment in the home.  Parents should regiment themselves to develop good habits in checking in on child and offering positive reinforcement when assignments are completed successfully.

Better Grades Through Positive Reinforcement

Below are some great ways to offer positive reinforcement to your child in a proactive manner:

  • Be available to help your child during their study sessions. Making sure to be in the same room shows that you, the parent, are supportive of your child's school work and studying. This also gives you an excuse to make sure they are staying on-task.
  • Talk with your student about their homework to find what they are struggling with. Offer to go through their homework with them but make sure to let them do the majority of the work and take a supportive role instead of taking over. When you discuss the reading and math problems, make sure that you are talking at an even level instead of being a superior. Even though you probably understand the work your child needs help with, don't discourage them by telling them it is easy or they should understand how.
  • Reward your child for their efforts. This could be something simple, like cooking them their favorite meal, playing a game with them, or taking them to their favorite park during the weekend.  Members of this website can also utilize behavioral contracts in the member’s section to plan more specific rewards for their child.
  • Place restrictions on television, video and computer games, and other distractions during a specific block of time each day. Doing so will automatically set aside a time for your child to increase their studying in school subjects like math and reading. This disciplined atmosphere is often necessary because students, especially those who are frustrated with school subjects and homework, are usually more interested in other activities after school.  When your child adheres to their study schedule, reward them with a high frequency behavior such as watching T.V. or renting a movie they want to see.  This is called the Premack Principle.