Charity Odu

Deliberate Approach to Parenting
In the theory and practice of Micro-Teaching (a course in education), there are some teaching skills a teacher is expected to use in the classroom. Examples of such skills are Planned Repetition and Reinforcement.

Planned Repetition is a teaching skill used in helping students remember important concepts and ideas in a lesson. If a teacher repeats a point many times, students will retain it longer.

Reinforcement is any technique which modifies or changes behaviour. Reinforcement may be positive (rewarding) or negative (withholding rewards).

These teaching skills are not only applicable in the classroom. Parenting is a teaching and learning process. Planned Repetition and Reinforcement are useful skills required in parenting.

Repetition helps children to master, practice and understand skills and values. They easily retain knowledge through repetition. Even as an adult, we learn through routine and practice. Children need to be constantly reminded of the behaviour you want to see in them. Always repeat the values you want to see in your child as often as you can. Don’t get tired of saying the same thing over and over again especially among the younger children until a child masters the behaviour you want to see in him or her and discard the one you do not want to see.

On the other hand, Positive Reinforcement such as Praise, Encouragement and Reward can be used to change your child’s behaviour. Praise is telling your child you like what they are doing and the way they are behaving. Encouragement is praising a child for his/her effort. Reward is a way of saying well done when your child does something good or behaves well.

Sometimes we are quick to notice bad behaviours in children but overlook the positive behaviours. Positive Reinforcement is necessary when a child does something good. Praise and Encouragement help children to develop self-confidence and healthy self-esteem. Do not always criticise your child, positive reinforcement encourages good behaviour.

Give thumbs up, high five, broad smile, verbal praise such as “great job”, “awesome performance”, “well done”, “amazing”, “fantastic”, etc. Teach your children how to think and talk positively about themselves using positive reinforcement.

Negative Reinforcement such as withholding rewards, loss of privileges and grounding can also be used to discourage/correct bad behaviours in children.

©Charity Odu Deliberate Approach to Parenting

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