Educating a child is not an easy task and there are many possible paths to go to reach a good port. Sometimes there are more obstacles, others less, the important thing is to correct possible mistakes and give our best. Nothing better than knowing what psychology has contributed in the field of education because then we will know what options we have. Can negative reinforcement be used for education of children?

refuerzo negativo para la educacion de los hijos e

Different psychological schools have different views on negative reinforcement in children’s education. Knowing the different edges about negative reinforcement is important to know what we’re talking about and whether it matches our style of being and doing as parents.

What is negative reinforcement?

Negative reinforcement is born of behavioral psychology, whose main reference is Burrhus Skinner, who throughout life studied behavior based on different conditionings. That is, how behavior can change according to certain conditions.

Skinner distinguished three types of instrumental learning. On the one hand, positive reinforcement, that is a behavior that is rewarded, then omission, a response that is associated with the absence of reward. Finally, there is the negative reinforcement, that is punishment. Punishment is nothing other than the appearance of an aversive stimulus after a certain behavior. So, there are positive reinforcements and negative reinforcements, depending on the type of behavior.

Can negative reinforcement be used for education of children? Of course, so long as one is willing to use this type of education, which, for many currents, has become obsolete. The most current trends insist on positive reinforcement, considering that the reward or association between behavior and a positive reward or stimulus is more effective in educating and setting guidelines. Not to mention that they also install a climate of love and containment that complements education.

Negative reinforcement under the magnifier

Negative reinforcement for children’s upbringing is associated with punishments and unpleasant scenarios while positive reinforcement adds a loving but no less strict atmosphere. To reward a child with a congratulation or a pleasant comment in front of a good attitude is of great importance for the development of a child, to mark healthy boundaries without harming self-esteem.

refuerzo negativo para la educación de los hijos

In the case of negative reinforcement with children, the classic punishment appears, that is the appearance of something unpleasant for the child to set a limit or teach him that he has done something inadequate. Also as a result of misaction or conduct. In this scenario, scolding, prohibitions or so-called “punishing corners” appear.

Behaviorism in Early Childhood Education

If they give good results? It will depend on the style of maternity/paternity you want to exercise. Parents consider that children only understand the limits against negative reinforcement, while others consider positive reinforcements in early childhood education to be more effective. The main reason is because by being rewarded with praise and other issues, children tend to repeat the action for which they have been recognized. In case of negative strengthening, behavior is carried out only for fear of a consequence.

Among the most commonly used negative reinforcements, today are the time out and the cost of response. The results will depend on the application context. It is common for both positive and negative reinforcement to be applied together. Beyond whether it is one or the other, the most critical currents insist that if applied, it should be done consistently and in a manner proportional to behavior.

However, we must consider that changing attitude is more related to fear of punishment than to learning associated with a global understanding of a situation. Depending on the case, it can even lead to a feeling of control or the child’s self-esteem may be impaired. Therefore, it is important to be careful and conscious when applying negative reinforcement for children’s upbringing.