By Uchechukwu Nnaike
A Senior Assistant Principal at Greensprings School, Lekki Campus, Lagos, Mrs. Olayinka Adesanya, has called on parents to use positive reinforcement to encourage good behaviours in their children.
Adesanya, who said this during a recent induction programme at the school, noted that children nowadays turn out to be well-behaved when they are made to realise the consequences of their actions or incentivised for positive attitude.
She stressed that unlike corporal punishment, positive reinforcement has been proven to correct undesirable behaviour in children without a dent on their self-esteem.
“While the use of corporal punishment is popular in Africa for making children follow rules at homes and in some schools, psychologists argue that positive reinforcement is better. We are used to situations where good behaviour goes unnoticed, while kids are instantly reprimanded when they misbehave.
“Under the principle of positive reinforcement, the focus is on positive behaviour, whereby children get rewarded for their good behaviour. It reinforces good behaviour and makes it more likely to reoccur,” she stated.
Adesanya added: “At Greensprings School, we rely on positive reinforcement and it has been very effective in encouraging our students to be of good behaviour. We have what we call the ‘caught being good’ board, where points are recorded for the act of kindness by the students. Every Tuesday, during assembly, we call out the names of students who have earned high points for the week for them to be celebrated and duly rewarded.”
She therefore urged parents to adopt the principle of positive reinforcement at home. She also advised them not to be too focused on the negative behaviours of their children. “Rather, they should focus on shaping good behaviours by rewarding positive attitude and talking about the consequences of unacceptable behaviours