Tuesday, 22 October 2013 14:31


Do your children use any of these behaviours?

  • They whinge, whine and negotiate until they get what they want
  • They leave toys and clothes lying around knowing that you will clear up after them
  • They agree to rules of the household and then break them constantly
  • They lie around watching TV while you cook and wash up

Do you realise that you have taught them to behave like this?

It works like this. If your child experiences a positive result from something they do, they are likely to behave that way in future. If they see no result from their behaviour, or if there is a negative consequence, then they are less likely to behave that way again.

In practice this means that if your children get what they want by whining until you give in, they learn that this behaviour is successful. There is a positive consequence. So they use it again and again. They also get better at it!

If, on the other hand they find that dinner is not put on the table until they leave the TV and help in its preparation, they learn that TV watching has a negative consequence. It may take a little time, but eventually they will learn that helping with supper gets it on the table sooner.

Notice I use the word ‘eventually’. If your children have learned behaviours that you now wish to change, it can take a while and a great deal of determination and consistency on your part to influence a change.

The lesson for you is obvious. From the very beginning, the behaviours that you allow and reward your children for doing are the behaviours that you teach them to do.

Be careful what you teach!

Additional Info

  • Topic: Managing Performance

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