“The way positive reinforcement is carried out is more important than the amount.” B. F. Skinner
Do you think there is such a thing as too much positive reinforcement?
If so, I think I would be guilty of that.
As a mom, I love to teach my children. The alphabet, numbers, shapes, colours. I love to see them dance to music, sing along with a song, clap their hands, laugh. I get such enjoyment from seeing them happy and active and learning. And I'm always praising them.
My oldest son, who is turning 4 this summer, is learning to write letters. Every time I see him write a letter I get giddy with excitement, practically jumping up and down from joy.
"Oh my GOD, Christos, good for you! Way to go! That is THE MOST perfect letter C I have ever seen in my entire life! I'm going to frame this! You're the best ever!"
Seriously. That's me. And it's genuine. I'm that happy.
And I'm not quiet, either, at the park. Recently, my son climbed the 'climbing wall' all my himself.
"Christos! I can't believe you just did that ALL BY YOURSELF! GOOD FOR YOU! I'm SO proud of you! Yay! Yay! yay!"
(I wonder what other moms must have thought about me? Ah well, who cares?)
And even when he is being nice to his brother (All the time. I swear. Okay, not really.) I get happy. He is a great older brother, but sometimes, he hates sharing. And he'll 'push' poor little Dimitry, or yell at him and make him cry. This makes me sad, and I tell Christos what he did was wrong, and I comfort my baby and so on. But when he's nice and he let's him use his markers, or gives him something to play with, or talks nicely to him (sweetest thing, ever, to hear him talking to his brother...) I get very happy.
"Christos, I'm so happy that you are being so nice to Dimitry! You are the BEST BIG BROTHER EVER! I'm so proud of you!"
And when he says to me: "Mommy, I feel like biting you." And I say: "Absolutely not!" and he says, in the sweetest little voice ever: "Please mommy? Just one time? I'll do it very gentle..." I get happy. Because he did say please.
"Okay, honey. You can bite me, but very softly. Thank you for saying please!"
And then he gives me the softest ever little kiss on my arm. I do have a loving child! And I am an over-enthusiastic mom, to say the least...