Positive re-enforcement

Using positive re-enforcement during the festive season:

We have discussed change over the holidays and how to help your child with the transitioning into new activities and we need to add in positive re-enforcement as another way in which you can help your child cope during the festive season.

Positive re-enforcement is like a reward systems.  For some food items like smarties or snacks work and for others toys or activities will work best.

The best advice we can give you is to be prepared.  Before leaving to go on holiday anticipate what you are going to need to help your child “try new activities” and make sure you have these ready at all times.

One of the things that hubby and I have found works when we go to a shopping centre is that we always start at a place that sells books.  We buy our daughter 1 or 2 cheapish books of her favourite character and allow her to page through them whilst we get our shopping done.  We also take her favourite stuffed animal with us and some juice and snacks.  The more familiar you keep your child private space the easier they find it to integrate into a new space/place.

The idea behind positive re-enforcement is basically:  1st we are going to watch the movie and then you will get your new car or you can have your new car if you are a good boy at the dinner party.  Other ways to use positive re-enforcement will be when you want your child to try a new food item.  Reward them with the favourite food item but only if they try the new food item first.

Positive re-enforcement items don’t all need to be “new” they can be some TV time or a new free IPad app, a favourite snack or juice or even just some time to chill alone in his/her room.  Positive re-enforcement is basically given the child something they love in return for something you want them to do.

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Ilse Kilian-Ross

Ilse Kilian-Ross is the owner of Amazing K, a registered ECD and Partial Care Facility in Johannesburg. Amazing K is a private adhd school, autism school and therapy centre for children from age 2 - 6 years where learners receive the best of both the schooling and therapy world. The autism school offers Individualized Education Programs, Speech- and Augmentive Alternative Communication (AAC) therapy as well as a full and adapted Academic Curriculum.