Praising Children

1655 words 7 pages
Praising Children
Yaren D Obando
Introduction to Psychology I

Praising Children The field of behaviorism has always lacked agreement and will always be a debatable subject. Nonetheless, we find ourselves in the middle of one. Whether is bad or not to praise, or frequently use positive reinforcement in our children, and its consequences of doing so or not doing so is the issue at stake here. Both perspectives, both positions, and both sides have been well represented by the authors of each article. The fact that positive reinforcement indeed strengthens all behaviors wanted will never be proved wrong, but what I intent to do in this integrative analysis is to prove the fact that praising children, and the misuse of positive
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Praise in this issue could be easily being compared to the food pellet used in The Skinner Box; subjects will always strive for the reward, no matter what’s at stake. Now let us not get distracted and really focused on the important issue, how does praise (positive reinforcement) affect children? Well, let’s look at the evidence provided. Kohn, gave us five main reasons why praising affects our kids in a negative way, on the other hand Strain and Joseph not just refuted this five reasons, but explained how it affects kids in a positive way. 1. Manipulating Children: Kohn to prove his point within the first claim he makes, he quotes a professor at the University of Northern Iowa, which called this approach “sugar-coated control”, that get children to comply with adults’ wishes. Strain and Joseph, on the other hand use common reasoning to refute Kohns’ point, stating that of course it is wrong for adults to make children engage in: “developmentally inappropriate and nonfunctional behaviors”, but of course if used the right way it could encourage the repetition of positive behavior that in the long run will benefit kids. Also, Kohn mentions that it could maybe having a conversation with kids instead of praising could actually make them understand the point of doing an act. The opposition quickly replies by stating that such conversation could even


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