“If you’re good, I’ll buy you a toy: The difference between bribing your child and rewarding your child,”
by Alan E. Kazdin and Carlo Rotella, Slate Magazine (March 2010)

If Your Good I'll Buy You a Toy

The very idea of rewarding your children for good behavior rubs a lot of adults the wrong way. Even when they accept that positive reinforcement changes behavior a lot more effectively than punishment does, they still object to using rewards in general and specifically for behaviors one ought to expect as a matter of couse from a child. They just can’t bring themselves to praise a 7-year-old and give her points on a point chart or a little prize because she didn’t throw a tantrum in the supermarket.

Rewarding the desired behavior is just one element of the positive reinforcement…

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