Thursday, December 11, 2008

Positve re-enforcement

Something I wrote a few months ago. Was too lazy to post. Now I discovered the way to publish via email. Here we go....

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More often than not, we jump on an opportunity to make sure that our opinions are heard, particularly when we find that the action of the other person is not acceptable to us.

 

For example, a spouse doing something that is not up to our expectation, A child's behaviour that we do not approve of, A mothers comment/sentiment that we find silly, A sisters behaviour,  and so on.

 

How many times have we rewarded positive behaviour/action ? A tasty meal prepared by the wife, A smart but yet naughty thing done by the child, A thoughtful action by a friend/wife/colleague/child/mother/sister who ever it may be!

 

I realized the importance of it the day I first scolded my 14 months old toddler for fooling around with the TV plug point. There was a naked hurt and pain in his face, the look of his face I will never forget! I used a pretty harsh tone (intentionally, out of my fear that he might one day touch a live wire and hurt himself bad). 

 

He has been so naughty, that I realized that most of the time we end up telling him don’t do this, don’t do that. Started wondering, will there ever be a time when we will tell him, "Yes, that was a wonderful thing that you did, you should do more of it!"

 

Opportunity came in few days, He did something very nice, he climbed on to the sofa pretty much all by himself! So much effort went behind it. I was happy, and I told him he was such a good boy, and hugged him and kissed him. I could see he was as happy as he could be and quiet proud.

 

That was the moment, I realized the importance of positive re-enforcement of behaviour. A lot more could be achieved, if we make sure that we reward positive behaviour and at the same time make sure that the negative behaviour is not welcome!

 

There is a Tamil song, "Adikkira Kai Than Anaikkum" meaning "Only the hand that hits, will hug"

 

I want to add spin to that and say, "Adikka therintha kaiku, Anakkavum theriyanum", meaning, "The hand that knows to hit, should also know to hug".

 

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