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 reinforcement could bring negative outcomes in them. I will do so starting with a detailed summary of each one of these articles that are being looked at, followed by a complete analysis of the evidence found in each of these arguments. Lastly a complex conclusion that will recap the main points argued in this paper, as well as how they tie in and support the final argument.
Stop Saying “Good Job! ” In this article, the author Kohn mainly emphasizes the importance of supporting and encouraging children and he shows us ways to do it without praising them or without using positive reinforcement. He goes on to explain with evidence, direct quote, or even with personal experiences why praising children is bad, and gives us five main reasons to support his argument. Kohn explains that we as adults that praising is a way of doing something to children to get them to comply with our wishes, and that we exploit children’s dependence for our own convenience.
The author gives us the alternative to have a conversation with children that we have done or failed to do instead of praising, making children become more thoughtful people. Kohn also suggests that praise may increase kids’ dependence on us, and that the more we praise them the more they rely in our evaluations, our decisions about what’s good or bad, rather than using their own judgment which can affect their life as they grow older. He also argues that by praising kids e are indirectly telling them how to feel. Instead of letting them take delight in their own accomplishments, to feel pride in what they have learned how to do. Kohn compares the praising to a goody, and explain that children behave well just because they are trying to get the goody, and not for the fact that and acting might be good in itself alone. Praising increases pressure in children, to keep up the good work that has gotten them the goody so far. All of this gets in the way the actual kids perform.
Finally, Kohn ends his arguments with some advice, and a solid conclusion stating the fact that encouraging our children is great, we just have to watch the way or the motives for which we do it, and that maybe positive reinforcement isn’t so positive after all. A Bad Job with “Good Job” (A Response to Kohn) In this second article the authors, write a clearly response that disagrees with Kohns’ argument and point out all of its weaknesses. They go on to refute in the same format every single idea that Kohn presents within his articles.
Rather than purposely manipulating children for adults’ convenience, praise does nothing more than encourage social graces, fine motor skills or valuable skills chosen by them in their own children. The authors go on to argue that such alternative of having a conversation with children could serve to reinforce the behavior, cause misunderstanding in the effects of certain behaviors, and also to independently generate alternative behaviors. In short, making this offered intervention alternative of minimal applicability.
The authors try to refuse by mentioning the massive evidence and research done to prove that Kohns’ idea of that the more we praise, the more the kids seem to need it, so we do it more is wrong. They go on to explain that too little positive reinforcement is the reason why we have poor self-esteem and poor adult outcomes, and not the fact that we frequently praise kids as Kohn suggested. On this idea, they don’t argue that children should take pleasure in their accomplishments, but the fact of how they should take pride in those.
In fact, is positive reinforcement the primary key in which children learn to take pride in them, and how positive reinforcement it is promoting the importance of children engaging in self-evaluation. For the authors in this article the “goody” is positive child outcomes, and positive reinforcement has effectively met theses ends. Also that this reinforcement increases behaviors, not decrease as Kohn suggested. They rebute the idea that good job functions decreases the behaviors that are intended to increase, since positive reinforcement only strengthens behaviors wanted.
Strain and Joseph conclude their response by summarizing all of Kohns’ ideas, right away refuting all of their most important contrary ideas, and giving us food for thought. A Double Take Without a doubt, it had been more than clear that positive reinforcement will always increase a favorable behavior or outcome to be repeated in the future, this is to be true whether the reason, motive or case in which is used is right or wrong.
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 cause confusion in children of young ages. 2. Creating Praise Junkies: It is not hard to understand the clear point Kohn makes in his second claim, by praising kids we make them dependent of us, and our own judgment. But he goes to extend and brings the words of a researcher at the University of Florida to support his claim.
He suggested that students that are praised lavishly when answering a question right, were more tentative with their responses, or scared that they could be wrong and the teacher would disagree with them making them feel insecure. The weak rebuttal to this claim make by the opposing authors tries to incorporate nameless evidence and decades of research that prove Kohns’ point to be wrong, but do not go on to named them or explain them. They tried to argue the fact that indeed is the lack of praising that causes poor self-esteem and poor adult outcomes. . Stealing a Childs’ Pleasure: Kohn to prove his third point he incorporates a personal experience of his daughter which clearly is guided to the audience. He explained how she wants her daughter to instead of looking up to him for a verdict on an act to share her accomplished pleasure with him. Strain and Joseph, argue back again with nameless evidence the fact that positive reinforcement is the key in which kids learn to take pride in their own actions.
Even with the lack of evidence from their part, we cannot ignore that kids will always need guidance at first which makes this is a very strong point. 4. Losing Interest: oh this claim both authors of both article have a very different idea on what the own claim presents; none of them bring outside sources our measurable evidence for us to take account. 5. Reducing Achievement: Praising does indeed create pressure; it’s like an image that one has to keep up with. Kohn and researchers as we mentions have found that praising creates pressure, and pressure gets in the way of getting things done.
Strain and Joseph end this debate by stating once again that positive reinforcement only strengthens behaviors wanted. To conclude, as we can see both sides introduce great arguments to their part. And in fact, positive reinforcement increases a desirable behavior as Strain and Joseph have been arguing. But also in fact it could also have negative outcomes not just for children, but for any subject. The most important thing we get from this is the fact for which we use positive reinforcement, our motives and how we apply it in life, and specially our kids. Positive Praising
In conclusion, after reviewing both arguments we can clearly state the fact that positive reinforcement truly encourages a desirable behavior. We can also clearly state the fact that practicing positive reinforcement (praising) in children, could be a good or a bad, on the same account it could bring positive outcomes or negative outcomes. Children are learning sponges, and as long as guide our kids appropriately there should be no worries. As long as we understand the reason we use praising, our motives, and how we use it in our children but for their own benefit, we all will live in a better world. .