Last Updated on November 16, 2023 by Jasmine KeLa
Discover the Power of Positive Reinforcement in Parenting. Unlock Your Child’s Full Potential with Proven Techniques.
I. Introduction: Understanding Positive Reinforcement in Parenting
Parenting is a journey filled with choices, challenges, and opportunities for growth—both for parents and their children. Among the myriad of parenting approaches, one method that has gained significant attention and acclaim is positive reinforcement. In this article, we will delve into the world of positive reinforcement in parenting, exploring its essence, its practical applications, and its profound impact on the parent-child relationship.
Positive reinforcement is a concept rooted in behavioral psychology that focuses on reinforcing or rewarding desired behaviors to increase their occurrence. In the context of parenting, it involves acknowledging and rewarding a child’s positive actions and behaviors to encourage them to continue making those choices.
The primary objective of positive reinforcement is not merely to shape behavior but to foster a nurturing and supportive environment where children feel loved, valued, and motivated to grow emotionally, socially, and academically.
As we journey through the pages of this article, we will unravel the key principles of positive reinforcement, providing you with actionable strategies and real-life examples of how to apply them in your daily interactions with your child. We will explore the profound impact of positive reinforcement on child development, including its role in building self-esteem, self-discipline, and resilience.
Additionally, we will discuss common mistakes to avoid when implementing positive reinforcement, ensuring that you navigate this parenting approach effectively. We’ll provide practical tips for successful implementation and share heartwarming real-life success stories that highlight the transformative power of positive reinforcement in the lives of parents and children.
By the end of this article, you will have a comprehensive understanding of positive reinforcement in parenting and be equipped with the knowledge and tools to cultivate a loving, supportive, and growth-oriented relationship with your child. So, let’s embark on this enlightening journey into the world of positive reinforcement and discover how it can empower you as a parent and enrich your child’s life.
II. The Importance of Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement is a fundamental aspect of effective parenting, and its importance cannot be overstated. It serves as the cornerstone of building healthy parent-child relationships and nurturing a child’s development. Let’s delve into why positive reinforcement matters so significantly in parenting:
1. Encourages Desired Behavior: Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool for encouraging and promoting desired behaviors in children. When a child receives recognition and rewards for their positive actions, they are more likely to repeat those behaviors.
2. Strengthens the Parent-Child Bond: Using positive reinforcement fosters a deep connection between parents and children. When parents acknowledge and appreciate their child’s efforts, it sends a message of love, care, and support, strengthening their bond.
3. Builds Self-Esteem: Positive reinforcement plays a pivotal role in nurturing a child’s self-esteem. When children receive praise and recognition for their achievements, no matter how small, it boosts their confidence and sense of self-worth.
4. Encourages a Growth Mindset: Positive reinforcement encourages children to adopt a growth mindset. They learn that effort and perseverance lead to success, and they are more willing to take on challenges and learn from their experiences.
5. Promotes Emotional Well-Being: Children who experience positive reinforcement tend to have better emotional well-being. They feel valued and secure in their relationships, contributing to a positive self-image and emotional resilience.
6. Teaches Responsibility: By linking positive reinforcement to responsible behavior, parents can instill a sense of responsibility in their children. Kids learn that their actions have consequences and that responsible choices are rewarded.
7. Reduces Negative Behaviors: Instead of focusing on negative behaviors, positive reinforcement emphasizes the positive. This approach can be more effective in reducing undesirable actions as children strive to gain recognition for their good behavior.
8. Creates a Positive Environment: Positive reinforcement creates a positive and nurturing family environment. When parents consistently recognize and celebrate their child’s achievements, the home becomes a place of encouragement and support.
9. Fosters Lifelong Learning: Children who experience positive reinforcement are likelier to become lifelong learners. They associate learning with positive outcomes and are eager to explore new challenges and acquire new skills.
In essence, positive reinforcement sets the stage for a harmonious and growth-oriented parent-child relationship. It empowers parents to guide their children towards becoming confident, responsible, and emotionally resilient individuals. As we continue to explore positive reinforcement in parenting, we will delve into the practical aspects of implementing this approach effectively in your daily interactions with your child.
III. Key Principles of Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement in parenting operates on key principles that serve as the foundation for its effectiveness. Understanding these principles is essential for parents who want to utilize this approach to foster positive behaviors in their children. Here are the fundamental principles of positive reinforcement:
1. Timing is Crucial: The timing of the reinforcement is critical. Rewards and praise should follow the desired behavior as closely as possible. This immediacy helps children connect their actions to a positive outcome.
2. Be Specific in Praise: When providing positive reinforcement, be specific about what behavior you are praising. Instead of vague compliments like “good job,” say something like “I’m proud of how you shared your toys with your friend.”
3. Consistency is Key: Consistency in applying positive reinforcement is vital. Children thrive in environments where they can predict the consequences of their actions. Ensure that you consistently reward and acknowledge positive behaviors.
4. Tailor Rewards to the Child: Different children are motivated by different rewards. Some may be motivated by verbal praise, while others may prefer small treats or privileges. Tailor the rewards to your child’s preferences and interests.
5. Avoid Over-Rewarding: While positive reinforcement is effective, it’s essential to strike a balance. Avoid over-rewarding or providing excessive praise for every little action, as this can diminish the impact of the reinforcement.
6. Encourage Intrinsic Motivation: The ultimate goal of positive reinforcement is to help children develop intrinsic motivation, where they engage in positive behaviors because they find them personally rewarding. Over time, reduce external rewards and focus on internal satisfaction.
7. Use a Variety of Reinforcers: Mix up the types of reinforcement you use. Sometimes offer verbal praise, other times use small rewards, and occasionally provide privileges or special activities. This variety keeps the reinforcement fresh and exciting.
8. Set Realistic Expectations: Ensure your reinforce behaviors are age-appropriate and realistic for your child’s developmental stage. Set achievable goals to prevent frustration on both sides.
9. Combine with Clear Communication: Positive reinforcement works best with clear and open communication. Explain to your child why their behavior is being rewarded, emphasizing the positive impact it has on them and others.
10. Adapt to Individual Needs: Recognize that what motivates one child may not motivate another. Adapt your reinforcement strategies to suit each child’s unique personality, interests, and needs.
By adhering to these key principles, parents can effectively implement positive reinforcement in their parenting approach. These principles create a nurturing and supportive environment where children feel valued, encouraged, and motivated to exhibit positive behaviors. In the next sections, we’ll explore practical examples of positive reinforcement in daily parenting and guide its successful implementation.
IV. Examples of Positive Reinforcement in Daily Parenting
Positive reinforcement comes to life in the day-to-day interactions between parents and children. It involves recognizing and rewarding specific behaviors to encourage their repetition. Let’s explore some practical examples of positive reinforcement in daily parenting:
1. Verbal Praise: One of the simplest and most effective forms of positive reinforcement is verbal praise. When your child displays a positive behavior, such as sharing a toy or completing a task, offer enthusiastic and specific praise. For example, “Great job sharing with your friend!”
2. Rewards: Rewards can be tangible items like stickers, small treats, or extra playtime. For instance, if your child finishes their homework without procrastination, you can reward them with a special treat or an extra 15 minutes of playtime.
3. Privileges: Positive behaviors can also earn your child certain privileges. If they consistently complete their chores, they might earn the privilege of choosing a family movie for the evening or staying up slightly later on weekends.
4. Special Activities: Plan special activities as rewards for good behavior. If your child consistently displays positive behavior at school, you can arrange a weekend trip to their favorite park or a fun family outing.
5. Points and Charts: Create a reward chart where your child earns points or stickers for each positive behavior. Once they accumulate a certain number of points, they can exchange them for a reward of their choice.
6. Encouraging Independence: When your child takes initiative or shows responsibility, acknowledge it and encourage their independence. For example, if they make their bed without being asked, praise their effort and let them know you appreciate their responsible behavior.
7. Quality Time: Spending quality time together can be a powerful form of positive reinforcement. Set aside time for activities your child enjoys as a reward for their positive actions.
8. Extra Responsibility: As a form of positive reinforcement, you can assign your child additional responsibilities that align with their age and capabilities. This not only rewards their responsible behavior but also helps them develop new skills.
9. Thank You Notes: Encourage your child to write or draw thank you notes when they receive kindness from others. This reinforces the value of gratitude and empathy.
10. Positive Feedback Loop: Create a positive feedback loop by letting your child know that their positive behavior makes you happy and proud. This simple acknowledgment reinforces their actions and encourages them to continue.
These examples illustrate how positive reinforcement can be seamlessly integrated into daily parenting routines. By consistently applying these techniques, parents can create an environment where their children feel motivated to exhibit positive behaviors, fostering a sense of achievement and strengthening the parent-child bond.
V. Positive Reinforcement vs. Other Parenting Techniques
In the realm of parenting, various approaches and techniques exist, each with its own philosophy and methodology. It’s essential to understand how positive reinforcement compares to other parenting techniques to make informed decisions about which approach aligns best with your parenting style. Here, we’ll examine the distinctions between positive reinforcement and other common parenting techniques:
1. Positive Reinforcement vs. Punishment: One fundamental difference is that positive reinforcement focuses on rewarding and encouraging positive behaviors, while punishment centers on discouraging negative behaviors through consequences. Positive reinforcement promotes a nurturing and motivational environment, while punishment may lead to fear and anxiety.
2. Positive Reinforcement vs. Negative Reinforcement: While positive reinforcement rewards desirable behaviors, negative reinforcement involves the removal of unpleasant stimuli to encourage behavior. Positive reinforcement tends to be more encouraging and conducive to emotional well-being, while negative reinforcement can create stress through the avoidance of discomfort.
3. Positive Reinforcement vs. Authoritarian Parenting: Authoritarian parenting relies on strict rules and discipline with limited explanation or flexibility. Positive reinforcement, on the other hand, combines guidance with warmth and understanding, emphasizing communication and empathy. Positive reinforcement promotes a more balanced and nurturing approach.
4. Positive Reinforcement vs. Permissive Parenting: Permissive parenting is characterized by leniency and a lack of clear boundaries. In contrast, positive reinforcement maintains boundaries while offering rewards for positive behaviors. Positive reinforcement provides structure and encouragement.
5. Positive Reinforcement vs. Uninvolved Parenting: Uninvolved parenting is marked by a lack of emotional involvement and support. Positive reinforcement fosters a parent-child solid bond through acknowledgment and rewards for positive actions. It actively promotes parent-child engagement.
6. Positive Reinforcement vs. Time-Outs: Time-outs involve removing a child from a situation to discourage negative behavior. While effective in some cases, time-outs do not emphasize positive behaviors or personal growth. Positive reinforcement complements discipline with encouragement.
7. Positive Reinforcement vs. Natural Consequences: Natural consequences allow children to experience the natural outcome of their actions. Positive reinforcement offers more immediate feedback and emphasizes positive choices.
8. Positive Reinforcement vs. Assertive Discipline: Assertive discipline involves setting clear rules and expectations with consistent consequences for rule violations. Positive reinforcement integrates rewards for adhering to these expectations. It promotes a more balanced and encouraging environment.
It’s important to note that positive reinforcement can complement other parenting techniques. For example, it can enhance assertive discipline by providing incentives for following rules. Ultimately, the choice of parenting approach should align with your family’s values, the individual needs of your child, and your parenting philosophy. Positive reinforcement, with its emphasis on encouragement and support, can be a valuable tool in building a loving and growth-oriented parent-child relationship.
VI. The Impact on Child Development
Positive reinforcement in parenting goes beyond immediate behavioral outcomes; it has a profound and lasting impact on a child’s development. Let’s delve into the various aspects of child development that are positively influenced by the application of this parenting approach:
1. Self-Esteem and Confidence: Positive reinforcement helps children develop healthy self-esteem and confidence. When they receive praise and recognition for their efforts and achievements, they learn to believe in their abilities and worth.
2. Self-Discipline: Through positive reinforcement, children learn self-discipline and the ability to make responsible choices. They understand that their actions have consequences, both positive and negative, and develop a sense of accountability.
3. Emotional Intelligence: Positive reinforcement encourages the development of emotional intelligence. Children learn to recognize and express their emotions in a healthy way, as they experience a supportive and empathetic environment.
4. Empathy and Kindness: When children receive kindness and encouragement, they are more likely to exhibit empathy and kindness towards others. Positive reinforcement fosters a sense of empathy and promotes positive social interactions.
5. Motivation and Perseverance: Children exposed to positive reinforcement become motivated to achieve their goals. They understand the value of effort and perseverance, traits that are crucial for success in various aspects of life.
6. Academic Success: Positive reinforcement can significantly impact a child’s academic performance. When children receive recognition and rewards for their academic achievements, they are motivated to excel in their studies and develop a love for learning.
7. Communication Skills: Positive reinforcement promotes effective communication skills. Children learn to express themselves openly and honestly, as they feel safe and supported in sharing their thoughts and feelings.
8. Problem-Solving Skills: Through positive reinforcement, children develop problem-solving skills. They learn to analyze situations, make informed decisions, and find creative solutions to challenges they encounter.
9. Resilience: Positive reinforcement contributes to the development of resilience in children. They become better equipped to bounce back from setbacks and adversity, as they have experienced the benefits of a supportive and encouraging environment.
10. Positive Parent-Child Relationships: Positive reinforcement enhances the parent-child relationship by fostering trust, love, and mutual respect. Children feel valued and appreciated, leading to a strong and nurturing bond between parents and their offspring.
In essence, positive reinforcement in parenting sets the stage for a well-rounded and emotionally healthy child. It equips children with essential life skills and values that contribute to their overall well-being and success. As parents, understanding the profound impact of positive reinforcement on child development empowers us to create a nurturing and growth-oriented environment for our children’s growth and fulfillment.
VII. Common Mistakes to Avoid with Positive Reinforcement
While positive reinforcement is a highly effective parenting approach, there are common mistakes that parents can inadvertently make when implementing it. Recognizing and avoiding these pitfalls is essential to ensure positive reinforcement remains a positive and nurturing tool. Here are some common mistakes to steer clear of:
1. Over-Rewarding: It’s crucial not to overuse rewards or praise for every small action. Over-rewarding can lead to a child expecting a reward for every behavior, diminishing the intrinsic motivation to do what’s right.
2. Inconsistent Application: Consistency is key to positive reinforcement. Parents should apply it consistently across different situations and behaviors. Inconsistency can confuse children and weaken the effectiveness of the approach.
3. Delayed Reinforcement: Positive reinforcement should be immediate or as close to the desired behavior as possible. Delayed reinforcement may not effectively connect the reward with the action, reducing its impact.
4. Focusing Only on Rewards: While rewards are an essential part of positive reinforcement, it’s equally important to provide verbal praise and acknowledgment. Overemphasizing material rewards can create an expectation of tangible incentives for every behavior.
5. Failure to Explain the Why: Children benefit from understanding why their behavior is being reinforced positively. Failing to explain the reasons behind the reward can result in confusion and a lack of understanding.
6. Using Positive Reinforcement for Negative Behavior: Positive reinforcement should primarily be used to encourage positive behaviors. Rewarding negative behavior, even unintentionally, can reinforce undesired actions.
7. Ignoring Individual Preferences: Children have unique preferences regarding rewards. Ignoring their individual preferences and using a one-size-fits-all approach can diminish the effectiveness of positive reinforcement.
8. Neglecting Natural Consequences: While positive reinforcement is valuable, it’s essential not to shield children from experiencing natural consequences for their actions. Sometimes, natural consequences can be effective teachers.
9. Failing to Set Clear Expectations: Children need clear expectations regarding the behaviors that will be reinforced. Failing to set these expectations can lead to uncertainty about what’s expected of them.
10. Overlooking Effort: Positive reinforcement should recognize effort, not just outcomes. Acknowledging a child’s hard work, even if they don’t achieve the desired result, encourages them to persevere.
Awareness of these common pitfalls allows parents to navigate the terrain of positive reinforcement effectively. By avoiding these mistakes, parents can create an environment where positive reinforcement is a powerful and positive tool for nurturing their child’s development and strengthening the parent-child relationship.
VIII. Tips for Effective Implementation
To make positive reinforcement work effectively in your parenting approach, it’s essential to apply it thoughtfully and consistently. Here are some valuable tips to help you implement positive reinforcement successfully:
1. Be Specific in Your Praise: Be specific about the behavior you acknowledge when providing positive reinforcement. Instead of vague compliments like “Good job,” say, “I appreciate how you shared your toys with your friend.”
2. Immediate Reinforcement: Try to provide reinforcement as soon as possible after the desired behavior. Immediate reinforcement helps children connect their actions to a positive outcome.
3. Use a Variety of Reinforcers: Mix up the types of reinforcement you use. Sometimes offer verbal praise, other times, use tangible rewards, privileges, or special activities. Variety keeps the reinforcement fresh and exciting.
4. Set Clear Expectations: Ensure that your child understands the behaviors you expect from them. Clear expectations help them know what will be rewarded and encourage them to meet those expectations.
5. Be Consistent: Consistency is key in positive reinforcement. Apply it consistently across different situations and behaviors to avoid confusion.
6. Encourage Intrinsic Motivation: The ultimate goal of positive reinforcement is to foster intrinsic motivation, where children engage in positive behaviors because they find them personally rewarding. Gradually reduce external rewards and emphasize internal satisfaction.
7. Adjust to Individual Preferences: Recognize that different children are motivated by different rewards. Tailor your reinforcement strategies to suit your child’s unique interests and preferences.
8. Be Patient: Positive reinforcement takes time to yield results. Be patient and persistent in your approach. Don’t be discouraged by setbacks, and focus on the long-term benefits.
9. Communicate Openly: Explain to your child why their behavior is being reinforced positively. Encourage open communication, so they understand the reasons behind the rewards.
10. Balance with Natural Consequences: While positive reinforcement is adequate, don’t shield your child from experiencing natural consequences for their actions. Sometimes, natural consequences provide valuable lessons.
11. Encourage Effort: Acknowledge and praise your child’s effort, not just the outcome. This encourages them to persevere and develop a strong work ethic.
12. Maintain Realistic Expectations: Ensure your reinforced behaviors are age-appropriate and realistic for your child’s developmental stage. Set achievable goals to prevent frustration.
By following these tips, parents can effectively implement positive reinforcement in their parenting journey. It creates an environment where children feel valued, encouraged, and motivated to exhibit positive behaviors, fostering a sense of achievement and strengthening the parent-child bond. Positive reinforcement, when applied thoughtfully and consistently, can be a powerful tool in nurturing a child’s development and well-being.
IX. Real-Life Success Stories: Positive Reinforcement in Action
Real-life success stories serve as inspiring examples of how positive reinforcement can transform parent-child relationships and contribute to a child’s growth and development. Let’s explore some heartwarming stories that highlight the power of positive reinforcement in action:
1. Boosting Self-Confidence: Sarah, a mother of two, implemented positive reinforcement to boost her shy daughter Emma’s self-confidence. Whenever Emma expressed herself or participated in social activities, Sarah praised her and celebrated her efforts. Over time, Emma’s self-esteem grew, and she became more outgoing and confident in social situations.
2. Academic Excellence: Mark struggled with schoolwork, often feeling discouraged. His parents, Emily and David, decided to use positive reinforcement to motivate him. They created a reward system where Mark earned points for completing assignments and studying. As he accumulated points, he could exchange them for small rewards. Mark’s grades improved significantly, and he developed a love for learning.
3. Encouraging Responsibility: Lily, a single mother, wanted her son James to take on more responsibilities at home. She used positive reinforcement by acknowledging and rewarding James when he completed his chores and helped with household tasks. James learned the value of responsibility and became an active and helpful family member.
4. Building Sibling Bonds: Sarah and Tom wanted to strengthen the bond between their two children, Emily and Daniel. They used positive reinforcement to encourage cooperation and kindness between the siblings. When Emily and Daniel played well together or resolved conflicts peacefully, they received special outings as rewards. The siblings’ relationship improved, and they became closer friends.
5. Overcoming Behavioral Challenges: Lisa and John faced challenges with their son, Michael, who often displayed tantrums and defiance. They turned to positive reinforcement to address his behavior. Whenever Michael exhibited self-control and followed the rules, they praised him and provided small incentives. Michael’s behavior gradually improved, and he developed better self-regulation skills.
These real-life success stories showcase the transformative impact of positive reinforcement on children and families. They illustrate how parents, through consistent and thoughtful application of this approach, can nurture positive behaviors, strengthen parent-child bonds, and empower their children to thrive emotionally, socially, and academically.
Positive reinforcement is not a one-size-fits-all solution, but these stories demonstrate its adaptability and effectiveness in addressing various parenting challenges and promoting positive development. Parents can draw inspiration from these examples and apply positive reinforcement in their unique family contexts to create an encouraging and growth-oriented environment for their children.
X. Conclusion: Building Stronger Parent-Child Relationships
In the parenting journey, positive reinforcement emerges as a beacon of hope and a powerful tool for fostering deeper, more meaningful relationships between parents and their children. As we conclude our exploration of positive reinforcement, let’s reflect on the profound impact it has on building stronger parent-child bonds.
Positive reinforcement transcends the mere shaping of behavior; it lays the foundation for trust, open communication, and mutual respect. Through the acknowledgment of positive behaviors and the celebration of small achievements, parents convey a message of love and support that resonates deeply with their children. This reinforcement is not just about tangible rewards or praise; it is about the emotional connections that form when parents actively engage in their children’s lives.
When parents consistently apply positive reinforcement, children experience a sense of security and acceptance within their families. They learn that their parents appreciate their efforts and value their contributions. This understanding creates a nurturing environment where children feel safe to explore, learn, and grow.
Positive reinforcement also paves the way for developing vital life skills like self-discipline, emotional intelligence, and resilience. Children who receive recognition and rewards for their positive actions develop a strong sense of responsibility and accountability. They learn to express their emotions healthily and gain the courage to face life’s challenges head-on.
Moreover, positive reinforcement promotes collaboration and cooperation within the family. Siblings learn to appreciate and support one another, and parents become partners in their children’s growth and development. Family bonds strengthen as parents and children celebrate each other’s successes and navigate challenges together.
In the grand tapestry of parenting, positive reinforcement is a thread that weaves love, encouragement, and growth into the fabric of parent-child relationships. It empowers parents to be not just providers but also nurturers, mentors, and cheerleaders in their children’s lives.
As parents, we have the privilege and responsibility to shape the future through our interactions with our children. Positive reinforcement, when wielded with thoughtfulness and consistency, enriches this journey, helping us raise confident, compassionate, and resilient individuals who, in turn, will contribute positively to the world around them. It is a testament to the enduring power of love and support in the beautiful tapestry of family life.
Top 5 FAQ Positive Reinforcement in Parenting
Q1: What is positive reinforcement in parenting, and why is it important? A1: Positive reinforcement in parenting involves acknowledging and rewarding desired behaviors to encourage their repetition. It’s important because it fosters a nurturing and supportive environment, boosts a child’s self-esteem, and strengthens the parent-child bond.
Q2: How can I effectively implement positive reinforcement with my child? A2: Effective implementation involves being specific in praise, providing immediate reinforcement, using a variety of reinforcers, setting clear expectations, and being consistent in your approach. Tailor your reinforcement strategies to your child’s preferences and maintain patience.
Q3: Can positive reinforcement be used for discipline, or is it only for rewarding good behavior? A3: Positive reinforcement can be used for both rewarding good behavior and encouraging responsible behavior. It effectively motivates children to make positive choices and understand the consequences of their actions.
Q4: Are there any common mistakes to avoid when using positive reinforcement? A4: Yes, common mistakes include over-rewarding, inconsistency, delayed reinforcement, and neglecting to explain the reasons behind the reinforcement. It’s essential to strike a balance and provide clear communication.
Q5: What are the long-term benefits of positive reinforcement in parenting? A5: The long-term benefits include building a child’s self-esteem and confidence, promoting self-discipline and emotional intelligence, encouraging empathy and kindness, fostering motivation and perseverance, and strengthening the parent-child relationship. It equips children with essential life skills and values for their future.
some scientific references for the use of positive reinforcement in parenting:
- Baumrind, D. (1966). Influence of parental authority on child behavior. Child development, 37(4), 883-891.
This study found that children who had parents who used a combination of positive reinforcement and discipline were more likely to be socially competent and emotionally well-adjusted than children who had parents who used either punishment or overindulgence.
- Maccoby, E. E., & Martin, J. A. (1983). Socialization in the family: Parent-child interaction. In E. M. Hetherington (Ed.), Handbook of child psychology: Social development (Vol. 4, pp. 1-109). New York: Wiley.
This review of research found that positive reinforcement is one of the most effective parenting techniques for promoting prosocial behavior in children.
- Sigel, S. (1995). The importance of positive reinforcement in child development. Early childhood education, 24(4), 30-33.
This article discusses the importance of positive reinforcement in early childhood education and provides practical tips for parents and educators.
- Eisenberg, N., Fabes, R. A., & Spinrad, H. (2006). Prosocial development and peer relationships: A review of research. In W. Damon, & R. M. Lerner (Eds.), Handbook of child psychology: Social development (Vol. 3, pp. 751-885). New York: Wiley. LINK
This review of research found that positive reinforcement is an important factor in promoting prosocial behavior in children, including helping, sharing, and comforting others.
- Allen, N., & Allen, C. D. (2008). Effective parenting: A guide for parents. Wiley.
This book provides a comprehensive overview of effective parenting techniques, including positive reinforcement.