Motherhood: How to lift your child to the clouds with positive reinforcement

Black mother hugging son outdoorsBy Nomalanga Mhlauli-Moses

The one thing I have often found interesting about motherhood and parenting, in general, is that you can’t know for sure if you’ve done a good job until it is too late to do anything about it. There is however one little fun nugget that I stumbled upon one day…

I was sitting and working (probably blogging) one day when my four year old son walked into the room and said, “Here, Mommy, I’m giving you this money!” I asked him where he got the quarter from and he said he had found it outside while playing. I deliberately overreacted (in a good way) to his gift of money. “Thank you so much, ” I gushed. I went on and on about it and told him he’s the best son in the world. (He’s the only son I have). I told him I was going to be a rich woman with a son like him who gives me money!

Since then, my son gives me pennies, nickels and dimes almost every single day! On a particularly lucky day, I might get a quarter. My son will be six years old in a couple of weeks and he is still very happy and excited to give me every single coin he finds. I think my husband keeps a constant supply by falling asleep on the couch where a few coins will typically fall out of his pockets.

Of course I am only joking when  I suggest that mothers should get all their sons’ money for the rest of their lives. I have however found that positive reinforcement is absolutely one of the best tools in the parenting tool box. When a child does something pleasing or that you encourage, let them know that you approve and make a big deal out of it. Getting such a positive response and so much attention makes them want to do more of that particular behavior to get more of that positive attention.

I took a parenting home-study course written and presented by TV Psychologist, Dr. Phil, earlier this year and and I was glad to see this lesson reaffirmed in one of the chapters. So, mothers (and fathers) if you want your son (or daughter) to give you all their money (read: great behavior), show them how much you appreciate it when they first display the behavior. You’re likely to get more of that “money” for a long time after that.

Nomalanga is a Life Balance Expert. Her speaking and coaching programs help busy women who struggle to balance Marriage, Motherhood and Money-Making™.  Nomalanga is an experienced instructor, author and avid blogger.

To find out how you can book Nomalanga to present at  your next conference or event, click here.

This post originally appeared at naturallymoi.com

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