The Power of Positive Reinforcement: What it is and Why We All Need It

The Power of Positive Reinforcement: What it is and Why We All Need It - The California Beach Co.

If you’ve been to our blog before, you know we like to offer up simple parenting tips that you can start implementing into your everyday life. We’ve touched on the importance of positive reinforcement in recent posts, but we thought we’d give an overview of this philosophy and why it may be beneficial to start implementing within your parenting. 

When your child misbehaves, it’s essential that they understand what they did wrong. We’re not here to tell you the best way to discipline your child’s wrongdoing—that’s your decision. We gave insight on this matter a little on another post, but today, we’re here to take note of the good-doing and how it can help limit the misbehavior. 

Positive reinforcement is more about paying attention when your child does something right rather than when they do something wrong. 

What can be gathered from the name, positive reinforcement is about encouraging your child when they follow directions, are kind to others, or complete their chores adequately. It may come as a surprise, but when you start to acknowledge your child’s good behavior, they are more likely to continue that behavior across all levels. You’re basically attracting good conduct to your home. 👏

Adults Run Off Positive Reinforcement

Us parents operate off positive reinforcement more often than we may think. In fact, positive reinforcement is what ultimately motivates us to work for a living! Let us explain. 

Most of us go to work in order to receive a paycheck, right? Obviously, there can be more benefits to having a job, but we all start with the same intention: to make money. When we receive our paycheck, that is the positive result of going to work. You may hate your job but the minute you receive that paycheck, it reinforces why you continue to work hard and show up. 

Same thing within our relationships! When we point out the kind things that our spouse does for us, they are more likely to do those kind things again. And when we don’t point out those kind things, they are less likely to do it again because it clearly went “unnoticed.” Positive reinforcement comes hand in hand with affirmation. When you encourage anyone on their good works, they are more likely to continue doing it, along with additional acts of kindness. 

Let’s Start Rewarding Good Behavior 

Instead of focusing on how badly your child has been misbehaving, why not pay real close attention when they do something right! If your child is going through a very ornery stage, this may be a struggle at first between punishing and affirming, but if you just keep at it, you’ll soon notice a decrease in the bad conduct. 


There are a number of different ways you can reward good behavior—it does not have to be a tangible item. In fact, it’s encouraged to limit the amount of tangible rewards to prevent other unwanted behavior traits.

Here are a few different ways you can reward your child when they have good behavior: 

  • High-five! 
  • A huge hug goes a long way! 
  • Knuckles for a job well done. 
  • Offer up a special activity like playing their favorite game or helping make a yummy treat for dessert! 
  • Brag to your spouse (or anyone for that matter) about their good behavior, and make sure they can hear you! 
  • Increase your child’s privileges (this works well on older kids: increase curfew, screentime, etc.) 
  • Focus on their success, not their failure 

    As a parent, it’s easy to get wrapped up in it all and lose sight of the role we play within our children’s lives. No matter what, your child cares what YOU think of them more than anyone else, especially in the younger years of their lives. Currently, you’re all they really have! This is a very valuable perspective to carry through their years so you can continue to root them on and show them that they are capable of good, good things. 

    We’ll end with a little positivity for you, parent — you’re doing good. Real good. Keep crushing it and enjoy the ride! Your kids are mini versions of you and you know how awesome they are! 😉