Baby KC and the World of Behaviorism

Since I have an almost 2-year old nephew (named KC) living with us in our home, I can observe how some principles of “behavioral theories” are being applied among learners.

Toddlers are distinctly known for being jolly, “makulit,” and almost always on the go. Extremes of behavior can sometimes be seen and is likely to be regarded “normal” for their age.

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One day, as my sister-in-law teaches her son some of the basic animal sounds, I’ve seen her rewarding my nephew of small candies each time her son correctly mimics the sound of the animal she’s mentioning. When mismatching occur (when Ate said “anung sabi ng cow?” and my nephew responds “meow meow,”), candies will not be given and the process will be repeated until the child got the series of test perfectly.M&M_mascots

 

I can say that the conditioning reward my ate is using is effective in facilitating learning to her son. First, the reward she’s using is the favourite candy of my nephew. It is said that for the reinforcement system to be effective, the reward must be something important or significant to the learner. In my nephew’s case, it is very obvious that “m&ms” is his favourite one. When given assorted candies, he can easily pick this specific item. Secondly, I have seen that my sister-in-law is consistent in employing this system. When she says she will give an item for every correct response, she will do it. As agreed by most experts, “consistency” is the most important aspect when employing behavioral techniques of modifying one’s behavior.

 

spankingBoth the couple however are not “kunsintidor.” Punishment is also used at times provided that it will meet the goal of “decreasing the undesirable” behavior being exhibited by my nephew. These usually are just mild spanking or simple beating of the hands (as KC is fond of pinching anybody he encounters). Admittedly, the effects of these acts are only temporary. As soon as the impact of the punishment is gone, that habit of pinching us will resume as if nothing has happened. It does prove that punishment is not intended for long-term or permanent modification of a behavior. It’s just a temporary measure.IMG_1625

 

Basically, these were the common observations that I encounter whenever I’m here at home. Miss you baby KC! 😀

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