Behavior Shaping - Implementing Reinforcement Schedules | On the Mat Martial Arts
ACCESS OUR VIRTUAL SCHEDULE
& EXCLUSIVE WEB SPECIAL

Secure your spot and get started today with our EXCLUSIVE offer!

By opting into the web form above you are providing consent for On The Mat Martial Arts to send you periodic text messages. Standard rates may apply. You can reply HELP at anytime or learn more. You may opt-out anytime by replying STOP.
ACCESS OUR VIRTUAL SCHEDULE
& EXCLUSIVE WEB SPECIAL

Secure your spot and get started today with our EXCLUSIVE offer!

By opting into the web form above you are providing consent for On The Mat Martial Arts to send you periodic text messages. Standard rates may apply. You can reply HELP at anytime or learn more. You may opt-out anytime by replying STOP.
Michelle Dolak reviewed On The Mat Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Our family can't say enough about On The Mat! Master Melody and her awesome team of Ninjas are like a parent's secret weapon. Our son goes to practice Tae Kwon Do, he ends up learning about character, respect, self-control and other priceless virtues! The family environment and friendships fostered at this club have added a beautiful dimension to each of our lives. I have as much fun catching up with friends each week as Robert Paul has on the Dojo. We are grateful to be apart of such an amazing program.

Adrian De Silva reviewed On The Mat Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Awesome instructors and place to train for kids in the area If you live in the Saint Pete's area this is where to bring your kids for not just the best martial arts but life training Skillz!

Jessica Hodosky reviewed On The Mat Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Just started but I can tell the school is amazing and the staff are very nice and attentive! My daughter seems to love it too!

Suzanne Saccani reviewed On The Mat Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

The best customer service ever, Melody Shuman and her staff go out of their way to over deliver

Cydney Swindle Tuten reviewed On The Mat Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

The best money that our family has invested in the development of our child! As an early childhood educator, I am very picky about extra curricular activities! On the Mat is the model for positive reinforcement! They treat everyone like family! We are so grateful that we are there and only wish we had found them sooner!

Mark J. Speranza reviewed On The Mat Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

No better place than OTM for brinhing the best out of your child. The instructors are some of the best and the owner Melody Shuman is the most knowledgeable in child neuroscience. Many martial art facilities around the world look to her and use her Skillz methods for teaching children. AAA++++++

Brooke Breland reviewed On The Mat Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

We signed our 5 year old up for the free trial over the summer to try out something new and keep him active during the summer. He absolutely fell in love with it and asked if he could go every day! The curriculum is perfectly geared toward each particular age group. The instructors are so engaging and committed. The skills and confidence our son has gained just in a few short months are priceless. Our summer activity has quickly become part of our regular year round schedule and I foresee him continuing for years to come. OTM rocks!!

On The Mat Martial Arts St Petersburg Kids Martial Arts & Fitness for All Ages!
Call us today to get started 727-548-5425
Request Information

Blog

Our latest news & thoughts

Behavior Shaping – Implementing Reinforcement Schedules

Getting children to behave how we want them to can be tricky. Even with the best intentions, parents often fall short regarding enforcing positive behaviors in their children while also extinguishing negative ones. Understanding reinforcement schedules and strategies for implementing them can be beneficial to parents and create positive behavior outcomes and improve the parent-child bond.

 

Looking at B.F. Skinner’s behavior theory regarding Operant Conditioning, we know that the most effective way to increase positive behaviors is by catching children being good and rewarding them for a job well done. This, coupled with ignoring negative behaviors, can be the most effective combination regarding behavior management. But to take this a step further, implementing positive reinforcement in the most effective way requires forethought and should include a planned out schedule, no matter what approach is chosen.

 

Believe it or not, children want to please their parents and other significant adults in their lives, but they also want to feel successful in their efforts. Implementing reinforcement schedules will establish both, but only when implemented correctly and with patience. Adults must understand that reinforcing good behavior and ignoring misbehavior is a long-term strategy that takes consistent efforts. Choosing a method of implementation, coupled with flexibility, can attain the best outcomes.

Various reinforcement schedules can be applied to improve positive behaviors and extinguish unwanted, negative actions.

 

  • Continuous: Reinforcement follows every time a wanted behavior occurs.
  • Intermittent: Reinforcement follows some, but not all, wanted behaviors.
  • Fixed Ratio: Reinforcement follows a behavior when it occurs a specified number of times.
  • Fixed Interval: Reinforcement follows a behavior within a fixed time interval with at least one wanted behavior occurring.
  • Variable Ratio: Reinforcement follows a behavior after an unpredictable number of times a behavior occurs.
  • Variable Interval: Reinforcement follows a behavior within an unpredictable amount of time with at least one wanted behavior occurring.

In parenting, if reinforcement is the primary strategy for behavior modification, parents often jump between different schedules. And while this may work for some children and some behaviors, it may not work for others. Many factors play into the type of reinforcement schedule that will work best, including the child’s temperament, parenting style, mental challenges, and the specific behaviors that need to be reinforced or extinguished. Although continuous is the most effective for supporting wanted behaviors quickly, it can also cause those behaviors to stop when reinforcement stops. Switching to a variable ratio after an initial period of continuous reinforcement can create long term effectiveness for maintaining positive behaviors.

 

Incorporating any reinforcement schedule requires planning and patience. Parents must also be clear on the expectations of their children. Things such as “be good” do not give children any clarity of what they need to do or not do. When children understand why a specific behavior is good, they will be more motivated to succeed through effort and action. This approach ultimately lines up with the growth mindset theory. Additionally, using rewards that a child sees as valuable is vital.

 

The SKILLZ Child Development Centers utilize reinforcement for skill development and for shaping behavior. The Certified Pediatric Ninja Specialists who run each class create a supportive environment and build rapport with each student to be the most effective when implementing behavior modification strategies. The long-term approach of rewarding the development of new skills through extrinsic motivation while also fostering intrinsic motivation, leading to a growth mindset, sets the stage for each child’s success now and in future endeavors.

 

When we approach each child and each behavior with consistency and patience, we can reinforce positive behaviors that improve a child’s behavior and the bond they have with adults.

 

Author: Jennifer Salama of Skillz Worldwide

Jennifer is a 4th-degree black belt and has been training in martial arts since 2001. She has a Masters Degree in Child Psychology and has embraced the SKILLZ curriculum because of its focus on child development and using martial arts as a vehicle to develop the child as a whole.