Abstract I looked for articles in an online parenting-advice magazine called Aha! Parenting. The article I chose is called 10 Steps To Guide Children Without Punishment and was written by Laura Markham (2015). The child development aspect looks closely at child discipline. The main idea of the article is that parents should not punish their children, and instead parents should stay calm and kind when children misbehave. According to the author, this is because punishments are limited at changing behavior, and in fact create even more misbehavior. I will critically look at the advice in this article using the class teachings and relevant literature.
Skinner’s model of punishment and reinforcement The main theme of Markham’s (2015) article is that disciplining children does not improve their behavior. One of the most famous researchers into the nature of punishment was B.F. Skinner, a behavioral psychologist. Skinner believed that well-learned associations between causes and consequences largely cause behavior. He created the theory of ‘operant conditioning’, which states that behavior can be changed by ‘operant’, which are negative or positive stimuli. Although most of his theory came from experiments on rats, he believed that operant conditioning also plays a major role in human behavior, and that operant conditioning is therefore relevant to child psychology. His model of punishment and reinforcement broke down like this:
• Positive reinforcement is where the parent