” In order to help their children become morally mature, caring individuals, Alice and Wayne should first look to the social learning theory. The social learning theory states that moral behavior is derived from reinforcement and modeling. Therefore, the first parenting practice that they should employ is modeling. Modeling is when another person does an action and then the child observes and imitates that action or behavior. Once the child has observed the behavior and begins to incorporate into their own actions, Alice and Wayne should follow up with praise as a means of reinforcement. Praise will help to increase the frequency of the good action, hence increasing the child’s sense of morality. In addition, Alice and Wayne should avoid using operant conditioning. Operant conditioning is when reinforcement is given for good behavior. The reason why they should avoid using this is because in order for operant conditioning to work, the behavior or action would need to happen of the child’s own free will, without a model. Without first observing others doing good actions, such as sharing, the child may never think to do it. Therefore, operant conditioning alone is insufficient.
Another thing that Alice and Wayne could use to guide them is the psychoanalytic perspective. While many disagree with Freud’s point of view, there are still some valuable lessons to be learned. For instance, Alice and Wayne should look to avoid using threats and physical force, as well as withdrawing love, when disciplining their children Instead, they should use parental warmth. The formerly mentioned types of discipline can leave the child with high levels of self-blame and low levels of morality. Warm parenting relationships are more likely to use a technique called induction. Induction occurs when the parent explains to the child how their actions affect others. For example, Alice and Wayne may want to explain to their children that stealing another child’s toy on the playground makes them sad. This leads to higher moral complex in the later years in life.
To conclude, Alice and Wayne should adopt techniques such as modeling and reinforcement, warm parenting styles, and teaching by induction. They should avoid using harsh punishments, threats, and withdrawing of love. In addition, they should avoid only using operant conditioning. These parenting techniques will help Alice and Wayne raise morally mature, caring children.