Behavior Loop: The Key to Positive Child Behavior

Using a Behavior Loop for parenting success. Discover how to nurture positive actions and habits in your children.

“Small habits will become big habits and they will pave the way for a better future until they eventually become who you are.  This stands true for bad habits too.  Choose your path”.   – Nicole Vignola, neuroscientist.

Hey there, awesome parents! Ever wondered why your kiddo keeps repeating certain actions, whether it’s brushing their teeth before bed, diligently finishing homework or, let's be real, occasionally pushing the boundaries? Well, it’s all thanks to something called a ‘behavior loop’. Imagine a loop like a circle that keeps rolling – it starts with a cue, leads to an action, and ends with a reward, reinforcing the positive behavior making it a more likely choice in the future.  And then, it starts all over again!

There’s a reason Thumsters has thousands of 5 star reviews, and we’re going to explain WHY it’s helping parents around the world support their kids positive behavior in 3 easy steps.

Very impressed! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I never ever write reviews – but this app is something of a miracle
worker... my kids are 7 and 8 and it has changed our lives over night. The
beautiful thing about this app is how simple it is and customizable the
thumbs up and downs are for behavior change. My son just achieved his
first goal and the animation is a reward in itself. If you’re trying to change
behaviors this is the app for you! I’m a customer for the next 10 years or
so, this company has the secret sauce and I give them great kudos for
creating such an amazing app!” - cbldavis

Understanding the 3 step loop: Cue, Action, Reward

Best selling author Charles Duhigg made the term ‘behavior loop’ famous in his book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do. Let’s break it down. First up, we have the 'cue'. This is something that tells your child it’s time for a particular action. It could be as simple as seeing their study table, which cues them to start homework, it may be an alarm going off saying ‘study time’, or it may just be Mum or Dad saying it’s time for homework. It works best if it’s the same cue every time.

“Change might not be fast and it isn't always easy. But with time and effort, almost any habit can be reshaped.” – Charles Duhigg

Next, we hit the 'action' – this is what your child does in response to the cue. In our example, it’s sitting down to tackle those math problems.

Finally, there’s the 'reward'. Ah, the sweet part! It’s what your child gets after completing the action. Maybe it’s a sense of accomplishment, a high-five from you, or, in the world of Thumsters, a delightful digital thumbs-up!  Younger kids love the audible recognition of getting a thumbs up, and kids of all ages love the feeling of getting closer to or achieving their goals and rewards stored in the app.

Why Positive Over Negative?

Now, here’s where it gets interesting. When we focus on positive recognition and reinforcement (like giving a thumbs-up for finished homework), we’re encouraging actions we’d love to see more of. It’s like watering a plant – the more you water it, the more it grows. On the flip side, constantly focusing on negative actions (like scolding for not doing homework) can be like over-watering that same plant. Eventually it might just wilt.  If needed, giving a thumbs down for repeatedly choosing a negative behavior choice can be a respectful way of saying to your child, ‘hey, this response/choice is not ok.’ Whilst it’s important to recognise both positive AND negative behavior when it comes to behavior modification, a thumbs down is a more respectful way of doing this than yelling, berating, smacking or punishing. It moves them further away fromtheir goal, which is a real life consequence to many negative behavior choices we make in life both as children and eventually as adults.

Thumsters: Your Partner in Positive Parenting

Enter Thumsters Parenting App – your handy tool to make these behavior loops work wonders. Our app isn’t just about tracking behavior; it’s about understanding and nurturing it. By recognizing, reinforcing and rewarding positive actions through the app, you’re creating a powerful, positive loop.Your child experiences the digital thumbs-up as a positive recognition, feels seen and encouraged, and is motivated to repeat those actions, eventually turning them into a positive HABIT. It’s positive reinforcement at its digital best!

Real-Life Application: Simple Yet Effective

Imagine your child completes a chore without being asked. That’s your cue to open Thumsters and give a thumbs-up. This digital pat on the back becomes a cherished reward, encouraging your child to keep up the good work. Over time, these positive loops help in moulding behaviors that are beneficial for their growth and well-being.  Learning these self-discipline skills from a young age is hugely important in a child’s growth and a predictor of positive future outcomes.

“Self-discipline predicted academic performance more robustly than did IQ. Self-discipline also predicted which students would improve their grades over the course of the school year, whereas IQ did not.... Self-discipline has a bigger effect on academic performance than does intellectual talent.” – Charles Duhigg.

Why Thumsters?

Thumsters is more than just an app – it’s a parenting partnership. It’s designed to make positive recognition and reinforcement fun, engaging, and effective. And it WORKS. By using Thumsters, you’re not just managing behaviors; you’re nurturing a positive, encouraging environment for your child to thrive. It’s intentional parenting at its best. It has also been proven to work for building a habit, as well as breaking a habit!

Ready to Transform Your Parenting?

Get ready to see some pretty amazing changes in your household. Download Thumsters today and start creating positive behavior loops thatlead to happier, more confident kids, and connected, more peaceful homes. Let’s nurture their potential together, one positive loop at a time!

Download Thumsters now and be the super parent you’ve always wanted to be!

Other blog posts on positive behavior loops.

Book: The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do by Charles Duhigg.