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Thread: reward charts - worth the effort to improve co-operation?

  1. #1

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    Question reward charts - worth the effort to improve co-operation?

    I'm thinking of making up a reward chart for DS1. I've got no idea where to start exactly, but that's not really the point of my post. I just want a realistic idea of what to expect ... is it even worth the effort, or do I continue with time out?

    DS1 has just turned 3. He's not what I'd call naughty, but he's becoming increasingly defiant. I know it's age appropriate, which is "excusable" to some extent. But I'm at the point where I think he should be cooperating with some fairly easy requests - pick up your toys or books, play nicely with your brother (as opposed to laying on top of him and/or restraining him by his hand or foot ). At 3, I would think they are capable of some logic - action/reaction; consequences? Maybe I'm expecting too much?

    Some of our bigger issues are trying to encourage him to go to the toilet (... don't get me started on toilet training, or lack of) and getting him to sleep the night through in his bed, rather than sneaking into mum and dad's bed nightly. I suspect these issues might be worthy of their own reward charts ... I should probably concentrate on the "easily achieveable" rewards first, huh?

    So tell me, do you use a reward chart and do you think it has a positive impact on your child's behaviour? What do you use as rewards?



    I'm not expecting a reward chart to bring about miracles and I certainly don't expect DS1 to behave every minute of the day - he is 3, after all - I'll pick my battles. But I'd love to be able to curb the rising streak of defiance and uncooperation.

    DH and I try to praise the good behaviour and ignore the bad behaviour ... but it's not always easy to do, and we find we're not 100pc consistent at various reasons. I thought a reward chart might be good for us as parents too - remind or encourage us to be more consistent.

    Hmmm ... just caught DS2 laying all over DS1. Revenge or reward chart x 2?

  2. #2

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    I am so slack with reward charts, they get started, but I never keep going with them. Occasionally the girls will remind me, but it always right in the middle of getting them to bed.

    I admire those that can get them to work.

  3. #3

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    Yeah Astrid, that's one of my concerns. I know if we go ahead with this we'll have to keep it up, even once the novelty wears off. I keep coming back to the word "consistency" ... with everything!

  4. #4

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    I think part of my problem was location and sticker choice.

    I should have had the chart hung on their bedroom wall, that way with the bedtime routine we could sticker the things they had done. Instead I had it hidden on the microwave in the kitchen and it was just a pain to drag out. I put it there as I was concerned my youngest would get hold of it and pull all the stickers off. I should not have worried about that.

    I stupidly gave them a choice of what sticker they wanted. So just giving them a sticker took forever. They would agonise over a group of stickers, which were exactly the same, just picking did they want the one at the top or half way down. I took all my energy not to scream "but they are all the same!! " . It just made it an unpleasant experience and makes me too frightened to go there again.

  5. #5

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    I first started using a reward chart with DD at about 3. It was basically 5 things that she needed to do each day - I changed them over time though. Things like - say 'ok mummy' when asked to do something - use you're manners - brush teeth after breakfast and dinner - make sure all clothes are in the washing basket - and smile when saying goodnight to mummy (instead of screaming the house down lol)

    I found that it did work quite well, I would always start to forget if it was just you'll get a sticker for doing the right thing. Its much easier to reward if you know what you are looking for. So if DD got a smilie face for each day of the week then she would get a sticker at the end - at least 3 out of 5 stickers at the end and she got to pick something out of the prize box (which is just dodgy cheap things I see when I am doing groceries, like stickers or plastic jewellary, etc) - if she got 5/5 I would let her pick something next time we were out.

    I recently changed the system for DD this year (she is 5 now) so that is matched in better with how the school rewards the kids - basically now we have a happy page and a sad page on the fridge - and a prize box. She needs 5 stickers on the happy page to get a prize - but she only gets a sticker for doing something that isnt already expected of her (like tidying her room herself, or still talking properly even when she wants to start chucking a wobbly). When she gets 10 stickers on the sad face - which can be for being rude, not following the rules, etc - I get to pick something of hers that she already has and put it in the prize box - and there is stays until she gets enough stickers to get it out again. Seems to be working a charm!

    I hope that helped!

  6. #6

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    Ash - yep, that helps me. Thanks
    Astrid - thanks too! Your experience reminds me there's more to stickers than just stickers!

  7. #7

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    We have a reward chart for ds who is 27 months. Started it about 6 weeks ago. Yes, i forget sometimes but also, yes i have noticed a change in his general behaviour.
    We have it in the kitchen - at our eye level but he can still see it (just not touch it). When he gets a star he gets to choose the colour and i lift him up so he can stick it on. At the end of the week (usually saturday night) we count up the stars and if he has reached his special number for that week then he gets a reward. The reward is currently a new book, it could also be that he gets to watch a movie, choose dinner, go to the park, a new toy, go swimming, have a play date, choose an activity like painting or play dough (which i usually save for daycare lol) etc.

    Currently he is getting rewarded for the following

    Brushing his teeth
    Having a nice bath (eg, not screaming the house down cause he doesnt want to get in or throwing bath toys at his sister)
    Playing nicely with Evie
    Tidying up his toys
    and then just generally if he does something really nice like share when friends come to play, helps me, etc

    He gets excited about it and sometimes i gently remind him that he can choose a star if things start to get difficult, like he is putting off brushing his teeth.

    It works but you really do have to be consistant with it.

  8. #8

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    We use reward charts for our boys. We have them taped to a door out of reach but in view of everybody.
    It has been simple things we need them to do- breakfast and go to kindy without fuss, get dressed without fuss, eat all their dinner, shower/ bed no fuss things like that.
    We use printable sheets and start with just a tick- no fuss with stickers to start.
    No its school holidays I will work out different things and for the older boy have a chore chart going Our boys make so much about everything at the moment we'd never get anything done if we didnt have the charts

  9. #9

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    We used them for awhile, had few general things that changed over time depending on the issues we were having. Some included eating meals nicely, tidying up, no hitting/ kicking.
    Then if they got a certain amount ticks at the end week they got a small prize, things like a kinder surprise or little bottle bubbles. We did find it helped with the behavious and also after time it sort of became routine.
    Now we don't need to use them as they know the routines, for example when dinner is nearly ready its time to start packing up their toys.

  10. #10

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    Default reward charts - worth the effort to improve co-operation?

    I use them all the time and they work a treat! U do need to be consistent and follow thru with the rewards at the end!!

  11. #11

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    I use one for DD1. I have been using it for a few months so definitely younger than 3 (she isn't 3 yet) and she definitely understands the actions and consequences thing so I have found it pretty effective. Yes it has had a positive impact.

    I use this as well as time out (the thinking corner) because they are for different things. Time out is for pulling her out of a situation where she is doing something unsafe, or repeatedly doing something I've asked her not to, hitting or biting etc. Where as the reward chart is for positive reinforcement for good choices i.e. listening, putting away toys, playing nicely with DD2, getting ready quickly. Also time out is mostly likely for things like hurting some one (i.e. biting mummy) where we can sit and talk about WHY we shouldn't do that and how it makes mummy feel, where as the reward chart is more for things that don't have such a tangible consequence that we can talk about IYKWIM and are more for 'nice to have' things.

    At the moment we've got a packet of stars stickers that are all the same so no deliberating there! We have different rows for different actions and when she gets 10 stars (10 from any row, doesn't have to be 10 'putting away toys' stars) she gets to pick a treat. We generally point out when she can have a star but she also sometimes tells us she should get a good listening star She is so funny, she has NO imagination when picking treats so she just says going to subway every time - we are trying to expand her treat options LOL.

    I think for the first 10 stars we made it pretty easy to achieve so she got the first reward and got what was going on. Then after that we tightened up the criteria a bit!

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