Using Reward Charts - Hints and Tips

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Reward charts:

  1. Help parents so they do not need to rely on punishment as a means of discipline.
  2. Offer a structured system to manage discipline and give clear boundaries to the child.
  3. Are fun and flexible - Use them in a way that works for you and your child.
  4. Teach children to take responsibility for their own behaviour.

    * Reward charts are suitable for older toddlers and children.

    * Your child must understand what behaviour is expected of them.

    * Be realistic. Make sure that you are not expecting too much as your child will get disheartened. Start off at a level where it is easy for your child to achieve rewards, then slowly increase the expectations.

    * Determine what behaviour(s) you want to address. If there are several issues, try to focus on them individually. Perhaps prioritise which behaviour should be tackled first.

    * Be consistent. If you show a loss of interest in the chart your child is likely to be less motivated.

    * When your child completes a chart you could offer them a special treat. This doesn't have to be sweets or money. It could be a certificate or special sticker. Why not let your child choose tomorrows evening meal, invite a friend round or perhaps they could suggest a family outing.

    * Don't forget to use plenty of smiles, kisses, hugs, and praise as well as rewarding with stickers.

    * Be positive. Instead of saying “don't jump about”, try saying “please sit down nicely”. Then it's easier to give recognition and praise for the good behaviour.

    * Be specific about the behaviour you want to change. “Be Good” or “Behave” is too vague.

    * If the reward chart isn't working or stops working you may need to adjust the way you are using it. Make sure it maintains the childs interest.

    * Take some stickers with you when you go out so that you are still able to reward good behaviour outside the home. Children are very proud of wearing a sticker on their jumper.

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