P.M. asks from Highland, IN on December 10, 2010
I want to start a rewards chart of some kind. I've been doing some researching and was wondering if anyone does it and what exactly is entailed. I have a 14 month old, 2 yr old and a 4 yr old so I'm looking something fairly simple. Not sure if I should do chart/stars or like a jar thing with their name on it and add or take away to the jar, etc.
Any advice, tips or good websites?
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S.H. answers from Honolulu on December 10, 2010
14 months old is young.
the 2 and 4 year old can get it.
All I did was... used 2 paper plates. On one I drew a happy face. On the other a sad face. For each one, per my kids' behavior, I would make a tally mark. It also teaches them how to count.
Then I would explain it.
They liked it.
It worked for a time. Then kids get desensitized to it. So then you have to try something else.
Marbles in a jar. taking one away with each infraction etc.
It does not have to be complicated. The easier the better.
Bear in mind, that kids under 5 years old, do not yet have FULL impulse-control developed yet. But they do understand... mentally.
Your kids are young.... they do not yet read... so, anything used should be visual... and EASY SIMPLE to understand.
Just make your own.
I did not and do not... give treats or 'rewards.' Otherwise a child will then EXPECT (because they have been taught this), that every time they do something nice, they are supposed to get a treat. That is not the lesson in it. For me, I just give praise, a high-five... a hug. I tell my kids "good job."
Once in awhile for exceptional things... which they do ON their OWN volition... I do, reward them with something. But not always materially.
all the best,
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C.B. answers from Kansas City on December 10, 2010
i used something similar when my (now) 4 year old was about 2 - he did "chores"; brush teeth, go potty, feed the fish, etc. before we could leave in the morning. each was represented by a picture, and he could X out each as he did them. when he got them all he didn't get a prize or anything, but he knew he was done with his chores. it worked great to jump-start him on daily chores.
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M.M. answers from Chicago on December 11, 2010
When my son was 4, we started a simple chart on his door. I bought one of those big calendars from a school supply store:
and days of the week numbers to tape on it. The ones I purchased were double sided... one side has a star... the other turns the star into a SHOOTING star with a rainbow. Every day, my son has the opportunity to earn a shooting star with his behavior. A small sticker chart next to the calendar gives him the opportunity to earn 5 stickers a day, based on simple tasks (brushing teeth, putting clothes in the hamper, etc.) If he has earned his 5 stickers that day AND been what I consider to be a "Good" boy, he earns his shooting star. There are many opportunities for prizes, praise with this. Because it's subjective, to a degree, you can make the tasks whatever you choose that day... the sticker chart:
can be a way to earn a big prize.. we use it to earn rides on the metra train. (we use one that requires 30 stickers to be "full".) Also, earning multiple shooting stars in a row can be another kind of prize (3 stars in a row = ice cream or a special treat.) It's totally up to you and whatever fits your family. This has been very successful in our family. My son really looks forward to filling up his charts with stickers. Plus, the kids can pick out stickers they like, to make it more personal.
You have to stay consistent with it so they don't lose interest! But we've been doing it for nearly a year and it's still going strong in our house. Good luck!
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B.K. answers from San Francisco on December 10, 2010
A simple one is each week put a coloured piece of paper with the days of the week on it on the fridge.Have an age appropiate chat with him about what deserves a reward and what doesn't. I would try the four year old first and then the two year old can join in when ready,
At the start of the week decide with them what the reward will be.Try to not always make it a materialist reward.
It could be ,washing the care with Mum/Dad ,a trip to the beach,an icecream ,
trip to cinema with either parent etc.
Each good day put a tick beside it ,in his company.
Each not so good day,no tick.
He needs 7 ticks to get the reward.
If he has a really good day he can gain back a lost tick for that week.
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K.R. answers from Chicago on December 11, 2010
My daughter has a jar of "stones" (pretty glass stones or it could be marbles) and my grandsons (ages 4 and 6) earn stones for good behavior and lose them for bad behavior. At the end of the week, the boys can use their stones to "buy" small toys and treats from the "store". This is a bin in which my daughter has placed small toys and candy from the dollar store. There are some larger things that "cost" more stones and if the boys want that, they must save up their stones. I think this teaches about money management as well as rewarding their good behavior.
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S.H. answers from Chicago on December 12, 2010
We do jars and marbles :) It seems to work well, I have a list posted of simple tasks and how many each task is worth. Once they get to the line on teh jar, they get $5. I do this for my 5 and 7 year old, have not started it for my 2 year old yet, I don't think he is quite old enough to grasp the concept. But, it works well for my older two. Once they have earned the marbles, they do not get taken away. I don't think that once they have earned something that it should be taken away, this could discourage them from wanting to earn the marbles if they can just get taken away. I do time outs and taking favorite things away for bad behaviors after warnings.
Good luck :)
K.S. answers from Chicago on December 13, 2010
I've done both with my son. He made his own star chart by making rows of lines that he would put his stars on at the end of the day if he had a good day. We went over what type of behavior would mean no star for the day and he got it. The rows were good because if he filled up a whole row, he got a small prize (such as watching a movie or some sort of special treat). That kept it going to him because it was smaller rewards more often. Then when he filled in his whole chart, he got a big reward, such as a special day out with just mom or a new toy that he really was wanting.
We started a marble jar with my 4 and 2 year olds when they did something nice or special with their siblings. We were getting into some issues with sharing and being too rough, so this was a positive way to get them to think about sharing and being more gentle. It has worked well. They each got to choose up front what the big prize would be at the end of filling up their respective jars and now when they do something nice or share with each other, they point it out and I give them a bead to put in their jar. They really like putting the beads in themselves and hearing it clink with the other beads.
Also, I agree that taking beads or stars away is not a good idea. Keep them both as positive reinforcement and use punishment (taking toys away, time out, no TV, etc.) when they do something wrong. They should learn the consequences of their behavior, but I like to think of the star charts and bead jars as just focusing on their good behavior.