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  1. #1
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    Default Do you use a reward chart?

    DS ( 4 in October) is generally a good kid and I'm thinking of getting a reward chart for him, mainly so he can see what he's doing that is good/bad and then "earn" rewards like toys/books/ outings as I'm just giving them to him anyway ? DH is more old school as in he should be good anyway without expecting rewards - what do you think/do?

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    harvs's Avatar
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    Well, DS is too young obviously, but I use them in class with varying success. Although I see where you're coming from, I tend to see them as more useful for making small changes or eliminating specific behaviours, or learning organization skills/chores. In my experience, and as research supports, where boys are concerned, rewards need to be more immediate as the idea of a long-term goal/reward can be difficult for them to really comprehend at that age - so there would need to be something small everyday (ie special sticker, tattoo etc) leading up to the big thing.

    Could you tie it in with basic organization or chores, or does he do that well anyway?

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    Elijahs Mum  (22-08-2014)

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    Thanks Harvs, yeah he's pretty good with putting dishes in sink, brushing teeth, putting clothes away type stuff, he loves rules and structure so I'm thinking it's more so he can see that by doing good things he gets rewards and I'm guilty of buying him something every time we go shopping anyway so I thought this could be my excuse!

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    I tried them to combat particular behaviours, with little success due to what harvs mentioned - a long term reward was just too hard to grasp and I didn't want to be dolling out stickers, balloons etc...everyday

    Both my kids year one and two teachers used reward systems in class with great success though - so maybe I just sucked at it lol.

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    Elijahs Mum  (22-08-2014)

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    I've used them with DD since she was about 3 and made them very specific. Younger than that and she just didn't get it.

    The first chart was to eliminate her coming into our bed at 2-4am every night. The chart was "I slept in my bed all night" with a sticker each morning and a reward after 7.

    Then her charts have usually rewarded good listening, good helping and good packing away. I keep the rows 9-10 stickers long with a small reward at the end of a row (like you, things I would have bought anyhow, books, craft, a skipping rope etc) then a big reward at the end of the page, eg. Trip to the zoo, going to adventure world. It has worked really well in the past.

    I had stopped as she now has a chore chart with pocket money but we're struggling with some 6 year old "the world revolves around me and what I want" behavior issues at the moment, so I've brought the sticker chart back. It's only been a couple of weeks, so yet to say how well it's working.

    For me, I keep it all about rewarding positive behaviour. The unwanted behavior is dealt with separately. I never threaten (eg. do that and you won't get a sticker) or take away stickers after they are given.

    I have a friend and their DD's chart has 3 separate rows of positive behavior with a prize once all 3 are complete, plus a row of 'sad faces'. If the sad faces fill up then no prize. To me this just makes it so unattainable for the child. DD would just give up so I keep it shorter and simpler.

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    Elijahs Mum  (22-08-2014)

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    We've used them with DS1 (almost 4yo) for specific things such as toilet training and learning to sleep in his own bed. I personally wouldn't use them for just 'being good' as we use general praise, cuddles and the occasional treat etc to reinforce when he is doing something kind or good. I find also that if we specifically 'reward' him to much he thinks that's why he should do those things and that becomes the motivation instead of that it's the right thing to do. Like I'd ask him to do something and he started asking "if I do 'x' then what do I get?"

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    No, never. I think it's different in a classroom...they have 20 kids to control, I don't. I don't really like the concept of reward charts...if I get myself dressed and ready and out the door for work on time I get rewarded for not losing my job for tardiness. I don't get a little present at the end of the week for doing what I'm supposed to do. I always worried that with having more than one child that we would encourage the ones doing the right thing to start doing the wrong thing so they could also be rewarded for behaviours they know how to do anyway.
    I do tell my kids when I'm happy with the way they behaved...but there's no sticker charts, pocket money, or bribes in this house. They're just not parenting styles I wanted to adopt, and I don't know anyone that has used sticker charts long term with great success (except teachers in classrooms).

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    I use one to get the chores done, but my girls are older,5 &6. They have to tick off their chores morning and evening to earn max two stars a day each. A trip to the zoo costs $60 so they have to get 60 stars to earn a trip. Now they've reached 60, they want to work towards a membership!

    They love it. I made it fun, laminated a page and some badges with cute pictures of the chores, then attached the badges on velcro dots. They love ripping off the badges as they complete their jobs, then they get their sticker and fill up the chart again for the other half of the day.

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    Add: I used to have one for dd6 when she was 3, I had a page in a frame on the fridge. I was working on Ps and Qs so every time she used her manners, I'd make a big fuss of her and we'd put a sticker on the page. When she had lots of stars we'd organise a reward, I can't remember what it was but it didn't matter because she so enjoyed the fuss and the stickers lol

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    I've used them on and off, but only for working on a specific thing (i.e Toilet Training), I have come to the conclusion I don't really like them. As PP mentioned, you don't get rewards for doing every day living skills as an adult so I don't want the kids growing up thinking you get an external reward for expected behavior.

    I've never used one with DD, I did all my experimenting on the first child and abandoned them lol.

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