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    Default 'Reward' for a nearly 4yo (going on 14!!)

    My son turns 4 in June. He's gorgeous, amazing and wonderful AND he is completely doing my head in.

    I'm thinking about adopting a rewards chart to manage some of his developmentally appropriate but totally-driving-me-batty-behaviours.

    I'm wondering though....how many days is best before we offer a reward, 3, 5, 7...something different?

    And, what's an appropriate reward?

    How big/small should these rewards be? I guess I am just scared about offering something too excessive and how this might influence his expectations around 'getting stuff'? But at the same time I need the reward to be motivating enough.

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    Default 'Reward' for a nearly 4yo (going on 14!!)

    What I know from my training and educating boys:

    Boys at 4 most likely won't have enough sense of 3 or 5 days unless there is a smaller daily reward as well. Even better to chop it into before lunch/before bed at first. So, reinforce often and then expect longer periods of whatever behaviour it is.

    You can differentiate between behaviour to stop and behaviour to start. It is easier to reward for behaviour to start (I think? Memory is a bit hazy here). So for example, start brushing teeth before bed without nagging - immediate reward.

    Some suggestions for smaller rewards:

    Tattoos (obviously fake ones!)
    Ten minutes extra before bed
    Treasure box etc

    Every time he earns a reward you could put a counter or something in a jar and he can save up for bigger rewards. You can count them together every night.

    I would let him negotiate what those rewards are. Often when kids can choose bigger rewards, they seem to involve special one on one times with parents rather than gifts.

    If he can articulate what he might like, he will have a bigger stake in it. Same goes with setting up the rewards chart - let him make it, colour it, choose the stickers etc.

    The best advice I can offer though is just pick one behaviour to stop and start at a time. Work on that, then move on. And be extremely specific about your expectations. 'Listen better' means less to a child than 'earn a reward if mummy and daddy only have to ask once for you to xyz'.

    Sorry I'm trying to be quick :-) hope that makes sense, isn't all glaringly obvious.

    ETA I'm feeling your pain re boys who then 4 soon!

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    Albert01  (01-05-2016)

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    A rewards chart works well for my DS who is a bit younger, just turned 3. I use it for teeth brushing, being gentle with the cats and other random stuff like when he puts his plates in the dishwasher, rubbish in the bin etc.

    I do stickers (he's really into stickers) and he gets to choose which one he wants to put on. Usually when he gets 5 or so I give him a Thomas mini train. They're $2 each from big W in packets and he gets so excited by them, keeps them all in a box and lines them up. I also keep other random stuff like sticker/colouring books that I use occasionally as a reward for good behaviour. I find it works really well, he doesn't expect anything and is still excited when he gets a "surprise". He's still little though so stickers still excite him a lot and I don't really do food rewards at all. Other "rewards" I use are impromptu trips to the park, a new box of his toys (I rotate them and pack half away and change them in tubs every few weeks) or a a fun activity like getting a tub of water and putting all his cars through the "car wash".

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    Albert01  (01-05-2016)

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    Great idea! subbing. My 4yo ds has turned evil. Laughs when told off. Does opposite of what you say. He needs a chart!

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    Following, I keep threatening to get a reward chart!

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    We've introduced a sticker chart for our 4yo DS. It includes tasks such as cleaning teeth, putting his school/daycare bag away, packing his toys up at night. Originally, it was once he got 20 stickers, we would take him to Toys R Us and he could choose a toy, however, he negotiated to 40 stickers then to 52 stickers...that was one argument I let him win 😂

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    Albert01  (01-05-2016)


 

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