My teen daughters grew up with a plethora of reward charts (I liked to switch them up) but I’ve somehow neglected to implement a system for the younger two.
My five year old son has an aversion to brushing his teeth. And if that isn’t enough, he also doesn’t like to dress himself in the mornings :(
On week-ends he’s often still in his PJ’s at lunch time (don’t judge. I got SO tired of listening to myself nagging at him that I wanted to take the week-ends off)!
I’ve recently been obsessed with homeschooling blogs and I stumbled upon this post about a reward chart. There’s a link to a PDF file to print out everything you need to get started and it’s FREE!
The reward system isn’t difficult to set up and it’s easy to implement. Most importantly, it provides the necessary “ingredients” to inspire change in little people.
We’ve been using the reward chart for a week and it has transformed our morning and bed-time routines. What a difference!
The system is simple but effective.
How it works
When the kids complete a chore they turn the card over and place a ticket in that card’s pocket. If they get the maximum number of tickets for the day, they get to add a sticker to their reward card. When the reward card is filled, they get to pick a special treat (e.g. a visit to the ice-cream store).
While they work on their reward cards they also get to save their tickets and exchange them for a special privilege (we decided that 15 tickets was a good trade). I let my kids come up with the privileges (within reason) because I wanted them to get excited about the process. Examples include an extra bed-time story, staying up an extra 20 mins, 15 minutes on the iPod and watching a TV show.
The kids can bypass the special privilege and choose to keep saving their tickets if they want to pick a prize from the prize box instead (requires 25 tickets).
Proof that it works
Not only are the kids now ready for school on time but bedtime is a breeze. I also don’t have to remind them (several times!) to return their snack boxes to the kitchen and put away their shoes and jackets in the closet when they get home from school.
One of my pet peeves has been the consistent complaining at dinner time – no matter what I cook. It’s been driving me nuts! My 8 year old hasn’t complained about the dinner menu for a whole week! It may not seem like much but this a BIG deal in our home.
My five year old needs a bit more time, but I’m confident that he too shall learn :)
It grows with your family
It’s easy to continuously tweak the system so that it grows with your child.
Once your child masters the daily routine and it becomes a force of habit, you can switch things up by slowly increasing the level of responsibility required for the chores. I’ve already printed some of the chores I plan to implement for the next stage :)
Encouraging good behaviour/character traits
In addition to the chore cards, I’ve also included some visual reminders of how we should conduct ourselves around others. Some members of our family struggle with concepts like sharing and using kind words ;)
Finally, if the kids complete all their chores and behave extraordinarily well, they are rewarded with a Best Bee-haviour card. They get to trade this in for a bonus special privilege. These are very special cards and I plan to use them sparingly because they require a SUPER DUPER awesome attitude AND good behaviour all. day. long.
If you struggle with daily routines or find yourself constantly nagging your kids to get things done, this reward chart will inspire change in your home. The key is to tailor the chores and rewards so that they meet your family’s individual challenges.
I bought my blue wall chart from My Gifted Child but you can also find them here on Amazon. There are also examples of how to use the chart without the blue wall pocket on the original post here. Just follow the link to get started.
If you want to include and use the character trait cards, send me a quick email and I’ll send you the file :)
Do you use a reward system in your home? I’d love to hear about it.