As summer is officially underway in the Harris house, we are determined to enjoy every sun-kissed minute. A few weeks ago I posted about how I created a summer schedule for me and the kids to make sure that we have a balanced summer. You can check it out here if you missed it. But along with having a great summer schedule to go off of, I created a reward chart for Judah. I created his reward chart to highlight and reward behavior I want reinforced in a positive way. Summer seems like the perfect time to introduce this because I have more time with him than I do when he is in preschool during the school year. I also have a Reward Chart for you if you want it for your kiddos.
Why I decided to create a chart
The reasons I decided I needed to implement a chart for Judah were:
-I wanted a way to positively reinforce good behaviors
-I wanted to narrow my focus to 1 or 2 behaviors that I wanted to see growth and improvement in ie: respect for others, first time obedience
-I wanted to teach cause/effect relationships
-I wanted to teach responsibility and ownership of my child’s actions
-I wanted to reinforce the principle of delayed gratification
I will note that trying to reinforce too many behaviors at once most likely will not be as successful as focusing on a few behaviors. I selected 2 major behaviors that I wanted to see improvement in and focused heavily on those.
Ideas of rewards to use
The rewards I chose to implement are pretty big because I really wanted him to be motivated to work towards them. I knew that if the incentive wasn’t strong enough, then we both would give up halfway through the process. I’ve done this process twice with Judah. Here’s what I chose:
-a toy that is really desired but is too expensive for him to buy with his own money (in his case this was a Maui hook from target that was $25. He had seen in multiple times and each time talked about how much he wanted it. He also talked about it when we were at home which helped me determine that this was a true favorite)
-an experience or event that really interests your child (Judah is currently trying to earn movie tickets and a box of candy to Cars 3 when it comes out)
How I set it up
This is the pdf I created for his reward chart. I left room for you to write in their name, write what they are trying to earn, and then blanks for you to fill in what criteria and behaviors you will be focusing that will result in stickers.
For Judah to earn his Maui hook, I decided that he needed to earn 50 stickers. That is a lot of stickers. However, I decided to set my expectations high. It took him 3 weeks to earn his Maui hook but he felt encouraged by the daily progress he made which kept him motivated. I think visually seeing the stickers being placed on his chart helped. We also made a big deal about showing Daddy his chart every night after Jason got home from work.
How’s turned out
We have now done a full round of the reward chart, and we currently are on round 2. I wasn’t completely sure if Judah would stay motivated to complete his chart or if he would lose interest and motivation. I was pleasantly surprised to find that he talked about earning stickers daily, and we have seen a big improvement in the behavior areas that we choose to focus on.
This might be TMI but our poor guy has always struggled with going number 2. It has been a painful, unpleasant experience for him and me. One of the ways he could earn stickers was by 1. drinking a smoothie (I load it with fiber which has really helped him) and 2. by going number two. This has been such a relief to have positive reinforcement and has helped him get over his fear of going number 2.
Now that we are on round 2, I have upped the expectations. For example, the first time we did this I let him earn a sticker for completing his morning chores. However, now in round 2 his chores are a pre requisite to earning stickers that day. If he doesn’t do his chores, no stickers can be earned.
I’ve also added educational activities as opportunities to earn stickers this round. This way we can maximize our summer time and the best part is that he is choosing to do the flash cards and worksheets so I’m not in a battle with him. I love that when we do these educational activities he is choosing it which gives him buy-in. As a former teacher, I can tell you that buy-in and self motivation creates an atmosphere where the most meaningful learning can occur.
Do you use a reward system in your house? What works best for you? If you end up using these reward chart sheets, send me a comment and let me know how it goes. I’m pulling for you!
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