Are Reward Charts a Good Idea?

Are Reward Charts a Good Idea?
We all want to ensure our kids feel positively reinforced when they have done well, and reward systems can play an essential role in doing just that. Could there already be the perfect solution? Let’s set our children on an angelic course towards the best behaviour, with plenty of smiles for company. Join Jaques, as we ask the question, are reward charts a good idea?
How To Reward Children
For many, reward charts are a lifesaver when it comes to inspiring good behaviour. Evidence suggests that positive reinforcement works much more effectively than any other method. Reward charts, as the name suggests, can be an effective tool to support children in visualising when their good behaviour matches up with the reward system in place.
Do Reward Charts Work?
What is clear, is that there is overwhelming evidence to suggest that sticker charts can offer vital support to encouraging better behaviour in kids. When issues arise, reward charts provide a tangible way of showing the consequences of good and bad behaviour. Used correctly, having reward charts in the home can have added benefits like instilling confidence and self-worth in your little ones.

So, just how do you use a reward chart for kids?
The How
  1. Use Stickers – Using stickers is a great way to get your child exciting about interacting with their own chart. Doing so adds to the feeling of reward and will create a more positive mentality around good behaviour.

  2. Be Clear – Both the reward and the goal your kids are trying to achieve should be firmly set. Little ones are masters of bending the rules. So, be sure to be exact. Otherwise, you may end up over or under-rewarding your child's progress.

  3. Make sure that your reward is one that your child wants and one that remains achievable. There is no point dangling a carrot on a stick if it can never be reached. Children of the chart are sure to lose interest if they feel defeated in their best efforts. So, make sure that the goal is not too large and that the reward is, well, rewarding.

  4. Let them take control. Ownership over their own progress also acts as a back-up to all the rewards your child is hopefully earning. Whether ticking boxes or sticking with success, let your kid be the ruler of their own sticker chart display.

  5. Remain as positive about the chart as you can. By remaining positive, children will start to feel more accomplished in the positive behaviour itself. In the long run, this provides the ideal way to slowly wean kids away from the chart and towards intricately better behaviour.

The Pitfalls
Done, right, it is clear that behaviour reward charts are a fantastic tool for guiding youngsters towards a better understanding of right and wrong. But, there are some hurdles to watch out for when rewarding your kids: 
  1. Always avoid making the reward too large. Instead, ensure that the reward is in-keeping with the behaviour they are being rewarded for.

  2. Avoid being vague with what you are rewarding your little ones for.

  3. Don't use the reward chart to directly inspire good behaviour. Making it an instant fix for good behaviour will remove its fun and worth to tiny tinkers.

  4. Make sure it isn't boring. Colour, stickers and interactivity are a must!

  5. Avoid inconsistency – Consistency is king when it comes to knowing how to reward children. Your reward chart should follow the same principle. By remaining consistent, you will be able to reinforce the value of good behaviour, with greater success.

Bespoke Blessings
One of the major benefits of using reward sticker charts is that they give children the opportunity to engage directly with their own behaviour. As such, make sure that your reward chart design is one your child will enjoy. Better still, why not make your own reward chart? Whether being perfect for princesses or delightful for dinosaurs, a personalised reward chart is a great way to keep a smile on the whole family's face.

When discussing how to reward children, sticker charts for toddlers are a proven method for instilling consistently positive behaviour. For more wonderful learning resources and parenting tips, pay a visit to our Mini Minds Hub – Your number one source of fun and education for children.
Ben Williamson
Creative Writer
Ben is passionate about Montessori learning for children and has written for many parenting publications to bring the magic of real play to families in the UK. After graduating in 2009, his career has enabled him to work in areas such as Child Development and Psychology. As a great believer that learning starts at home, he combines his experience with his own parenting style to help bring other families together.

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