Reward charts, sometimes also known as behaviour charts, are listings used to track and organises house activities in order to teach values and discipline to children of different ages.
The basic form incorporates a particular positive behaviour to be achieved (the goal), combined with granular actions that reinforce the demonstration of such behaviour.
Parents can choose simple actions like “say thanks” or “say please“, or sometimes age-appropriate chores like “set the table” or “make the bed“.
Here is a simplified example of how a reward chart can be used to stimulate a consistent bedtime routine:
To track progress using the chart it is possible to use ticks, happy/sad faces, or even stickers to make it super visual.
Finally, a reward is also to be set by parents and children together in order to generate the appropriate motivation to reach the expected goal.
General tips and tricks
- Be positive
Don’t phrase the goal as something negative like “stop leaving your bedroom a mess”; a positive version of that could be “have a nice and tidy bedroom”.
- Be realistic!
Children need time to change their behaviour and they also need (no pun intended) baby steps in order to hit these goals.
- Be creative!
Getting the same reward over and over again is a guaranteed recipe for failure in the long run.
- Be consistent!
When a reward is set, make sure your children cannot get the same reward in other ways. For example, if the reward is to go to the swimming pool but they will go with the neighbours whenever they decide to go, the effect of the reward is lost.
- Be timely!
Children probably will lose interest in the activities and reward if they have to do something hundreds of times before receiving the reward.
- Be visual!
Kids are visual learners and naturally curious. You can stick pictures related to their behaviour or the reward to make the chart more attractive to them.
For a more detailed guide, we have also published a more comprehensive text explaining how to use reward charts effectively with children.
Ready to start?
To help you start off on the right foot, here are some suggestions of reward chart templates for you: