As long as i can remember i have been keeping a reward chart for each child. In fact so much has changed between my first chart and where we are now. Lots and lots of modifications in between and we are finally here using out Melissa & Doug reward chart with magnetic board. ( Available at TAKEALOT)
What i love about this board is it reusable – firstly. So no more copies upon copies and endless designing or searching for the perfect and most interesting find.
What i came to discover too is that my daughter (6 years old) actually learnt so many math concepts through arranging and rearranging all the reward magnets – creating patterns, graphs, adding them, subtracting them and so on. This was incidental and much to my amazement.
With regard to the actual functionality of a reward chart in general i realised that the best way to make the idea of having one work for you is to keep it real and keep it simple.
By real i mean its important to set rules/limits in your household which are non negotiable. Dont include these in your chart as the kids DO NOT and SHOULD NOT need to be rewarded for rules in your home that shouldn’t be broken. E.g TV time in the evenings are allowed only if you complete all your homework on time. (TV time is already the reward for completing their homework and this is a non negotiable rule). Remember it is their “choice” not to get tv time since they have chosen not to complete their homework.
However areas and habits that you wish to encourage your child to partake in or complete are necessary to include in the reward chart like setting the dinner table or packing away their toys. Until you find they are actively participating regularly you can continue to reward their efforts.
We focus on rewards being outings or activities. Painting or crafting rather than shopping. It creates a sense on importance in the child by spending that quality time doing something special.
Keeping your reward chart simple and straightforward makes keeping up with it far easier for both parent and child. Tasks are simple like setting the dinner table or brushing ones teeth. Easily achievable in other words and very important is to reward the child on completion of the task. And not later on. Remember that young children do not have concept of time and rewarding them later would make them feel unaccomplished.