I have never been a “chore chart” person. I love the idea and as organized as I am, it seems to me that I of all people should have one, but I don’t. That may change as my kids get a bit older but for us right now, I’m just not that into it.
I prefer a different method of using chartS--REWARD CHARTS!
Years ago, as an elementary school teacher, I kept a large glass jar on my desk and a massive roll of tickets in my top drawer. Every time I caught someone doing something good—helping another student, picking up trash, working diligently, etc. I let them know that I was writing their name on a ticket and tossed it in the jar.
On Fridays, I plunged my hand into the jar and drew 5 names for super fun little prizes to honor the great attitudes, acts of kindness, and stellar work ethic of my students. My 6th graders LOVED it! And so did I!
As a mom, I think this method of fostering positive actions and encouraging my kids is just as effective! One mom recently shared that for her young kids, she was taking a change in their behavior one hour at a time. She set up a reward chart to help one particular little one just for the first two hours of their morning time together. If her son was successful in keeping his hands to himself and not hitting his little brother, he got to put a sticker on the chore chart! After just a few days, she saw a radical change in him! It was far more effective than all the punitive punishments, lectures, and time outs she had tried before. Eventually, she implemented the chart for the two hours leading up to dinner time too!
Here are a few reward charts you can print for free:
Try this FREE REWARD CHART--love the generic colorful design!
If I had a daughter, I would use this Princess Reward Chart (free printable)!
This chart comes in both Super Girl and Super Boy designs! My boys would love it!
This “I Caught You Being Good Jar” is the same idea I used in my classroom!
Another mom friend, Alexis, tried something similar recently. I love her simple chart she made for her kids. Here’s what she had to say about it:
“I wanted to share this in here- our new "100 Chart". It's a tool for positive reinforcement that my kids have been loving. Instead of specific chore or behaviors whenever my kids do something positive they get a sticker..using an inside voice instead of shouting, cleaning up, helping with a sibling, getting ready quickly etc. It has been a very good tool in my house! And when the chart is filled they get the reward at the bottom! I'm not consistent enough so chore and behavior charts have always failed me but this format has been great!”
You can even make your own basic layout and set out stickers, glitter and glue, crayons etc. to let your kids decorate the border of their own reward chart—when kids get excited about this fun new reward chart, they are even more motivated to do the right thing!
If you are struggling with a particular behavior or attitude and the cycle of frustration seems to never end, try this approach of positive reinforcement instead. Be upbeat and excited about it! Make a big deal of right actions and don’t freak out when they fail—keep emphasizing the behavior you want to see and honor them when they make progress! Fit the reward to your child’s personality and preferences and keep it achievable so they don’t want to give up! You and your children will find that dwelling on the right and good things you see in one another can change the entire tone of your home—and your relationship!
(P.S. We NEVER remove a sticker or take away a reward they have earned! That would be super discouraging and defeat the purpose of reinforcing positive behavior. Kids will give up trying if the fun and positive vibe of the reward chart becomes punitive and negative.)