August Parenting Tip

For this month’s parenting tip, I am sharing my experience with behavior charts because of the success I have had. It’s not only a wonderful art project and creative activity to do together, but it will change your household for the better. My two toddlers are very well behaved, however like most moms, I sometimes wonder if I am talking to a brick wall. As soon as I implemented the behavior chart a few weeks back, the boys had an incentive to listen and to practice their manners, and helped create a better family environment. With fun stickers, markers and a little imagination, your little ones will get excited about their new chart and you will see a big difference in the atmosphere in your home.

Our chart is based on a ten point system where one point is rewarded for each demonstrated good behavior. The boys are allowed to pick from a variety of stickers to use and I let them place one on the chart when it is earned. Each week, I change the theme of the stickers to keep them excited. One week we did superheroes and the next, different color smiley faces. When they reach ten points, they are allowed a special, tasty treat. This could mean a trip to the ice cream store or McDonalds, or an extra dessert or special treat at home. I prefer to reward their behavior with food as opposed to toys since in my experience, I have found that their motivation was based on material things vs. doing the right thing. Interestingly enough, they see the food as a great reward and incentive, however care more about getting the actual points, which is the whole “point”! My kids get so excited when they get a point and love to count how many stickers they have multiple times a day. It’s actually been quite educational for them which is an added bonus! Seeing my children behave is wonderful but witnessing how proud they are when they do something right is priceless.

What makes my chart system a bit different is that when I find my children are not behaving, points can be taken away. This reward and discipline system really helps a child focus on what the consequences of their actions are, good and bad. I have noticed that my boys are now stopping to think before acting, and I will often hear, “Mommy, I will lose a point if I don’t make a good choice, right?” That makes me one proud momma! Some examples of when a point might be given is for sharing, caring, helping, listening, going to bed on time, putting clothes in the hamper, saying please and demonstrating other manners, etc. Some examples of when a point might be taken away is if Mommy has to ask multiple times for a task to be done, not listening, not sharing, fighting, hitting, being disrespectful, saying bad words, etc. Getting to ten points is not an easy task and in my opinion, it should be challenging but attainable. I give the boys one week to reach their goal and if they do not succeed, then we start all over for the next week.

Here is one of our charts which my kid’s helped make:

Keep Mommy Masters informed as to the progress your child is making with his/her new chart! If you have other ideas for behavior charts that work for your family, please share with Mommy Masters.

Together, we can master motherhood!