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Reward charts - will they work for older kids?
(Scroll down to get your own reward chart for kids.)
Using reward charts for kids - older kids in particular - is different than using these handy behavior charts for younger kids. The key to reward chart usage for older children is to involve them in the process. Don't just tell them what to do, post a reward chart and expect life to suddenly run smoothly.
But you already knew that, didn't you?
What you're probably looking for is some muscle in your reward chart usage. Honestly to get that, you'll need to try these (and other) ideas and be flexible. Parenting is not always - or even often - straightforward.
Print this reward
chart for younger kids or this older kids reward chart (Requires a PDF
file reader such
as Adobe Acrobat Reader).
Reward charts for kids - beefing them up a bit.
There are two reward charts featured on this page.
Sit down with your printed reward charts for children - and your child - and discuss the behaviors or chores you want to see completed or improved upon.
- For older kids, you'll want to choose the correct chart; the chart displayed to the right.
Explain why it's important in your family for this to happen.
Show examples from your own life (you can easily use your own behaviour reward charts for a couple of weeks and show them to your child as an excellent picture of what you're talking about) and those of people you want your kid to admire revealing the value of these behaviors or chores. (Here are more ideas on using chore charts effectively.)
Listen to your kid's concerns about this process. Be understanding but firm. Encourage your child to tell you examples of good behavior that he sees are important, or chores that he knows are vital to a smooth running household.
Then discuss the rewards part of the reward chart. I have to tell you, I don't have a problem with rewards! The adult world runs off of rewards (think paychecks). However, does this reward system run perfectly for either adults or kids? Of course not. Therefore work towards a balance between your child earning her rewards on her chart and also understanding that improved personal responsibility is what you're after here and the rewards are a help to keep her on track while moving forward.
And after saying all this heavy stuff to your child, end with the fact that a great way to do all of this is to make behavior improvement and chore time a game, whenever possible. And reward charts can certainly help focus on the fun (rewards) part of this process.
This is different from using a toddler reward chart. In that case there is very little discussion because you are doing far more guiding of your child as opposed to encouraging an older child to be working on self-control and guiding himself.
You've probably figured out that what we're really working on here, as parents, is teaching our older kids the invaluable skills of goal-setting and goal-getting. That's a skill that lots of adults could use help with and a child who can grasp the power of goals will excel in many areas of life.
Reward charts. Your new best friend.
And like all friendships, this one will only deliver as much as you choose to put into it. If you could use more concrete information about this type of success-oriented parenting, I strongly recommend you look into Brian Tracy's program How to raise happy,
healthy, self-confident children. It's a winner.
Mom or Dad, get even more ideas on reward charts, printable chore lists and related info by looking around this site.
Colleen Langenfeld is a mother with over 29 years of parenting experience and helps other busy moms around the globe at www.paintedgold.com.
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