Repeated Warnings, Yelling? Time to Change Your Approach, It’s Easy!
- Use simple language
- Be clear in identifying the behavior(s) you want changed and your reward
- Reward should be something to look forward to and get child excited about
- Use visuals to reflect that
- Stay positive and consistent and let the chart do the talking
- Make promises (rewards) you can keep and that are convenient for you as well
- You or your child, depending on his/her age and experience, can mark the chart with checks, stickers, or stars to track his/her achievement of the behavior goals.
Get enthusiastic for yourself and your child, and construct a behavior chart using repetition and rewards. Give it a try with our four-step approach and let us know how it goes.
- Identify behavior(s) that you would most like to change in your child’s life. For example, sitting down to dinner, preparing for school in the morning, completing homework can all be stressful for busy families. Once you have identified the behavior(s) you want to change, sit down with your child and write the desired behaviors simply and clearly on a piece of paper that can easily be displayed in your home.
- Draw a visual representation of the behavior. This activity will help your child understand the desired behavior. Additionally, it will provide a great opportunity for you to model and engage your child in reading, writing, drawing, and language skills. Don’t worry if you struggle with the drawings or the words. This is a chance to model behavior for coping with frustration and teach your child that making mistakes is encouraged, natural, and acceptable. In this current pressure cooker atmosphere that is an important lesson to learn.
- Decide on the reward. Empower your child by allowing him/her to be part of this decision. The reward must be something motivating to your child. The most meaningful reward is often spending time with you. Decide on a favorite activity, such as playing a board game, visiting a new playground, or a small toy.
- Decide on the criteria for receiving the reward. It will depend on your child’s age and abilities. Perhaps in the morning, he/she is expected to brush their teeth, get dressed, and wear their backpack. The child will receive a reward after completing these activities a desired number of times. The amount of times needed would depend on your child’s current ability. Make sure the behavior is challenging but attainable.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will the behavior change right away?
Don’t dwell on failures. Stay calm and consistent. Praise your child for his/her successes. Remind your child, “it is your choice” whether to behave in a manner that will result in the reward. Once your child achieves the reward, you can increase the expectations or create new behaviors and rewards.
Will my child enjoy the chart?
If you are positive and enthusiastic about the chart and the reward, then it is likely your child will enjoy the process and find success.
We can help. Call 917-757-7271 or visit TeamEsteem website for more information about the work we do.