Rewarding people for good behaviour rather than punishing them for bad behaviour results in cooperation. This is based on research by David Rand, a researcher from Harvard University.I’d like to think that it’s on this basis that reward charts were made.
A reward chart is a tool,used by parents to encourage good behaviour in children.Say maybe you want them to make their bed every morning,or clean up after themselves,every time they accomplish the task you have set out for them,they get a sticker.You then agree that after they accumulate a certain number of stickers, they get a reward.
The reward could be anything from a trip to the animal orphanage to getting them a toy or a book that they’ve always wanted.The goal is to make them do these things consistently to a point where it becomes natural to them.
Reward charts work, but only with the right incentives and structure. When it comes to parenting,there’s a thin line between rewarding and bribing.You need to be keen about rewarding only for good behaviour,as opposed to rewarding the avoidance of bad traits.By this I mean,you could give a reward for the child watering a plant daily,but getting them a bar of chocolate so that they don’t cause a tantrum at the supermarket is more of a bribe.
Remember,you, the parent, are in control.Rewards are not bargained for,but only handed out once you’re satisfied by the progress made.
Also,they are not magic tools. You still need to stick to schedules of meal time and sleep time and the normal household rules. Be keen to always appreciate your child for every milestone achieved and further explain how their new positive habit has impacted their life positively where possible.
Some tips on how to use the reward charts successfully
1. Be very specific about the tasks.
For example,instead of writing out a task as “keep your room tidy”, you can try more specific tasks like “make your bed, fold your clothes, put the dirty clothes in the laundry basket”
2. Start with two or three tasks.
If you set out to change so many tasks,it may be difficult to follow through and track progress for both you and the child
3. Agree on the reward with the child.
Decide together what it takes to earn a sticker,and how many stickers are needed to earn a reward. This way you’re both accountable to each other
4. Be consistent
Remember you’re trying to form new positive habits in replacement of the negative ones. You need to stay the course and not tire until the goal is reached
5. Plan to phase it out
Once there’s consistency in the changed behaviour, express to your child that you’re proud of them and that they don’t need the chart anymore.Keep in mind that you’re trying to make them build a positive habit that mustn’t only be done when there’s a promise of a reward.
Check out the reward charts available here
Here is how to set up and use the reward chart
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