The use of behavior charts in children is important because they motivate the children and help them in the elimination of negative behaviors. They can also help children keep track of chores, reading and homework. Also the use of chore charts and a weekly activity planner can help your family get organized.
The following are some tips before using the charts:
> Make it a positive activity
The chart is supposed to bring out positive behaviors and discourage negative behaviors. You can involve the children in making the chart or giving input regarding the behaviors or chores that should be included. The children can also be given an opportunity to choose the rewards. Your child will not respond to the chart if he or she doesn’t like the reward, when the child is involved, they will work toward achieving the goal.
Once you decide to use a chart, make sure you follow through. In case the chart is a weekly chart, finish through the week. If it is a monthly chart, finish through the month. Give the chart at least one month before giving up on it. Being consistent will pass a message to the children that they have to keep up with the chart.
> Hang the chart where it is easily visible
The chart can be placed in the kitchen or bedroom and it should always be put back in the same spot every day after filling it out.
> Have realistic expectations
For your chart to be a success, make sure that you set realistic expectations for your child or the chart will become a frustrating experience. Avoid also filling the chart with too many expectations as these will overwhelm the child. You can target one chore or behavior at a time. Do not expect the child to turn into your version of a perfect child instantly. Focus on just one behavior or chore and stick with that goal until it is reached.
> Don’t expect instant success
Remember that your child is not perfect and they will have days that are more difficult than others. You need therefore to emphasize the positive and make it a success if your child succeeds a few days out of seven. Make sure to recognize the child’s achievements even if she or he does not seem to be doing as well as you had hoped.
> Pick behaviors that are easy to track
Be specific in your expectations and make sure that your child clearly understands what is expected. Avoid general and subjective expectations that may be difficult to track.
> Express the desired outcomes in a positive language
To stop negative behaviors, you can avoid focusing on what you want your child to stop doing. Instead focus on what you want them to start doing in relation to the bad behavior.
> Avoid stress
You need to be a role model to your child if you want them to be on good behavior. Keep calm and centered so that you can teach your child to learn to respect themselves and the chart system.
Finally, there are various sticker charts that can be created to help in child behavior. Some of the charts are single charts which are best used if you want your child to work on one new skill at a time. Multiple charts are used for parents who have trouble with morning or evening routines, and can be used for multiple routines that are done on the same day and at different times. Chore charts will help you establish a chore schedule for your child. The final chart you can use is the homework progress chart which is intended to track your child’s homework–related tasks.