Discussions about child behavior, while valuable, can become generalizations about behavior change, rather than discussing the specifics about individualized tools to change behavior. It begs the question “what behavior change tools are out there?”
Fundamentally a Token Economy is a form of behavior modification whereby tokens are rewarded for appropriate behavior and the tokens may be cashed in for valued rewards. It can be a great way to improve behavior… positively!
Behavior modification is an easy concept to grasp, but it tends to be much more difficult to actually put the techniques into practice. Examples of behavior modification techniques include timeout, positive reinforcement, modeling, positive discipline and loss of privileges.
However, give it the best shot to make your reward chart work…be positive, committed, and let your kids see this. If you can change YOUR mindset (sometimes only slightly) then you might find that reward charts will give you the fantastic result you were wishing for.
An important element of successfully using reward charts for children is to have behavior change goals set in place BEFORE the reward chart has started. Find some useful example here.
The strategy of positive reinforcement is simply to utilize the associations children learn between behaviors and consequences to shape behavior. We provide our children with pleasant consequences for engaging in desired behavior.