I get a lot of great feedback from parents who have put a reward chart into practice. Most of these parents have been using either my paid reward chart packages or my free reward charts, but many comments have also been from parents who have made and implemented their own charts (Well done!).
Positive feedback is always welcome and it’s fantastic to know that many parents are getting good results from using reward charts with their kids. However it would be remiss of me not to mention that I also receive my fair share of not so positive comments (which believe it or not, I also welcome).
Usually these comments are along the lines of:
“Johnny got bored with it”
“I got bored with it”
“Sara’s behavior wasn’t getting any better”
“I kept on forgetting to award the sticker”
“Freddy kept on asking for bigger and better rewards”
“Kate’s bad behavior is continuing”
……. and so on.
Mostly this feedback echoes the sentiment “The reward charts did not work so I stopped using them.”
These are the same issues that I faced when I started using reward charts. What I came to realize back then, and I still understand today, is that to properly implement a reward chart system (or any other positive parenting strategy) requires your absolute commitment upfront. There shouldn’t be any “I’ll try it and see if it works…” Kids will see through that and part of the magic (and potential) will be lost.
Part of this commitment is knowing how to best implement the reward chart to best suit your child. Some kids will feed off your excitement and your energy and they will be on-board from the get-go. Other kids might be a bit more skeptical and standoffish. It’s how you approach the reward chart implementation while keeping in mind the different personality types that can greatly improve the chances of reward chart success.
Some Considerations For the Success of a Reward Chart
- A reward chart is NOT a magic bullet solution to bad behavior.
- Reward charts just may not work with some kids…that’s OK…there’s plenty of other positive parenting strategies out there that will work for our children!
- Try to achieve the mindset that a reward chart isn’t a solution, rather a tool that can help in behavior change goals.
- Often us parents are the cause of an unsuccessful reward chart…often we are just too half-hearted (lack of commitment) and our naturally perceptive kids pick up on that.
- Be open to the guidance that can be found in the reward chart rules and principles.
- And importantly, be persistent, but if the reward charts are just not working, try something else….there’s no real “DO THIS/DO THAT” set of rules when it comes to positive parenting.
In my eyes being a truly positive parent means creating a loving, healthy, safe, and positive environment, where kids get to see and feel the results of their good behavior and conversely get to see and feel the results of their bad behavior…Within this environment find what works for you and your child. If it’s using reward charts…Great! if it’s using some other techniques…Great also!
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 (and sometimes this only needs to be a slight change) then you might find that reward charts will give you the fantastic result you were wishing for.