Tired of battles over home schooling? Use our reward charts to ease the pain

Reward charts are a tried and tested way to improve behaviour. Not because of the reward. Instead the framework, shared goals and targets allow kids to develop long-lasting good habits.

Our print-off charts give you a soccer theme. And your player can make them personal with their own decorations. There’s a chart for girls and boys.

Here’s how to make them work effectively for you.

Keep it simple

We’ve given you eight steps, but you can start with just two or three.

Be Specific on steps

On each step on the ladder, clearly state what you expect. Smiling or being nice is hard to measure. Tidying up the Lego, or completing a maths task sheet is much easier.

Small prizes

The timeframe to complete this chart should be about a week. So, what can a kid realistically expect to receive from a week’s good behaviour? Not a new bike certainly. Brainstorming with the player might help, but keep the expectations at the right level.

No steps back

Keep the reward chart as rewards. Don’t use it as a stick, with steps back used as a possible punishment. A step back tends to be demotivating anyway.

Make it theirs

We’ve giving the child plenty of spaces to colour in, so they could make it look great. They could also fill in the steps themselves. We suggest you could write this out on another piece of paper for them to copy in. Saves on a lot of rubbing out!

Save the images below to print out.

Here’s what say about reward charts

Reward charts: making them work for you

If you make an effort to notice when your child is behaving well, you keep the focus on encouraging good behaviour. For example, your child might be hitting about once a day. You could try looking for two times in the day when he’s keeping his hands to himself, and give him stickers for those two times on the reward chart. Remember to reward the behaviour as soon as you see it to keep your child motivated.

Thinking about how much behaviour change to expect can help you and your child stay positive and realistic. You might look for small changes to reward before working your way up to a big change. For example, if you want your child to help more with tidying up, you could start by rewarding her for picking up the blocks. Then it could be the blocks and the dress-ups, and so on.

Your child might get bored with the same reward. To avoid this, you could work together to set up a reward ‘menu’ with a choice of rewards to spend his stickers on. For example, 5 stickers = a game with mum or extra time before lights out, 10 stickers = a trip to the park or a small toy.

If your child can get the reward in other ways, it won’t be effective. For example, rewarding your child with a play at the swimming pool won’t work so well if she usually gets a play swim after her swimming lesson each week.

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