Thursday, May 6, 2010

Behavior Charts - Do They Work?

After having a few months of troublesome behavior from my six year old, I decided it was time to make a change.  I found a few web sites, did a little research, and found out about using behavior charts.

So, what IS a behavior chart?

Well, it is a behavior-modification device that uses positive reinforcement to encourage the desired behavior.

At least, that's the professional definition.

I call it a God-send.

It took a while for us to get the hang of it, but with a little effort, practice, and consistancy, they are starting to make a real difference.

Here's how it works:

We have a list of behaviors that we want for Emily to do.  She gets stickers for every behavior she accomplishes for each day of the school week (4 behaviors x 5 days = 20 stickers).  We pick out the treat the week before, and display it all week - "This is what you're 'playing' for!"  Allowing for mess ups and redemption, she is required to get 15 stickers a week for a treat (under $5).  She also gets extra stickers for going above and beyond the call of duty.  For example, if we have a morning where she not only doesn't argue with me, but is absolutely wonderful, obedient, and helpful, she earns an extra sticker.  So far, we have only had one week in which she hasn't earned a treat.  This chart is working wonders for her behavior at home.

Now, school is a different story.  We are still working on that, however. I've come up with a few ideas to encourage her behavior to improve there as well.

Here are some great links to some fantastic sites that offer free behavior charts:

This one offers fill in charts with some of  kids' favorite cartoon characters (we've used Tinkerbell and SpongeBob.)
This one has a variety of charts for young and older children, and offers a newsletter to help parents learn how to use them consistantly and properly:
This offers a "customizer" in which you pick the behaviors you want to encourage, then children can create their own cat character to track their behavior.  BRILLIANT!
This site offers several different charts for all kinds of household needs, not just behavior (I use the calendars and several of the home charts)
I use this site for all sorts of things, from coloring pages, to craft ideas, to bible lesson plans to share with my kids.  It's wonderful!  Their charts are also customizable, but this time you can print them out (my preferred method).

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