Ah those days when Addison’s was a tiny baby were in some ways so much easier – after all there as no answering back, no stamping of feet and no use of her now favourite word’s “I don’t want to!”
That said whether it’s toddlers or babies each bring their own challenges. For Addison, she is particularly strong willed and there is often a daily battle of wills to do simple requests such as get washed for nursery, clean your teeth, get dressed.
Both myself and my husband had tried reasoning with her a few months back but trying to reason with a two year old is difficult, whilst they have some grasp of what you are trying to say to them they don’t actually understand and comprehend what you are telling them. Addison is now two and a half and her vocabulary, understanding and reasoning skills have improved. With this in mind this week we decided to introduce the concept of a reward chart.
We sat Addison down and explained to her that if she did the things on the chart every day then at the weekend we would do something fun like go to the park, have an ice cream, do some painting or have a treasure hunt.
We showed her the chart we had brought her which was really bright and colourful from Amazon. It is a hard-backed magnetic chart with space to write down the things Addison had to do with lots of pictures around the edge and clear squares where each of the magnetic reward tiles should be placed once a task had been done. Addison took particular delight at the dinosaur magnets and was keen to look at them and we showed her where to put each of the magnets.
After much discussion it was decided that the daily tasks to do are as follows:-
- Get dressed
- Have a wash & clean teeth
- Play nicely with toys
- Go to school
- Be good at going to sleep
I am sure any parent can identify in having issues with some of the above and we decided to keep the tasks the same until such a point is reached where these requests are second nature to Addison and if necessary then replace them with another set of tasks.
I can honestly say that all week the chart has been a fantastic tool for learning and developing reasoning. On the days where there has been resistance from Addison a quick mention that by not doing X she will lose her stars and there will be no fun time at the weekend has lead to her doing what she has been asked. Yes there has still been the stamping of feet, but mostly there has been enjoyment and excitement from Addison in her choosing the magnet icon to put next to her task against each day and she has even started to remember days of the week thanks to the repetition of the words on the calendar and us explaining the chart to her.
I was sceptical about this sort of method of discipline and reasoning as I wasn’t sure how easy it would be for Addison to grasp what the reward chart was for and how it worked, but the reward chart from Priddy Books is designed with kids rather than adults in mind and the graphics, simple layout and design especially using the magnets was something that she picked up straight away.
If you are a parent what’s your stance on reward charts? If you don’t use them how do you reason with and reward your child for good behaviour?