29 May 2012

Chores, Routines & Rewards: Download Free Printable Charts

Which mother hasn't tried sticker charts as an incentive for good behaviour?
I've tried it umpteen times in umpteen ways, and to be honest the results were mixed at best and a pain to maintain. Usually my sticker charts would last a couple of weeks before fizzing out and being abandoned.

Until now.
Thanks to the wonderful Parenting Course I've been doing, I have finally got my head around how to make this strategy really work. Really really.
And I've made myself a re-usable chart that can be changed and used in as many ways as I need it too... cos it's laminated and I have a whiteboard marker (and I'm not afraid to use it).

Of course I can't make myself something so simple to use without sharing it with you as well, can I?

Printable Reward Charts

So all you have to do is click to download the blank chart  you want
(I've made two versions; one with three "thermometers" and one with two) ...

Print it out. Stick on photos of your kids (or write on their names). Laminate.
And then sit down for a family brainstorm session and figure out how you're gonna use it...
  1. Choose a behaviour or value you want to work on in your family - e.g. doing what you are told the first time you're asked
  2. Figure out what the stickers are worth - e.g. 3 stickers = a grab bag treat; 5 stickers = computer/TV/Media time; 10 stickers = $3 to spend at the shops
  3. When the stickers are "cashed in" mark them with a black dot
  4. To encourage family cooperation instead of the kids competing with each other, when the family reaches a combined total of 50 stickers, work out/brainstorm a family reward e.g. somewhere cool you can go together and have fun like mini golf, the zoo, the wave pools etc
You don't even need to use fancy stickers; I'm just using a packet of "office supply" red dots.
Because the chart is laminated, the stickers peel right off when we're all full up and cashed in. We can also easily change the rewards and goals, so I am far more likely to keep using it!

One of the rules we've learnt at the course is that once a sticker is earned for positive behaviour, don't take it away for misbehaviour. Keep the incentives separate from the discipline or the kids will lose motivation. This is something that was new to me, as we had always taken away stickers.

It's interesting to watch the kids begin to realise that by complying they can earn stickers and rewards really quickly. Dash was the first one to figure it out, and managed to save ten stickers which he plans to cash in for money to buy Match Attacks (trading cards).
Miss Fab traded in her first five stickers for a whole uninterrupted hour of computer time.
Scrag was the slowest to catch on. At four years old, it took him a while to realise that the stickers were worth actual stuff. When he saw the others trading theirs in (and I gave him a peek inside the treat bag) he finally clicked.
Now instead of shouting "NO!" every time I ask him to do something ( fun new habit he's developed since turning four), he's quickly remembering that he can get a sticker for doing what he's told the first time he's asked.

Calmness is creeping back in to our mornings and evenings. I've taken to awarding stickers to kids who do the right thing without even being told, too. Oh it is so nice not to have to nag.
Just a simple, "Oh you haven't done that yet? What a pity you just missed a chance for a sticker!"

They catch on pretty quick.

Also included below are the chore and routine charts I made, which were requested by many of you after spotting them in my "Don't Want to Miss a Thing" post last week. There's a couple of different versions; for the more adventurous, grab the ones you can customise. For the graphic-shy, just take the ready-as-is ones.


***By Popular Request***
Free Printable Chore and Routine Charts
(Click on the image below, select which chart you want, then click "download")

GENERIC VERSIONS (with some routines included):
Print as-is (borrowing our routines); laminate and use whiteboard pens to customise.

Take this .jpg file into any photo editing programme and add your own text, e.g. routines, then print, laminate and stick magnets on the back to show who is doing what.

{SIZE = A4; 297 x 210mm}

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