I'm a Mum of two boys, aged two years, and nearly four years old. As with all toddlers/pre-schoolers, their behaviour massively fluctuates, and I've tried a few different ways of encouraging helpful and productive behaviour. For me, the most effective tool so far has been a reward chart. Arthur, my four year old, even asked if we could make one together the other day!
At the time I really struggled to find a template online that was simple and that I could collaborate with Arthur on - I have found that it helps if we agree it together! I definitely didn't have the time to draw one whilst managing two kids so, once I had a moment's peace in the office, I decided to design my own. I thought I would share it with you in case it helped to make life a tiny bit easier right now...
How It Works:
- Download and print out the reward chart - it works on A4 or A3 paper, depending on what you'd prefer. (You can start on any day as the top tab is not labelled with days of the week.)
- Add your child's name above the 'Reward Chart' text.
- Add in any tasks or behaviours that you'd like to reward them for down the left side. This can be anything from a household chore, to showing good behaviour. We use the following:
- Good sleep (staying in bed until the sun on the Gro Clock comes up)
- Doing something that makes Mummy or Daddy happy (kind behaviour towards their brother usually!)
- Tidy Up (we do one tidy up session per day)
- Dressed Myself - for my 4 yr old
- Played on my own - for my 2 yr old (usually a 5 min activity that he does whilst I tidy up the kitchen etc)
- Went to the toilet - for my 4 yr old (he has a slight fear of the toilet so it can sometimes be an issue)
- Good listening - for my 2 yr old (usually awarded at the end of the day)
- Then, when your child exhibits that behaviour, place a sticker or draw a star in the relevant box.
- There is also a space at the bottom for a larger reward... we've used all sorts of things, from a Kinder egg or little toy they've been wanting, to a sleepover with a friend or a camping adventure in the garden!
I'm absolutely no expert, but here are a few things that have helped us so far...
- Illustrate the task or behaviour with a picture so that your child can understand what each task is (I hope you're a better artist than me!).
- Let your child pick the sticker, or draw the star/shape that will go on the chart. This can help make them feel more involved.
- Hang the chart in a prominent location. Your child will most likely be proud of the stickers he’s earned and he’ll want to make sure everyone sees it (if he's anything like my two!).
We can't promise good behaviour, but hopefully we can encourage it!
Download and then print it out as often as required. Or laminate it and use a dry wipe marker...