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Charts and Rewards

Using Charts

Some parents like to use charts to instill good habits in their children. You could, for example, use a chart for brushing teeth. Even the child too young to read understands a star. Rewards can be given for the achievement of a certain number of stars.

Suggestions for using charts include:

  • Keep them small and simple.
  • Don't overdo charts.
  • Use them for one behavior at a time.
  • Determine ahead how to end their use. For example, a child needs to learn how to brush her teeth without a reward.

The Use of Rewards as a Discipline Technique

Rewards do not have to be part of a behavior modification technique. Rewards can be used to express approval for certain behaviors or actions. Rewards are positive responses to positive behaviors and they don't have to be tangible or concrete actions. Like praise, some parents may not think about rewards as a discipline technique.

Some examples of rewards include, but are not limited to:

  • Tangible rewards may be what come to mind when we hear the term reward. A tangible reward may be money or a toy. Rewards need to be small. They are "gestures" of approval. Children should not get expensive gifts, or large sums of money as a reward. Nor should children always get tangible rewards. You do not want to promote the sense that a child needs to be good in order to receive gifts. In fact, most tangible rewards have their greatest value in the praise that accompanies them.
  • Privileges are rewards that allow a child to experience greater freedom or opportunity. Privileges might involve extending bedtime, giving extra playtime, or allowing a child to borrow or use a valued object. They are most effective when they are connected to the behavior being recognized.
  • Increasing responsibility is similar to granting privileges. To reward children for keeping their room picked up, you may increasingly give them total responsibility for the care and cleaning of their room. While this involves work for them, it also says, "You are able to do this on your own. You do not need me coming in your room."
  • Supporting interests and talents acknowledges the child's efforts in pursing interests. It is important that you reward the child for interest, desire, and effort. Be clear that the behavior you are rewarding is the child's interest, participation, and efforts, not the child's performance, talent, or ability.

Content used with permission from the Child Welfare League of America, www.cwla.org

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This content was last modified on: 09/08/2008

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