The short answer is:
Our charts are primarily designed for 3 to 9 year olds – that’s not a definitive age range, just a guide. The key is that a child likes the design and likes the idea of using a chart then it stands a good chance of working for them.
The long answer is:
any age, but older children and adults might prefer other design styles!
In essence, charts work because they provide a way for:
- close friends and family to encourage someone trying to change their behaviour
- provide the person who’s trying to change with a way to get their efforts recognised
Let’s take an adult example – quitting smoking:
As anyone who’s smoked will tell you, quitting is no easy task and it’s something friends and family will want to encourage. In life what tends to happen is those around a smoker say things like “you shouldn’t smoke”, “those things are bad for you” and “they’re killing you you know”. These messages are highly unlikely to help change behaviour.
So to quit – the first thing someone needs to do is want to quit and then decide to quit.
Having made those decisions support is one key component to successfully stopping smoking – every day without a cigarette should be recognised and celebrated. A former smoker is always amazed that non smokers don’t see the effort they’re making and just how tough it is to make it through the early days and months. In situations like these a chart’s a great idea because it:
- Reinforces the ambition – helps announce I want to do this!
- Recognises every day as an achievement
- Provides a constant reminder for everyone – keeps everyone on the ball and aware of the task in hand
- Encourages positive encouragement – provides a platform for others to keep saying well done!
- Has a target to aim for – a day of celebration – a sense of “I’ve cracked it”
All of these chart benefits apply to children and adults alike and so there really is no age barrier to using one!