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What can I tackle with a reward chart?

You can use charts to focus on all sorts of issues – as long as you make sure it’s something your child is ready to do – it’s also important to concentrate one issue at a time. Here’s just a quick list of options…

Practising for school
Reading, hand writing, times tables etc.
It’s always a good idea to check with your child’s teacher on what levels you should be aiming for and whether you should be focusing on a specific task – explain that you’ll be planning to use your chart over roughly a 3 week period.

Doing things regularly
Washing hands, teeth brushing, getting ready for bed etc.
A good way to start the ball rolling here is to invest in a new prop – maybe a specially scented soap, a new toothbrush or a bedside lamp – if you can, get the child involved in choosing this.

Key growing up stages
Potty training, sleeping through the night etc.
Remember here that different children will go through these stages at slightly different ages – theses are well worth reading up on and getting advice from healthcare workers and friends before you get going. A chart is no magic solution but it’s certainly a great idea for a child that’s ready to change.

Tackling problems
Hitting, thumb sucking, kicking, etc.
A chart can be part of a plan to tackle these issues – but you’ll need to focus on alternative behaviours too. When an urge to behave ‘badly’ comes along the child will need help in responding in a new way – this might be as simple as moving and sitting somewhere else or it might be coming to talk to you and ask for a cuddle. Obviously in severe cases you must seek professional help and advice.

Being good
Tidying up, sharing, table manners etc.
Charts are great at encouraging these positive changes – remember to highlight others doing the same things already and talk about how you behave so your child notices you in action!

If you’re using a chart for something we haven’t mention here please let us know – we’re always happy to update our hints and tips