My eldest daughter is starting to test her boundaries. This is a normal part of her development and whilst I love watching her learn, I also want her to do so in a safe and positive manner. She adores attention and so often her 'naughty' behaviour, if you like, can be attributed to attention seeking. I do not want to promote this naughty behaviour and instead would rather give her lots of attention and praise for the good.
One of the ways I have found to do this is to adopt a reward chart system. So rather than saying 'if you continue to do this you will end up on the naughty step/take this away/some other form of punishment' I am re wording and focusing on the positive 'if you share the toy you can move up the good girl chart, if you help mummy/listen to mummy you will move up the good girl chart etc.' so far this principle on the whole seems to be working.
Radical Reward charts are bright and colourful. My girls chose the reedy river and wacky wildlife from the six beautiful charts available. Each chart features 20 numbered squares which as the child does the 'good' they move up a square on the chart. As the token to move up the chart can be personalised with the child's photo, this acts as a visual representation of how close the child is to achieving their reward. My eldest has picked her rewards, she wants to see the butterfly's which is what she will have when we get to 20. As she is under 6 I have also added an extra mid way reward at 10, which is a trip to the paint a pot shop. We have stuck the reward onto the chart so my daughter can clearly see what she is aiming for. As she gets older this reward can and will change, perhaps to a move monetary value.
I think one of the key points with positive behaviour enforcement is to not punish the negative with the reward chart, in other words they can only move up the chart and not down. I think if they start moving down they become demotivated and this could have the opposite effect.
My girls have got the concept of the chart very quickly. I told them it was a good girl chart and when we get to the top we have a special treat. I explained how they would get to the top. At first I found it important to focus on the small things, like not pulling our dogs fur, or them playing nicely together before working up to bigger things. This seems to have worked and our dog rarely has his ears pulled any more.
Our charts have now had pride of place in our kitchen at a level where the girls can see them and importantly see the top of the chart, for over a month. I have held back writing the review as I wanted to document the effectiveness of the charts, rather than how they looked. They look great by the way and the girls love them. After trialling out the charts for this time I am pleased to say I am noticing a difference in their behaviours. The dog certainly is left alone a lot more and when he is interacted with it is in a much more gentle and appropriate manner.
Radical reward charts really are a great visual way to encourage positive behaviour.
I was sent two radical reward charts to review, all thoughts are my own