Parenting itself is learning. Recently when I attended a workshop for my younger son at his foundation level, I was given some reward charts . And that’s when I thought writing a post about it.
I already knew this way of encouraging the kids through my elder daughter. I put the good old reward chart into practice whenever a need arises in my home mainly to remind them their responsibility back at home.
Reward charts are not new to westerners whereas this concept of approaching our children is new to us here. By approaching, I mean that by making them do the same work every day all by themselves. This technique, when done continuously for 21 days is said to become a habit in a positive way.
Children learn to build their characters either from home or from their surroundings. There are times that we notice some unusual behaviour in our kids. And most of the times, we try to solve the problem just by yelling at them or telling them in a way they find it difficult to understand. This is where reward charts come in. Through this approach, we assign goals for our kids to be done for a whole continuous month. Then, start praising your child generously, encouraging him for the work he does every day. By doing this, we increase the self-esteem in our kids which replaces some unwanted character or habits seen in children with some positive habits that we have set in our goal.
The benefits of reward charts are many. They teach children to set goals for completing a particular task and help them to do it everyday so that they can find it easy to complete their work. Also, children learn their responsibility to behave themselves in different places. Example: Children learn to stay quiet in a meeting place, learn to behave properly when a guest arrives, to be in control on a long journey and so on. Personally, I have tried it and found them to be quite effective. It not only helps us to see what we want in our kids but also saves us, parents from the unwanted stress.
To start with, find that one (or more) behavioral problem you want to change in your kids. Say for example, you want your child to tidy up all of his toys every night before he sleeps. Set this as his goal. Make a fun chart on your own (or find lots of variations in internet) and print them out. Talk to him about the chart and what that chart means for him. Always explain the chart to the kids so that they know what they are doing and why they are doing. More importantly what they get finally by doing it. And tell them that they will be gifted with something they would like to have, be it a toy or getting out together after successful completion of their goal.
After you have set a clear goal with your kid, it is time to follow them at least for a period of one month or 21 days for making it as a habit. And whenever he/she does tidy the mess created by his toys on the floor, always cheer him up for doing the work successfully every day. This instills a positive feeling in the child and he will be very happy for making you (his/her mommy) proud. Also, it always makes a mommy feel the good vibe around.
Finally at the end of the 21st day or a month, reward your child for his time in helping you complete the goal together (This actually works for me – I always say a “job together” than a job for him/her). The reward can be to that what a child needs (not that you think the child may need). This same approach can be used to deal with the temper tantrums of your child too – something you like to do the next month.
The reward chart has seen so much success in reinforcing a positive behaviour in children and can be done for multiple goals until your child reach to set a goal for himself. It also serves as a wonderful tool for parents in changing their unwanted habits too.
Uma Maheswari Anandane is a mother of two kids, an Engineer by Education and a poet by passion. She pampers her thoughts through blogging at MomScribe, Rhythmus and Pondicherry Wiki. Sometimes, she goes to any extent to know about the impossible reading about stars and fourth dimensions to quench her curious mind. She had the privilege to author two eBooks on poetry, one at amazon and the other making itself to big portals like iTunes, Sony and Barnes &Nobles. Whenever time permits, she also writes articles for websites and other small scale magazines.