I found this in my feed reader today and I thought it was great idea to make a visual reminder for your children! Check it out!
Tuesday, February 23, 2010Making Discipline Fun! How to Make a Behavior Chart
I will admit that the title is a bit of "puffery". Discipline is never fun. In fact, discipline is a, well, discipline. The truth of the matter is that we all want to have the "perfect" children who rarely act up in front of other people, who keep their rooms clean, do their homework without having to be nagged and are nothing but respectful and obedient.
What? Your children don't fit that description? Mine either. I have two children, aged 4 and 6, whom I refer to as "Monkey Children" on most days, because I feel like my house is a circus, and I am the monkey wrangler.
It's always nice to find "systems" which work well for parenting, like my earlier article on getting your kids to clean their rooms in 15 minutes. What I will be sharing today is an idea that my son brought home from first grade. It is a great way to reinforce positive behavior AND more than JUST being a "positive" discipline tool, it also discourages negative behavior.
This is a chart, made by my son, exactly like the one in his first grade classroom, that hangs on the fridge. Each child has a clothespin that has their name on it, attached to the chart.
- 7 colors of paper: one white, red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple
- Scissors or paper cutter
- Crayons or Pens for writing on paper
- A clothespin per child, permanent pen for writing on clothespin
How to make it:
- Cut the paper in quarters and use just a quarter of the page (you can make it bigger if you have more than six children)
- Glue them the way they are in the above picture, from the top: purple, blue, green, white, yellow, orange, red.
- Label them this way (or make your own labels!) : purple should say "Awesome work!", blue - "Great Job!", green - "Keep it up!", white "Good Morning", yellow "Oops", orange - "Uh Oh", red - sad face.
How to use it:
Each morning, we always start on Good Morning, this way we reinforce the idea that we shouldn't hold grudges or "go to sleep angry". Every day is a new day! We start fresh, no matter how bad the day before was!
As you can see, they move their pin up and down the chart depending on how their behavior has been that day. My son argues with me? I simply say, "Go move your pin down" and he goes and moves his pin down. If he gets to the very bottom, which is a sad face, he loses something precious to him, like video games, for 3 days. On the other side of "GOOD MORNING" is the happy side, if he gets to the very top, he gets an extra hour of video game time.
For my 4 year old daughter this works as well, she throws a tantrum, I start to count, if I get to 3 and she's not done screaming, she has to move the pin down. At each level they move below "good morning" they have a punishment, normally a time out, a loss of privileges/toys or for direct defiance, they get a spanking.
The best part is that it forces me to "catch" them being good! The worst part is that you realize how infrequently you do that.
It is a tool that I find easy to use and be consistent with. What works for you?