It's time to stop bad behaviors in their tracks! Start using our super simple behavior chart and focus on the positive rather than the negative. We have ideas for various rewards that will not only keep them motivated, but will also work for various ages. Use our free printable and watch how it changes your kids' attitudes and behaviors!
For the most part, all kids go through a season of life where their attitudes and behavior sort of spiral out of control. This could be due to packing and moving, bringing a new baby home, the oh-so-fun threenager stage, and a plethora of other reasons. Instead of getting overwhelmed and fed up, stop those bad behaviors in their tracks!
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Start using the world's simplest behavior chart and help the whole family, including Mom and Dad, to focus on POSITIVE affirmations and rewards instead of negative, negative, negative! So, let's give you a more in-depth look at HOW this behavior chart works, WHY it works, and WHAT you can do to implement it in your own life…even for teenagers!! Plus, we've got a super cute free printable for you. You're welcome. 😉
WHY YOU SHOULD USE A BEHAVIOR CHART
When it comes to behavior issues, you want to correct the issue, but you want to do it in a positive, uplifting and educational way! Focus on the positive, versus the negative, and you will really see their self confidence blossom and see them want to have good behavior. Put yourself in their shoes for a minute…
Adults aren't perfect 100% of the time, not by a long shot. But isn't it easier to want to make good choices when you have someone cheering you on versus getting on to you over something you did wrong? It's the same for kids! They're far more motivated to behave correctly when they're getting rewarded for it rather than getting in trouble for making a mistake.
WHEN YOU SHOULD USE A BEHAVIOR CHART
We don't do behavior charts every week. We will just do it for a week or two (or three) when we need a boost, then cool it. Then we'll bring it back when it's needed again. That way no one gets sick of it or starts expecting a new prize every week. We just bust it out as-needed and it keeps it fresh and easy for mom!
If you find that your kids do better using their behavior charts weekly, then go for it! Do whatever works best for you and your family. We've found that it is best to give them a break, but we've had friends who have the most success by doing it consistently. No two families are alike!
HOW TO USE THE CHART
As we've said, the chart is very simple! You start off the week at 1 and they want to end the week with their clothespin at 10. We usually end on Saturday. Any time you see your child exhibit good behavior, move their clothespin up one and give them lots of praise! Tell them why you're moving it up so they'll learn. Maybe it's helping their siblings, or going above and beyond in something.
Any time you see your child exhibit bad behavior, move their clothespin down and explain why you had to move it down. They'll quickly learn that they should stop doing those things that makes their clothespin move down!
When you reach the end of the week, anyone whose clothespin is on 10 has earned a reward! We can promise you, if they didn't reach 10, they'll do all they can the next week to make sure they get there so they don't miss out on earning something. It really is a great way for them to learn!
HOW TO DO REWARDS
We usually alternate what type of reward they're working towards each week. One week, we'll do a family reward, such as watching a movie together. The next week, they may get to earn a new toy. The following week, it could be some extra money.
Find what motivates YOUR child! I'm a big believer in The 5 Love Languages of Children and believe that each person is driven by different motivations and feelings of love. Find what works for them, simply by asking. It may sound crazy, but this even works for teenagers! Anybody who is anybody wants to earn a special treat, so make it work for your family.
These do NOT have to be expensive or complicated. In fact, pleeeeeeease don't make them so! Here are some fun, cheap or free reward ideas:
- Late bedtime
- A trip to the dollar store to pick out a prize
- A date with mom or dad (could even be to a park or somewhere free)
- A new toy – $5 or less (Pokemon cards, Lego sets, Disney Princess something-or-other, easy art projects, etc.)
- Their favorite dessert
- Family movie party
- A trip to the ice cream or candy shop
- A special playdate or time with friends
- A few extra dollars to contribute toward something they are saving up for
You can either choose and let them know what their reward will be when their behavior chart starts over, or you can let them choose what they want to work towards. You obviously get the final say, but make sure it's a reward that's motivating to them!
BEHAVIOR CHART PRINTABLE
Alright, on to the goods! You can definitely make your own if that's your thang, but we created a free printable to make your life easier! You can print it out on plain computer paper or on heavier cardstock. Hang it where everybody can see it, grab some clothespins… and BOOM! You've got yourself a behavior chart.
We hope it works for you and your family! Do you have any tips for using a behavior chart? Let us know in the comments!
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Looking for more stellar ideas for kids?
- Cure the “I'm bored” woes with our super helpful bored sticks!
- We've compiled the ultimate list of resources for kids that you definitely don't want to miss out on! Perfect for ways to teach or entertain your kids at home.
- Let your kids help out around the house and put their desire to help to good use! Use this list of age appropriate chores for kids and let them get to work.
Hi hey hola! First off – I have been following you for yearssss, I have saved so much money through your budgeting technique we just bought our 1st house! #praisedalawd Anyways..my boys are now 2 and 3 yrs old and I am ready to do a behavior chart with them because it’s gettin CRAY. So naturally I go to my fave person on the interwebs to see what you suggested. I found this article on behavior charting and also another older blog you wrote from 2013 titled “Our Behavior Chart (which really works!)” Which one do you suggest beginners start off with? They’re kinda of similar in moving the pin up/down but does one work better than the other? I’d like your opinion!
Also I am wanting to do a chore chart/allowance system with them too, but not gonna lie I was getting confused trying to figure it out between the article “Allowance 101” & “Chores kids can do by age”. Is this still the system you use/recommend or do you have an updated chore/allowance routine??
Thanks! I hope you see this comment & reply. Thanks for all the awesome info you put out there, it has truly impacted our family in the best way!
I like you alot,
Is there a post, or maybe an idea for one in the future- my 9 year old’s tween attitude is really starting to creep in. Sass, smart mouth etc. Any advice is appreciated. (This post is a good start, but wondering if there’s something for attitudes specifically.)