Getting kids to do what you want them to do.
This is a challenge at some point for all parents. If you ask 20 parents how to best address this and I bet you will get 20 different answers (goal charts, time outs, spankings, etc). There are a lot of factors to consider including the child’s age, personality as well as if they are simply being forgetful, distractible or downright defiant. Mom 4 Life Kristina shares what is working for her below and we would love for you to leave a comment and let us know what works for you!
Some days, it seems like kids are set not to behave no matter what punishments you have in place. Personally, I’ve sent my kids to their room, or put them on time outs, or taken away TV, only to find they’re still up to mischief somewhere else in the house. For instance, if I tell them to pick up their toys, there really is nothing I can do to make them pick them up. I can send them to their room or for time outs, but if they’ve really got it set in their minds to just not pick up, nothing I can do is going to change that. I’m not talking about little monsters here, but just typical child behavior.
Enter positive reinforcement, aka, the behavior chart. The idea is very simple. For each child in your household, you make a chart. The individual dates go across the top, and the chores or behaviors go down the side. As for which actual chores and behaviors go on the chart, that just depends on your child and what you are trying to reinforce. A good place to start is to think, “What do I need my son/daughter to do daily?” Be specific, not just “be good.” For example, on our kids’ charts there are categories for picking up their toys, not using rude words, not fighting with each other, going to bed nicely, and so forth. Then every day, for each thing they do on the chart, they receive a sticker in that square. After they have 10 stickers, they receive a dollar. That way, not only do they physically see how their good behavior is adding up, you can also sneak in some simple addition and subtraction lessons and help them learn delayed gratification. Here is an example of the charts we use in our house: Chore Chart
This doesn’t work every day. Some days are still a fight. However, I have noticed it works a lot better than just saying, “Because I said so.” Give it a try and see if it works for you, too!
What do you do with your kids? Have an idea to share that is working well?
Kristina is a stay-at-home mom of two boys. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English and spends her down time sewing, baking, doing crafts with her children, and experimenting with recipes with her husband.