Reward System Chart for Toddlers-Preschoolers
Reward System Chart for Toddlers-Preschoolers
Empowering children is part of our role. By empowering them, children feel useful, competent and important because they are able to “do as adults”. Toddlers, children are totally dependent on adults for anything that affects their needs. Our goal is to make them autonomous, not as quickly as possible, but according to their capacities and the stages of their development.
What is the motivational chart?
It is sometimes difficult to change a child’s behavior. The motivational chart can then be an effective tool for bringing positive change to a toddler older than 3 years. The principle of the motivation chart is simple: when he acts as he was asked, the child accumulates on board stickers or points that will then allow him to get a small reward. This small external reinforcement will then motivate the child a little more to adopt the behavior that is expected, but which is difficult to change for him.
For example, the motivational chart can help a child to:
- Say “please” and “thank you”;
- Pick up his toys;
- Brush your teeth;
- To dress in the morning;
- Share his toys;
- Stop sucking his thumb.
How can the motivational chart help the child?
Of course, a child must be heard and understood first and foremost. But if that’s not enough, the motivation chart can be useful for changing certain behaviors that require special interventions. The motivational chart helps the child understand what his parents expect of him. In addition, since the board is usually posted in a prominent place, the child can easily see his success and be proud of him.
When properly used, the motivation chart can:
- Promote self-esteem in children
- Improve the interactions between the child and his parents;
- Teach the child to progress toward a goal;
- Reduce frustrations for parents, as this tool helps to emphasize the positive behaviors of the child;
- Serve as a pretext to congratulate the child and tell him that we are proud of him.
Choose or make the motivation table
The motivation chart can take the form of a calendar on which a sticky is placed if the child has reached his goal of the day. Several types of tables exist on the market. You can also make one. Your child will feel motivated to participate in the choice of the painting and may want to make it himself.
Some tips when setting up a motivational chart
Feel free to be original in the design of the painting.Choose a theme or character that your child can easily identify with.Then choose tights for toddlers or a point system for the older ones.Display the board in an easy-to-access place for the child, for example on the fridge. For the older child, it could be a private place, like his room.
Determine the behavior (s) to be changed
For the youngest, determine some behaviors to change at a time, that is, about 2 or 3 goals. For the older ones, it is possible to increase the number of behaviors to improve up to 4 or 5.
In the company of your child, determine the behavior to be changed and describe clearly and positively the desired behavior. E.g. tell him, “You cleaned your room.”
It is also important to be realistic in the choice of behaviors to improve. If you ask your 4-year-old to dress alone, you must make sure that he is able to do it without difficulty most of the time. If he succeeds less than 4 times out of 5, it is because this change is too difficult for him, and he risks becoming discouraged.
Remember that the motivation chart is a way to develop the discipline (do a good behavior at the right time), not a learning tool (learn new behavior). It is important not to put the child in a situation of failure, as this could affect his self-esteem.
Encourage and support
Congratulate your child often. Emphasize his successes more than his failures. Feel free to make positive comments like “You are a champion to get dressed!”
This type of comment allows the child to build positive self-esteem. This increases the chances that he will dress alone later, without the need for reinforcement, as he seeks to replicate that positive self-image.
Also, avoid punishment if the child does not do the expected behavior. You must also support your child so that he can achieve his goal.
While the motivational chart should not be changed along the way, you can help your child when he/she have difficulty. It is also advisable to remain flexible by adapting the objectives if you find that they are too difficult to reach.
Choose the rewards
By making sure you choose the right reward, you will increase the effectiveness of the motivational chart. A privilege that the child desires will make him more inclined to change his behavior. This reward should, however, be proportional to the behavior to be changed and does not need to be monetary or expensive.
In fact, spending quality time with a parent or family is often the children’s favorite reward. It is, therefore, preferable to favor rewards that allow the child to share a special moment with his parents.
Thanks to the motivation chart, parents move from a negative intervention (removing a privilege if the child is not behaving in the right way) to a positive intervention (giving a privilege to good behavior).
Privileges (e.g. extra time of play, slumber party, choose dinner menu)
Special activities (e.g. go to the cinema alone with daddy or bowling with mom, go to the park, visit a zoo, and eat ice cream)
Small affordable items (e.g. pencils or erasers, games for travel, trading cards)
Minutes to watch the television or to sleep a little later, that the child can buy using the points accumulated in his motivation chart. The child learns to gain privileges that he took for granted before.
|Activities||Daily Goal Of Points||Privileges|
Say “please” and “thank you” (10 points)
Pick up toys (10 points)
Brush your teeth (10 points)
Dress in the morning (10 points)
Share toys (10 points)
Stop sucking thumb (10 points)
|40 Points||Go to the cinema alone with daddy or bowling with mom
Go to the park
Visit a zoo
Eat an ice cream
Respect elders (15 points)
Take care of siblings (15points)
|Buy new pencils or erasers
Minutes to watch the television