All of a sudden there were tantrums, potty oopsies , attitudes, talking back, and anger towards other kids. I was desperate to get Ayven out of this funk because it felt like some other child in my house then I got an amazing piece of advice from my best friend. “Always remember to give 3-5 positives for every 1 negative in life.“ My husband and I realized we were punishing Ayven for all the bad he was doing and never took time to reward him for the good, so I decided to create a Chores and Rewards System. The purpose of this system is to help Ayven learn how to be independent, how to set goals and how to accomplish those goals. The system also heavily focuses on positive reinforcement, which I believe is a huge factor in guiding your child in the right direction. Here is how it works…
Step 1: Create your list of chores
Create a list of chores you think your child can help with. This will be a huge step towards teaching them the importance of being independent and working hard. Make sure you add both easy and hard chores for them. Here are some examples:
- Clean up toys before bed
- Put your clothes in the hamper after your shower
- Wipe the table after a meal
- Make your bed
- Fold Laundry (separating colors and whites is an easy and fun task for the little ones)
- Put your dishes in the sink after a meal
- Unload dishwasher
- Lay out towel to dry after a shower
Step 2: Plan out monthly chores
Lay out those chores for the entire month. Ayven is only 2 so these chores are very repetitive which is critical for younger kids.
Step 3: Layout additional reasons for rewarding your child
Parents create a list of additional reasons why your child should be rewarded. This will help build the relationship with your child by focusing on positive attention and not just yelling at them for the bad things. Go over these reasons with your child and explain to them why they are important. Here are some examples:
- They were extra nice to a friend or teacher at school
- They got ready for school/caregiver without any problems
- They helped their brother/sister with something
- They used nice words (please, thank you, no thank you, your welcome etc.)
- Finished their meal
- Helped complete chores outside of their chore chart
- No oopsies during potty training for a week
- Good report card
Step 4: Create their sticker/stamp board
Let each child create their own sticker/stamp board. I just created a template on word and let Ayven color it.
Step 5: Creating the rewards
Another momma suggested for Ayven to create his own rewards system. Even if you have a small child (2 to 4) they can create their own system, you just have to ask them questions a bit differently by giving them choices. For example, “if you are a good boy at school, do you want a sticker, mommy to read you a book, or play on your iPad for a bit on a school night?” This exercise is teaching your child how to set and reach goals. If your child is older, explain to them that the harder the goal is the more stickers it would take to reach but the more accomplished they will feel. Here is what we came up with:
* A grownup can be mommy, daddy, nanny, babysitter, grandparent or anybody else important in your child’s life.
- 5 stickers = Grownup reads a extra book of their choice before bed
- 15 stickers = A craft activity with a Grownup
- 25 stickers = 1 small dessert after dinner (only if he finishes his meal)
- 35 stickers = Gets to watch a movie at home on a school night
- 50 stickers = A trip to the toy store for a small surprise under $15
- 75 stickers = A sleepover in mommy/daddy’s bed for a whole weekend
What if my child is not doing chores or not being nice?
* It is important to teach them that they will have consequences for not being good. Rewarding is awesome but too much rewarding and no disciplining can also spoil your child.
We decided to remove a sticker for each bad thing he did. For example last week he was not very nice to a friend, therefore we marked an X over a sticker so it no longer counts. Believe it or not the big red “X” gets Ayven’s attention every time we look at the chart and he asks why it has an X. It gives me another chance to explain what he did was not nice.
- Each chore or nice thing they do represents 1 sticker or stamp. We used stickers.
- Before bed sit with your child and go over the reasons why they got each sticker that day. Mommas we have 100 things going on in the day so we can’t expect to remember exactly what each sticker represents. I date the sticker and add a little note so I remember why he deserved that sticker.
- Make them repeat it to you so they start understanding why you are rewarding them
- At the end of the month count the number of stickers and determine what the prize is. We let Ayven cash in his stickers however he wants, split them up and get a bunch of things or just get one for his total sticker value. For older kids I think letting them roll over their stickers and saving up for something big would be a great incentive to keep up the good work.
How the system is working at my house
Since we implemented the Chores and Rewards System, Ayven has had no oopsies, used kind words, ate all his meals, and is telling us why he is doing such a good job. It’s amazing how well this worked! Mommas with younger kids, don’t think they are too young because you will be amazed of how receptive they are to positive reinforcement. Follow the “3-5 positives to 1 negative” advice in your own life, not just your child’s life. It will make you so much happier every day!
Do you have any additional tips or tricks for a chores and rewards system? This is a new process for us and would love any information you have to share 🙂