Creative Child

How to help your Kids Chart Success for the New Year

by Deborah Song

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Coming up with a suitable chart is a great place to start.  But accomplishing goals and motivating your child to good behavior will require more than taping a chart to a wall. Here are some tips on how to get the most effective use out of charts.  

1. Learn by trial and error. You will likely need to augment your child’s chart according to your child’s changing needs.  Be flexible with your chart and be ready to change it.  The chart is there to serve you and your child’s needs, not the other way around. 

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2. Be consistent about charting.  Inconsistent reporting negates the effectiveness of using a chart. If you only check off completed chores in the beginning of the week and forget to do it on the weekend, your child may be less motivated to participate.  

3. Acknowledge good behavior in front of others. Some kids, like my daughter, are very motivated by public acknowledgement. Even if it’s to highlight a job well done in the course of a week in front of your immediate family members, recognition can go a long way. 

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4. Reinforce good behavior with rewards. When consistent effort and good behavior as indicated on a chart translate to a tangible reward, your child will be motivated to continue the course, and learn about delayed gratification in the process.  Rewards should be tailored to a child’s interests according to a parent’s approval.  

Deborah Song is a Canadian-born, Los Angeles-based writer, who obtained her master's in journalism from New York University. She is the founder of worklifeparent.com, and is passionate about helping parents find better work-life balance and proper support through community.

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