I found a great motivational behavior chart system over at Life Sprinkled With Glitter earlier this year. I took it and adapted to fit my own family’s needs. I thought it would be nice to share with other parents out there and find out what you are doing too.
This is the system we have been using with our 4 year old. Every day she starts with 3 “coins.” As she makes good choices she can earn coins. If she makes poor choices she will lose a coin. At the end of the day we record how many coins she has on the chart. If she loses a coin she can earn it back by making good choices. However, if she loses all of her coins she can not earn them back and she will have a major consequence for the rest of the day. At the end of the week we count up all of the coins she has earned and she will get a reward based on the amount she has earned.
The language we use is KEY. We always tell her she has a choice and that she can make a good choice or a poor choice. When we ask her that she ALWAYS says she wants to make a good choice. We explain what a good choice and bad/poor choice would be in that particular situation. We give her one warning and tell her if she makes a bad choice then she will have to lose a coin. She LOVES her coins and is devastated if she has to lose a coin so she immediately changes her actions. It only took one day for her to lose a coin and now she ALWAYS chooses to make a good choice. I’m not claiming that she is an angel by any means, I’m just saying when we tell her what the choices are she usually makes a good choice.
I used what I had in my house to make these. I used blank DVDs for the coin base. I personally wanted them to be big so the coins would be a BIG deal to her. I let her pick out what pictures she wanted on them. I thought she would want a mixture of characters but she ended up choosing all Strawberry Shortcake characters. We might change them up as she grows out of them because if she doesn’t like them anymore then they lose their value.
I printed out characters and glued them on to the DVDs. Then I cut up some card stock I had to match the coins. I had a bunch of baseball card inserts from my coupon binder that were empty. I ran my finger in between the seem between two pockets of two cards to make one big pocket for the coin to fit into. This only used 2 baseball card sheets. I cut each pocket out and taped them onto a big piece of construction paper. I put the colored card stock in each slot and the matching coin in the pocket with the paper.
When she starts the day we have 3 coins facing out and 3 coins turned backwards so they are blank. As she earns or loses them we turn them accordingly.
I went to www.goalforit.com and made this custom chart for her. You can have them be for chores etc but I just put numbers to record how many coins she earned that day.
This is a made up example of what the chart might look like filled up at the end of the week. I put the chart in a sheet protector and color on it with a dry erase marker to save paper. I could put a new one in every week and actually mark on it if I wanted a record.