BABY, YOU'RE A STAR!
I'm not quite sure what took me so long, but last week I put the tried and tested star chart system into action - and it worked! Before going on permanent maternity leave to raise my three young men, I was a teacher. As such, I sometimes used reward systems as a means of behaviour management. Obviously, it couldn't be the only method of behaviour management and wasn't suitable for all students or all situations. However, most young children (in my experience) would give their right arm for a sticker. Go figure!
I just never thought it would work with my boys. They have strong genes of the stubborn and strong-minded variety. In particular, I could see Thomas turning his nose up at a sticker and responding with a "so what?" when I offered it as a reward. But alas, even my strong-willed little men are susceptible to the shiny little foil stars that light up star charts everywhere.
I wanted something simple and easy because there was no way I was going to be able to maintain it otherwise. I didn't want to be printing star charts every week or buying thousands of stars...so this is what I did >> I downloaded a blank star chart from chorecharts.com and then added some clip art for chores that I particularly wanted my children to complete - things like brushing their teeth, dressing themselves, having a shower without complaining or fighting and so forth. I laminated a chart for each of my two eldest boys and also laminated a whole heap of stars as well so they could be re-used. I could have just drawn on laminated chart with markers but thought they would like the stars better. A bit of Blu-Tac and voila, we have star charts!
|Thomas and Daniel's star charts|
Amazingly, the promise of a little shiny star suddenly gave Thomas the ability to dress himself! I cannot tell you how pleased I am about this! Daniel would dress himself each morning, whilst Thomas would complain that he just couldn't. Manya school morning was spent yelling at him to hurry up and get dressed (which he would refuse to do). Now, suddenly, he is able to and willingly does. Alleluia!
I probably could have got away with just stars as a reward in itself but thought the novelty might last longer if I offered something else. Again, I didn't want the "something else" to be anything to difficult (or expensive) for me to deliver! So
we I came up with the following - if they get 25 out of the possible 35 stars each week, they get a special dessert or treat and if they get 35 out of 35 stars I will take them somewhere special (nothing extravagant, maybe just to the park or a play centre or somewhere else they love).
This is only our second week of using the star charts and all still good. Last week, Daniel got 25 stars and Thomas got 26. Their reward was a dessert comprising fresh strawberries, a chocolate wafer stick and some melted chocolate to dip them in. They loved this treat so much that they want it every week!
Not sure how long this enthusiasm for stars will last, but I'm going to enjoy it while I can!
|Thomas enjoying his first week's reward|
|Daniel wearing his first week's reward :)|