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  Discipline: Reward ChartsSaturday, May 25th, 2024  
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There comes a time when time out is no longer effective or appropriate for your child. Your child is growing and so is your relationship with her. By age six or so it is time to move on. She has learned some about rewards and delayed gratification. It's time that she learns that sometimes the answer is no and she is learning how to get what she wants even if it takes awhile. It's time for her to learn that adults can also get what they want without punishment.

Behavior improvement with stickers and stars
A chart is placed on a wall for all to see, but it is intended for her eyes. Her bedroom is a great lace if she spends time there alone other than sleeping. This method is used for the persistent challenges that face all parents. The first example that comes to mind is the messy bedroom. "Pick up the floor." When you come back all the toys are on the bed. "You knew what I meant" "But Mom, you said......." And of course the cute smile.

A chart of good behavior starts with agreement on what good behavior is, what the reward is, and that when the child practices this behavior it will result in a delayed reward. This is the main teaching point of the chart, that good social behavior results in good things. A chart replaces praise or verbal disapproval. The child sees if she is working towards what she wants. It teaches the child to discipline herself and reward herself.

Start off simple and small. Use only one chart for one bad behavior. One step at a time. Pick what you think is the child's easiest behavior for her to correct. Keep the reward small and family oriented. Say she really likes ice cream. Then a reward of a trip with the family to a ice cream shop. If you give them Chuck E. Cheese's the first time then what is left for the next behavior chart. If your child is paying no attention to the chart and promised reward then it is time to reassess. Was the reward just something she agreed to simply to get back to playing? Does she really understand how it works? Worst case scenario is she is still operating only on instant gratification. Try slightly delayed gratification. "I want to take you to get ice cream but we have to clean our rooms first."

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