Everyone desires a model child with good behavior. Parents and teachers employ behavior charts to reinforce positive behavior and ameliorate behavioral inefficiencies. Through behavior charts, caregivers offer extrinsic motivation to children in the formative years. The reward/punishment system is a practical modification tool, but parents usually complain the benefits are short-lived. This article has all the information you need to create an effective behavior chart. Check out our tips on using evidence-based intervention for improving your kid’s behavior.
What Is a Behavior Chart?
Just like adults use a vision board to achieve goals, kids require behavior charts to modify and achieve good behavior. Behavior charts are visual representations that aim to improve a child’s behavior through stickers, stars, and incentives to accomplish a specific preset goal.
What Is a Behavior Chart Template?
A behavior chart template is a predesigned behavior chart you fill with behavior goals you intend your child to display. There are various templates online for every type of behavior chart. Find one that suits your child’s needs, customize, download, and print it.
Behavior Chart Templates & Examples
Types of Behavior Charts
Every child is unique, and there are many charts to suit their needs. Some of the most compelling charts are:
- Sticker chart- Sticker charts are a fun DIY behavior chart for your kids. Involve your kids in designing the stickers and put the sticker on the chart every time they achieve a specific goal.
- Weekly point’s chart- A weekly behavior chart is a reinforcement tool. Once you have identified the behavior, you can indicate when your kid achieves the milestone weekly.
- Routine behavior chart- A periodic behavior chart enlists the everyday practices in chronological order. Once they accomplish each task, reward them and attach a sticker to the chart.
- Color chart- A color chart uses color codes to indicate behavior progress. Red means below standards, while green means your kid has achieved the preset goal. However, positively frame the levels.
How to Create a Behavior Chart
Behavior charts vary across different age groups. There are many behavior modification tools, from color-coded charts to magnetic charts. Creating a behavior chart is a simple process if you dedicate your time to modifying your kid’s behavior. The general steps to creating a behavior chart are:
Identify the goal
Identify a specific behavior you would want a child to display. Start with simple goals before proceeding to more complex ones. Kids love motivation, and achieving an initial goal gives them momentum to accomplish the next. However, be as specific as possible. “Help your mother with groceries” is more precise than “Be kind to your mother.”
Tip: Develop alternate charts instead of piling up many goals in a single behavior chart. The number one reason behavior charts fail is attempting to change too many behaviors quickly.
Choose a reward and the reward frequency
The essence of a behavior chart is to modify behaviors using incentives. Determine how often your child will need positive feedback for a behavioral goal achieved. Toddlers may require hourly rewards, while older kids can wait until the end of the day. Conversely, the reward type for toddlers can be something tiny as a sticker, while older kids will need more significant awards to reinvigorate their excitement.
Choose age-appropriate rewards within your budget. You can then step up the prizes as your kid improves.
Make the chart
Choose the type of chart you want to make for your child. Charts can vary from simple A4 pages with stickers to online template-based charts. Use different color codes, stars, and stickers to denote a child’s behavioral progress. Include your child in the design process to make it fun and incorporate their input. After all, a child best understands themselves.
Explain the chart
Set some ground rules pertaining to the chart and explain what each sticker and color means. Explain what will earn them a reward on the chart and how to read the chart. Use simple language to your kid and be specific on the goal they are to achieve.
Use your chart
Pin the chart where your kids can easily see it, such as next to the fridge. Buy stickers or have your kid DIY them. Use your behavior grading system to gauge their progress. Provide positive comments on ways to improve their behavior instead of negative comments. “Try fluffing the cat” is a better comment than “you were rough with the cat.”
Note: Kids usually have a hard time adjusting to the chart. Not to worry, ease them into using the chart by making the reward system more straightforward and achievable goals.
As kids get older, they tend to outgrow the chart. Find ways to improve their behavior without the chart. Use praise to phase out the need for charts.
Tips for a Successful Behavior Chart
Some valuable tips to help you develop and use a behavior chart are:
- Set specific goals. Avoid ambiguous language that will confuse your kids. Also, put one target per specified period rather than a cluster of goals.
- Choose age-appropriate rewards. Providing extrinsic motivation requires giving your child rewards that genuinely motivate them.
- Establish a personal connection between the rewards and the behavior. Reinforce the positive behavior into your kid’s core by making positive remarks on top of the prize.
- Be consistent. Behavior modification requires continual effort and patience. You won’t immediately see a change in the kid’s behavior. Keep on encouraging your kid and up your reward system.
A behavior chart contains the goals, a progress tracking system, and a grading system. You write the purposes and use stickers or color codes to indicate a kid’s progress and the reward system.
Behavior charts work for the short term. Aim to get the best out of a behavior chart before your kids outgrow the reward system.
Behavior charts provide extrinsic motivation, which is short-lived. The charts also have lower a child’s self-esteem when they do not meet a specific objective. Extrinsic motivation builds a transactional mindset that conditions children to expect a reward when they do something that is not always the case in the real world.
Teachers use behavior charts to manage classroom situations that involve children displaying unacceptable behavior.
Behavior charts can harbor negative thoughts and impart undesired side effects despite the best intentions. Instead, you can connect children to their behaviors by showing them the repercussions of poor behavior and the reward for good behavior.
Yes, behavior charts work best for young children. Children may not get it at the bat, but they ease into the system.
Behavior charts are behavior modification tools for kids. They employ an incentive-based intervention to ameliorate behavioral inefficiencies.
As kids grow older, they outgrow the behavior chart system, and therefore you will have to apply alternative behavior modification tools.
For the best results, set specific goals to reinforce good behavior.