How to Use Kids Charts

Download free kids charts and learn the best way to use them to list chores for kids, increase compliance and decrease a child behavior problem. Many parents attempt to use a chart at some point as a way to encourage their children to behave or participate in household duties, but get discouraged when they don't always seem to work.

So, prior to downloading any free printable reward charts and/or certificates available at the bottom of the page, first it’s important to read how to use them correctly. You will want to start by deciding if you are trying to increase or decrease a certain behavior.

kids charts, sticker charts, charts for kids

How to use kids charts to increase behavior:

When using kids charts to list chores or other desired behaviors (e.g. hygiene), always provide lots of praise for each behavior that is listed along with a sticker, star or check mark placed on the incentive chart.

For younger kids make sure to exchange every 3-5 stickers for other rewards or the stickers/stars will start to lose value. Other rewards can include special activities, privileges, toys or desirable items for younger children.

For older children, such as teenagers, rewards other than verbal praise are not recommended for general chore behaviors. Children at this age need to learn that as part of a household everyone is expected to contribute without any type of payment in return.

However, if a teenager goes above and beyond their normal list of duties or helps another family member out by completing their chore, a spontaneous reward other than praise is very appropriate.

Now you may be asking, then how will I get my older children to complete chores if I don’t reward them? The problem is solved by simply applying the rule that recreational activities are not allowed until chores are completed each day.

Having chores done every day after coming home from school, as part of a routine, is also very helpful. Once chores are completed, then recreational activities including TV, video games, and computer games can take place. You may even consider restricting phone use for teenagers until after tasks are completed.

You may also want to include the strategies I have provided on my page for help with defiant children. These are great to do in combination with a chart, which allows you to eventually use these techniques by themselves as a more natural way to encourage desired behaviors.

How to use kids charts to decrease behaviors:

If you are hoping to use behavior charts for things such as aggressive behavior in children or to eliminate temper tantrums, then you will want to make sure you do not use them as a method of punishment.

They should be used in a positive manner to provide reinforcement on the days that your child does not engage in any of the listed behaviors.

If you start scolding your child about how he/she didn’t earn a sticker, then your child may associate the printable reward charts in a negative manner. This will make them ineffective and may even result in a child tearing them up or actually causing melt downs and child tantrums.

Now that would be a bit counter productive and if your kid just can't handle not earning a star, I recommend not using them and checking out my free eBook with proactive strategies for a child behavior problem instead.

At the end of each day talk about what your child did that was good, other things they could have done instead of any of the behaviors listed or if your child had a great day then give him/her a sticker and lots of praise. If they did not earn one, simply say "Let's try again tomorrow. I know you can do it!" in a positive manner.

Kids Charts and Printable Awards:

About Chore Charts
Printable Certificates for Kids
Homework Chart
Feelings Chart
Potty Chart

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