Shouting “Listen to your mother!” doesn’t always work on children – we’re sure you will agree. Setting up a star chart can be an effective way to teach your child respect, responsibility and patience – not to mention reduce your load of household chores. You can use the star chart to encourage older children to assist with more complicated chores, like washing the dishes and putting plates in the dishwasher. And for the younger kids, a star chart can encourage good behaviours like tying shoelaces and saying please and thank you. Whatever you decide to teach your child, the star chart can help make it happen – no matter your little one’s age.
How to use a star chart:
1. Identify a behaviour you would like to encourage
First and foremost, choose a good behaviour that you would like to encourage in your child.
Here are some ideas for you to consider:
Ages 3 to 5
- Saying please and thank you.
- Brushing teeth.
- Eating vegetables.
- Finishing food on the plate.
Ages 6 to 8
- Tying shoelaces.
- Putting toys away.
- Greeting family members and guests.
- Getting ready on time for school.
Ages 9 to 11
- Cleaning up the bedroom.
- Loading and unloading the dishwasher.
- Putting wet laundry on the line.
- Finishing homework unattended.
2. Order your chart
Once you’ve established a behaviour you’d like your child to work on, you can order your star chart from Kidico. We have stickers you can use to create your own chart, and fully-kitted magnetic charts available too.
3. Place the chart in an accessible area
Children are visually-oriented, so like to be able to access the star chart themselves and visibly see their progress. When introducing the new star chart to your child, make sure it’s in an accessible part of your home that they can visit frequently.
4. Award the stickers straight after the good behaviour
When your child exhibits the good behaviour, be sure to administer the star immediately, making a fuss of your child as you do so. The consistent positive experience will encourage your child to perform the behaviour again, and again, reinforcing it over time.
5. Offer small rewards during the process
If children have to achieve a large number of stars before winning the grand reward, they may have to wait weeks, and might get bored with the process. To maintain your child’s interest in the star chart, scatter smaller awards throughout the weeks. For example, playing cricket with Dad or baking cupcakes with Mom at the end of the first week, and having a sleepover with friends at the end of the second week.
6. Keep the mood light
If your child isn’t performing well on the star chart, or displays contrary behaviour, try to refrain from taking away stars as punishment, and rather encourage better next time. Moving forward from discretions and not dwelling on them tells children that you are on their side and rooting for them to succeed, not fail.
Your child deserves a gold star, and so do you
By using the star chart reward system in your home, you are not only encouraging good behaviour, but promoting a healthier and happier home environment, for your child and the rest of your family. And for that, we say here’s a gold star. Good job, Mom!