Children will always do better for positive rewards than negative ones. Unfortunately, many parents and teachers still fall under the assumption that we need to use negative reinforcement instead of positive rewards.
I have found, in our home and in my classrooms over the years, that childrens reward system works better than punishments. Reward systems are easy to maintain and the kids always try hard when we are using this children’s reward system.
Here are a few rewards charts for children that I wanted to share with you that I have done over the years.
This is my all-time favorite, which is why it has its own post, HERE. (this is what we use at home & after trying all of the rest, we’ve kept this one over the years). Here are a few more that we’ve tried…
2- Bubble Gum Machine
Your child will get a penny for doing a chore or for doing something good. We had this for a little while at our house, but I didn’t really like them eating so many M&M’s throughout the day. I also didn’t want them to associate eating treats with rewards (emotional eating in the future… I don’t want them on a talk show telling them how their Mom bribed them with M&M’s!) (This is really cute though!)
3- Sticker Chart
Your child receives a sticker for doing something well-done. When they have 5 stickers, they get a small prize (I give prizes that cost about 25 cents. ) When they fill up 30 days of the chart, they get to pick from our “big prize basket” which contains toys from the dollar store. This was a great one and worked well, but in the end, they were filling up too fast and I really prefer my regular children’s reward system over this one.
This one worked well in my classroom. Each child gets a blank puzzle piece to decorate (that I have cut out from a large sheet of poster board). We put all of them together and it makes a huge puzzle. If they are listening well, they stay in the puzzle. If they are not listening, they are warned. On their second warning, they move their puzzle piece out of the puzzle, symbolizing that we can’t be a “whole group” if we aren’t all doing our best. We need to support each other. (They can earn their spot back in the puzzle and their classmates can help them by cheering them on and encouraging them throughout the day. Everyone is excited when we are a ‘whole’ group again. This one is great for having everyone help each other, because if our puzzle is together at the end of the day, they each get a sticker from the reward box.)
The trusty old Green for good, yellow for warning, red for not listening reward system. Your child will start on green and can be moved to yellow & then to red if they aren’t listening. I always let my students/children earn their way back up when I had this system in place. This is the most common one, in my opinion.
Over all, my favorite is #1 because it focuses on the positive things that our children and students can do to better themselves and our family or classroom. I would love to hear what works in your home or classroom! Please leave a comment with your system so that we can all learn from each other! Thanks!
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