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Behavior Charts Tips

Parents are so often frustrated by bad behavior that they forget to encourage good behavior. All kids, regardless of age, need praise and patience in order to grow into the people we'd like them to be. But, encouraging good behavior can be tough, and parents tend to react instead of direct. But, there are parenting strategies that are simple and that work. Setting goals and tracking children's progress are much easier when you use behavior charts or reward charts.

Kid Pointz's experts and staff believe that proactively managing your child's behavior is as simple as communication. And, to avoid constant nagging, we recommend using charts to remind kids what is expected of them and to give them an "end point." What do we mean by that? Well, since kids are very goal oriented, telling your child to behave is far too open ended for him to grasp.

In reality, most people are goal oriented. Think about it; you work for a week or two, then you get paid. If you didn't know that you could count on that paycheck, you (probably) wouldn't continue working. When you go on a diet, you want to see a lower number when you step on the scale. When you want a new house, car, or other big-ticket item, you have to save for it.

It's simple action/reaction. People do something, then they receive something. Kids are the same way. Want your child to behave, give them a reason to do so. Encouraging good behavior is as simple as keeping kids motivated.

Modeling Behavior

Perhaps one of the most important aspects of encouraging good behavior in kids is to model what you want them to do. If you tell your children to avoid conflict with others, but you are always getting into debates and arguments with the people around you, your child is more likely to do what you do instead of what you say. Young kids are not old enough to rationalize the "do as I say, not as I do" mentality. They simply mimic the behavior they see. Set a good example and live your life in a way that demonstrates to your child what you want him to be.

Rules for Children's Behavior

Kids don't do well without rules. Although parenting styles vary, most experts believe that very permissive or very rigid parents are not as effective as parents who set reasonable rules and administer them with love, acceptance, and understanding. Set behavior rules that you expect everyone in the family to follow and make sure that you discuss reasonable consequences for violating those rules. Apply the rules consistently and compassionately. Set clear expectations about each member of the family's chores and responsibilities. Encouraging good behavior rarely happens in response to anger, but rather through a process of communication. Behavior charts and chore charts are a great way to put everything down in black and white, so both parents and children know what is expected.

Positive Attention for Good Behavior

Many parents punish or apply consequences for bad behavior, but few remember to apply an equal or greater amount of positive parenting. Everyone prefers encouragement and praise over being scolded or yelled at, adults are no different. Negative attention doesn't feel good. Positive attention not only feels good, it rewards and teaches good behavior. The reason that many parents react instead of deal proactively with their child's actions is that proactive attention takes time and effort. In today's busy world, we don't always notice the good, but we always catch the bad. Setting up a point/reward system in concert with your behavior or reward charts will be a great way to let kids know when they are making the right choices.

Using Charts to Focus on the Positive Behavior

Encouragement of positive behavior is the most effective way to improve children's choices. Here's how to put this approach into action using printable charts for kids: Take a few minutes to connect with your child. Tell her what you like about what she's doing. Is she reading quietly? When using behavior charts, update the chart and tell her how much you appreciate it when she reads quietly. Did she pick up her own toys today? When using chore charts, update the chart and tell her how much you appreciate it when she picks up her toys without having to be told. Was she especially good with the morning routine? When using daily routine charts, update the chart and tell her how helpful it is when she does what she needs to do to get out of the door as quickly as possible in the morning. Notice what your child does right and praise her for it. She'll respond by doing more of what feels good.