How can I use a reward chart?

A reward chart is a great tool for encouraging and praising the positive behaviour of your child.

They are a simple way to help your child to learn new skills, like following instructions. They can also tackle more challenging behaviours, such as refusing to share.

A parent and child play together in a garden

How to set up a reward chart

  • You can make your own with an A4 or A3 piece of paper and a ruler. Ask your child to decorate the edges with their favourite colours and stickers.
  • Or you can print off a ready-made chart – there are lots of free templates online.
  • Talk about the behaviours and tasks you include with your child. This will help them to understand what you expect from them. It can also make them feel more invested in the reward chart.
  • If you have more than one child, they could each have a chart or they could share one. You could even set up joint tasks so they have to work together to complete the chart. This can help combat any sibling rivalry.
  • Read our seven top tips for reward charts.

Using the reward chart

  • Make sure that the good behaviour happens first. The order is important. If the reward comes before the behaviour then this is just a bribe!
  • Don’t remove rewards as a punishment. Your child has achieved the rewards for good behaviour. If their behaviour is unacceptable then you should give them a suitable consequence.
  • Always be positive. Praise your child’s achievements no matter small they might be.
  • Discuss and review the reward chart regularly with your child. This is a great opportunity for you to offer praise and positivity. It also gives them a sense of ownership of the chart that will help encourage them further.
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