Every child is different but the general rule is any time from 3 years of age onwards. If a child can associate getting kisses, cuddles or treats for doing something that makes parents happy then they are ready for a reward chart.
Remember that very young children can get overwhelmed if they have to achieve a large number of stars. It is too much for their little minds to process. There are 2 simple printable reward charts you can download for free here.
Use the chart to encourage anything from brushing teeth to working with siblings or just remembering to say please and thank you. Kids love living by rules and no need to guess what is expected of them from parents. It gives them certainty and control over their world.
Three important principles which guarantee the success of reward charts
- Be Positive Positive incentives are extremely effective in behavior change.Negative comments, criticism and punishment can badly effect children’s self-esteem and close children off to positive learning opportunities. The reward chart allows parents to emphasize the positives in their child’s behavior.
- Be ConsistentBe consistent in reinforcing good behavior. This will show your child that you mean business when using the charts and help gain and maintain their trust in the reward system, and in turn maintain their focus and motivation.
- Be realistic The chart needs to be achievable in relation to the child’s age and development. Take into consideration your child’s age along with their physical and emotional stages of development.