Regardless of age, we all occasionally need some type of incentive or positive reinforcement to keep us motivated and on track with our goals. This is certainly the case with most two and a half year olds, including my little girl, who are testing the boundaries while trying to find their way as individuals. Sometimes, it’s a struggle to get them to listen, follow routines and put those “temper tantrums” aside, but there are many resources out there to help establish those boundaries and to promote positive behavior.
A few months ago, I purchased the, “I Can Do It Reward Chart” for my daughter from Amazon. Of course, I could have made up a chart myself, but having something already constructed with actual reusable stars and pre-made labels made the process easy for getting started. I did, however, add a nice border and frame to display it. I know some people are against star charts, and that is fine because everything is not for everybody. But my husband and I love this chart, and my daughter loves it too and will remind us if we do not review her behavior/tasks at the end of the day. Some of the labels we have chosen to use are no whining, clean up your mess, no yelling, eat your veggies and fruits and a few others. Something I do, however, is use more positive phrasing. For instance, instead of focusing on “no yelling,” I’ll ask her did she use an indoor voice? Each task has a picture along with the words, so Quinn is able to point to them as will say what she is supposed to do, “I cleaned up my mess today, Mommy!” she excitedly informs me.
This chart does a wonderful job at holding her accountable as long as we are consistent with going over what stars she has earned and where she may need to do better the next day. Every once in a while, she may be in a bad mood or may struggle to control her emotions, which is a struggle adults even have. Since we started using the chart, when she doesn’t earn a star, My husband and I will let her know that sometimes we all have rough days. She then informs us, “I can start over again tomorrow, and I will have a better day.” Yes, I would be kidding myself if I didn’t think that she is partially on her best behavior and completing tasks all day in hopes of earning a star and then getting a special reward, but I also believe that the chart helps to develop good habits and behaviors, and that she also does the tasks and behaves as she should because she knows what is right. What would we do without this chart!
All the best,