The Sticker Chart is back

My oldest daughter , who is now 8, is an extremely sensitive girl, which has its positives and negatives. Positives: she is sweet, loving, emotional. Negatives: she is emotional πŸ™‚ and has a hard time collecting herself when she is upset. She has come a long way from when she was a toddler/preschooler when I would send her to her room for a time out; I would have to literally hold the door shut so she couldn’t come out, completely out of control, mid-emotional breakdown. She would sometimes even hit her head against the door she was so upset. And I was upset too. If you saw my docile, wonderful girl now, you would never guess we had such behavioral issues (which still can occasionally rear their ugly heads, but nothing like the past years).

One discipline tool that really worked for me in dealing with my daughter was a sticker chart. I made a list of all the desired behaviors (I had her help me – I would ask her what she thought some of the things were she needed to work on – she would suggest let’s say, sharing with her sister,not pouting, brushing her teeth, and we would add these to the chart).

Next each night before bed we would go through each behavior and place a sticker next to the areas in which she did a good job that day. We were pretty much on the same page as to if she got a sticker for something or not – kids are smart. Then, once she filled the sticker chart, I let her pick out a small toy at Target or we would do something together like go to a movie. This worked wonders and I don’t think we even made it to a third chart before we didn’t need it anymore.

My other two kids were never really in need of a sticker chart – until now. We are in mid-Summer and things are somewhat out of control at my house. Bathing suits are hung up to dry on every surface, bedrooms are in a state of disarray, packets of summer reading and reading lists have barely been touched, and my 4 year old son has developed a horrible potty mouth – I am predicting he will be tossed out of pre-K at this rate.

So enter the sticker chart – are you ever too old? I don’t think so. My strategy this time around is to pick only the most important problems for each child – my son needs to stop hitting and get his language out of the gutter, my girls need to spend some time each day (1/2 – 1 hour) reading and doing school work, and they all need to pick up their rooms/make beds each day. I figure this might save my summer. Now I need a sticker chart for me so I can get those bathing suits under control:-).

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Rachael Ray