Child behavior charts are blueprints prepared to motivate the child to work on the development of a specifically targeted behavior pattern. Here, we will stress on the need and the application of such charts as a behavior modification tool.
Child behavior charts are important tools of child development, designed to inculcate positive behavior in young children, by coercing them to pursue the set goal. These charts are used by parents as well as teachers to monitor the child, and at the same time, inculcate positive behavioral patterns in the child.
There are various types of behavior charts―some focusing on daily chores, while others focusing on specific actions. Doing homework, keeping the house clean, helping parents, not breaking the rules of the house, etc., amount to positive behavior. On the other hand, lying, arguing, fighting, not keeping things clean and tidy, etc., amount to negative behavior. Both can be included in these behavior charts.
Though a wide range of printable behavior charts are available on the Internet for download, you can also make a customized chart of your own. No one knows your child better than you, and therefore, the chart prepared by you will be much more effective in inculcating good behavior in him. You can either create behavior charts on a simple table or prepare one on your personal computer using the spreadsheet. Given below are some samples that you can use as templates to make your own chart.
Sample Child Behavior Charts
|Going to School||1|
|Prepare for the Next Day||1|
|Follow all the Rules||2|
|Be Kind and Helpful||2|
|Sleep on Time||1|
|Leaving a Mess||-1|
|Complain from School/Neighbors||-3|
The first column consists of activities, while the second column consists of points to be awarded for these activities. The next seven columns represent each day, and the last column is meant for the total. Suppose the child makes his bed daily without fail, at the end of the week, he will be awarded 7 points, i.e., (1 × 7), and if he is kind and helpful for 4 days in the week, he will be awarded 8 points, i.e., (2 × 4) in the positive behavior chart.
As opposed to this, in the negative behavior chart the points are to be deducted from the particular days’ scores. For example, if the child earns a grand total of 25 points and he is caught fighting, 2 points will be deducted from his total, bringing it down to 23 points.
You can modify these child behavior charts according to your needs, i.e., add new activities and remove existing activities. Even the points given for each of these activities can be altered as per your opinion. The basic motive of the chart is to make the child realize the importance of simple day-to-day activities in a systematic manner.
Lastly, you need to place the chart at such a place from where your child can monitor it daily. Also, you need to be particular when it comes to filling the chart. If you skip a day or two, your child will lose interest in the activity.
Rewards and Penalties
An important exercise in the context of effective parenting, behavior charts motivate the child to attain long term goals by staying focused on them. At the end of each week, you can tally the points and reward him for his efforts. The reward here, can be anything that your child likes, right from a candy to a weekend outing. It’s ideal to declare the reward well in advance. This will ensure that the child is focused and works throughout the week to get the reward.
When it comes to older children, the rewards need to be bigger and better, but along with these rewards a new concept is added to the exercise in the form of penalties. In this case, rewards can include staying out for relatively more time, a sci-fi movie, or extra playtime, while penalties can include less time to play or less time to watch the TV.
The concept of behavior charts is highly successful, owing to the fact that instead of asking children to change their behavior randomly, you provide them a goal to achieve. Not even the best of these behavior charts can make your child change his behavior overnight. Like any other tool of behavior modification, even this will take a few weeks to show the desired effects, and therefore, you need to be patient.