Hello Ruth, I have a question about the rewards for the chart. Do they get a reward at the end of every week regardless? Or if they don't so something one day does that mean they don't get a reward at all? ~From Tammy
You are very thoughtful, Tammy.
I faced the same question when my kids were little.
The very first week we used the chart I was afraid the kids would get discouraged if they didn't accomplish everything, every day. So I set my expectations in order, and determined to allow for a few adjustments to be made in the beginning.
For instance: If one day was a special event that didn't allow for them to do certain activities (because, say, they just weren't home all day and couldn't do that particular item), I would allow that item to be 'excused'.
"Since it is mainly an incentive for them to learn to help out, I would make every effort to make sure they could accomplish their goals so they could get their reward".
In addition, other things may have been overlooked possibly because I hadn't given them reminders, or perhaps was too busy to check! Since the children were still getting used to it, (me too) and 'in training' (ME TOO!), I would occasionally allow them to do some 'make ups' toward the end of the week; and also offer a substitute of other more relevant duties if I found the particular item wasn't as necessary that week. I tried to avoid being too picky about it, because the aim of the exercise is FAMILY SERVICE and unity of purpose. In other words, giving them the experience that HELPING IS FUN!
Each week we would have a family meeting to assess the effectiveness of the previous week's chart, and adjust them accordingly. This way the children all had a part in crafting their own charts and felt more responsible for the outcome the following week.
"The aim of the exercise is FAMILY SERVICE and unity of purpose. In other words, giving them the experience that HELPING IS FUN! "
Also - As far as the rewards go - since it is usually not a huge reward (perhaps only a candy or a trip to the 99Cent Store or Dollar Store) and mainly an incentive for them to learn to help out, I would make every effort to make sure they could accomplish their goals so they could get their reward.
If the child has been basically a good kid, even if not perfect in everything, we would adjust for the mistakes made by doing alternate activities to 'make up' for a missing item, for example.
However, if a child has intentionally been acting rebellious, with an attitude of defiance, there may be an underlying issue that should be addressed. Many problems can be figured out with a little invesigation if you can catch them quickly. Find out WHAT they were feeling that made them act like that before punishing them. Find out the reason for their behavior before jumping to punish. If they are simply being childish and selfish, then they learn that type of behavior is not rewarded. But allow then to tell you their feelings and you can help them sort them out. That will help their self understanding. And there should not be an expression of shame when you correct them. They can still try to do better next week. Basically it's the thought and the intention of the heart that counts, more than the 'letter' of the law. Here are some other great resources that may help, too: Claudia Gold, MD has some great advice on tantrums, and Chris Thompson, the 'Toddler Whisperer'. Also great tips from the Total Transformation Program.
Read more about Incentives, here, too.
Hope that answers your question!
Thank you so much for asking.