Reward Charts for Children?!

I don’t usually do reward charts because I don’t think children should be rewarded for stuff they ought to just do anyway, dammit.

I also know from experience (as luck would have it, I taught English to preschoolers in Japan for several years. Did I mention that yet?)that they aren’t an effective tool for every child, and that I, the “adult,” have trouble keeping up with them and eventually come to think of the whole process as a pain in the ass.

Way back when I was still young and 元気, (note: quick Google search translates as “full of vigor.” Take from that what you will.)I had a class of twelve 2-4 year olds that were hard to control. Out of desperation, I started a smiley face chart. Every time they did as they were told, I drew a smiley face by their name. When they misbehaved, I erased one. If the children collected ten smiley faces during the course of the two hour class, I gave them a sticker. Hey- the company was funding this fiasco, after all. I think this was even their stupid suggestion.

Well, as you can imagine the kids who didn’t get stickers had conniption fits. Surprisingly enough no parents complained. That I know of… At any rate, nobody quit.

Over the course of time, the stickers lost their appeal. To the rowdy kids, anyway. The ones who would have behaved themselves regardless were obsessed with them. You’d have thought it was the Hope Diamond I was giving out from the way they carried on!

Fast forward ¥&-$/@ years, and Me First’s teacher suggested a reward chart for homework. So against my better judgement I started one. Then Me Too got jealous, so I started one for her English homework. Brother quickly lost interest (as I thought he would,) but Sister is really into it.

It helped with transitioning her homework time to the morning, I reckon. She’s done a solid month of hard work, and after just one more sticker she can finally get her reward: a kid make-up kit.

Hopefully seeing her get a reward will light a fire under Brother’s butt. But the smart money is probably on Conniption Fit.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. gaijinwife
    Jun 08, 2012 @ 22:03:50

    Go Me Too!! We have store brought expensive wooden charts with magnets that I used really well for five months and are now forgotten – even though I nailed them to the side of the dresser :)

    Hope Me First just gets jealous, minus the tanty.



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