In Adam’s preschool class this past year, they used a chart that was good for both rewarding good behavior and correcting bad behavior. Most behavior charts focus on just one or the other, but I really like the fact that this one combines both. Adam liked it so much that when he finished preschool he asked if we could have a chart at home, too.
Here’s what our chart looks like…
Since the original chart was designed for use in the classroom, I needed to modify it a bit for home. The classroom chart used “Ready to Learn” as the starting point for the kids each day, but I changed it to “Ready to Make Good Choices” for our chart because that’s something we talk about a lot in our house. I also changed “Teacher’s Choice” to “Mom’s Choice” and “Parent Contact” to “Dad’s Choice”, and I’ll explain more about that in a minute.
We’ve been using the chart for a couple of weeks now, and I can honestly say that I think it’s brilliant! I love the way it promotes positive behavior, and I have seen such a change for the better in both of my boys. They have been sharing more with each other and helping out more than ever with household chores (without grumbling for a change!) They are naturally competitive, so it’s a big deal to them to see who can be further up the chart by the end of the day.
What You Need to Get Started
- A package of clothespins
- Free Printable Behavior Chart
Click on the link above to download the chart, print it out and laminate if possible so it will last longer. Give each child a clothespin and let them write their name on it. Hang the chart in an area of your home where it’s visible throughout the day and at a level where your children can reach it to move their clips. I used suction cup hooks to hang mine to the front of our refrigerator.
How It Works
- Each child starts the day out with their clip on green or “Ready to Make Good Choices”.
- As the day progresses, have each kid move their own clip up or down depending on their behavior.
- Clips only move up or down one color level at a time.
It’s important to have the kids move their own clips and talk to them about why the clip is moving, so they can better understand the consequences (good or bad) for their choices. They get such a feeling of accomplishment as they move their clip up the chart, and if they’re having a bad day and move down the chart, they know that they can always move back up by making better choices.
When they end up with their clip on yellow or “Think About It”, I remind them that they need to think about the choices they’re making and how they’re acting. If they end up on orange or “Mom’s Choice”, then I decide what the consequence will be for whatever action caused them to be there. Depending on the child and/or action, sometimes talking to them is enough but often times this involves them losing a privilege/toy or spending time in the naughty corner in our house. If they’re on red or “Dad’s Choice” when my husband gets home from work, then it’s up to him to decide what the consequence will be. Generally if they are still on red at the end of the day then they have had a REALLY bad day, and I figure at that point it’s time to get both parents involved. On the positive side of things, if a child’s clip is on purple or “Outstanding” at the end of the day, then they get to add a sticker to their clip. When they get 3 stickers, they get a special reward or treat!
If you’d like to read more about how to use the chart, here’s a link to the Clip Chart eBook, which I think is the original source for the classroom chart.
Hopefully that covers everything. If you decide to use this at your home, I’d love for you to leave a comment below and let me know how it works for you!