If your searching for a solution to help your child learn appropriate behaviors, a behavior chart can be a simple discipline tool. This visual can act as a constant reminder for the child to act accordingly and for the parents to praise positive behavior. To help you correct inappropriate behavior and reinforce positive behavior use the following charts.
Primary Printable Charts (Ages 4-11)
If you need help downloading the charts, check out these helpful tips.
Daily Reward Chart (4-6)
The daily reward chart is a fun and easy way to track behavior. It is in the shape of a house, and there are five goals the child needs to attain:
- Be kind to others
- Pick up toys
- Use nice words
- Go to bed when told
- Be on time for school
There are two ways you can use this chart. The child can place a sticker over the appropriate behavior they have accomplished, or they can color in the section of the house where they met their goal. Tip: Print out several copies of this chart and have the child use it daily. At the end of the week, you will be able to see how well they behaved over time.
Weekly Point Chart (6-9)
Weekly point charts are a great way to reinforce daily positive behavior. Assign points to each goal the child is expected to attain. At the end of the week, count the points to see what the reward will be. Tip: Use low numbers for points, such as 1 or 2 points for each behavior. This will make it easier for the child to count their weekly behavior chart.
Checkmark Chart (9-11)
An easy way to reinforce what your child needs to work on is to provide a daily behavior chart. Simply placing a checkmark every day, after they achieve their goal behavior, will provide them will a sense of accomplishment. Tip: Review the chart every night and give positive feedback.
Secondary Printable Charts (Ages 11-16)
Behavior Bucks Chart
This chart uses "Behavior Bucks" to reward positive behavior. "Behavior Bucks" are like money, each "Buck" is equivalent to a dollar. Each day the child acts accordingly they place a point, checkmark or sticker after the positive behavior on the chart. At the end of the week, they tally their points and cash them in for "Behavior Bucks." Tip: Have a set price for each reward; for example, seven behavior bucks earns one sleepover.
Monthly Behavior Chart
The monthly behavior chart is a great way to track behavior overtime. It is set up so the child can focus on up to three targeted behaviors each week. You can track the behavior over four weeks or change it after each week. Tip: Review chart after week one to see if you need to make adjustments.
Behavior contracts are for children who need extra structure and an incentive to change undesirable behavior. It is a signed agreement between parent and child. This contract provides space to write specific behaviors the child needs to change. It also provides a section to write down the consequences if the behavior is not achieved, and the reward for when it is achieved.Tip: In the contract write down and define specific behaviors you want changed. Do not be vague or the child can find a way to get out of the contract.
For the preschool age, charts need to be simple and easy for the child to understand. Most three and four year old's understand the basic behavior concepts, so a simple sticker chart with graphics can be easily mastered. You can find additional ideas and printables in the article," Preschool Behavior Charts."
Rewards and Consequences
One of the best ways to motivate children with behavior charts is through a system of rewards and consequences. Rewards can be simple, inexpensive items:
- A piece of candy
- Being allowed to stay up late
- Being excused from a chore
- Getting extra play time with Mom or Dad
- Choosing a movie
- Having a sleepover
By offering extrinsic rewards, you're giving children an understandable and concrete goal to work toward, rather than an ambiguous goal that isn't necessarily attainable.
For older children, rewards can be more complex. Charts can include point values for good behaviors as well as negative values for undesirable behaviors. When the total reaches a predetermined number, then they have earned their reward. Those rewards should be clearly stated ahead of time so that both parties know the result.
Free behavior charts are a great tool for parents and other individuals who interact with children. With a consistent, positive approach, using a chart can help modify undesirable behaviors and craft new behavior patterns in a fun, creative way that gives children ownership of their actions.