When handled correctly, activity and behavior charts can be very successful in creating a positive pattern of behavior. Listed are ideas to help you correctly implement a chart as well as links to free printable charts.
- Be consistent. If leeway is given one time and not another, a mixed message is sent to the child.
- Make sure that your child understands exactly what the expectations are.
- When creating the chart, avoid vague language that is too broad (ie. be good, obey, behave). There is no way to judge these general ideas. The more specific the behavior is, the easier it will be for you and the child.
- If the child can not read, use pictures instead of words.
- To begin, set expectations low enough for the child to be successful. Then slowly raise the expectations. Standards that are too high will lead to frustration on everyone's part. At the same time, do not fill the chart with frivolous expectations.
- Don't work on too many areas at once. This will overwhelm the child. Choose one behavior to focus on at a time. (i.e. The child going to bed without asking for additional items - hug, drink, potty.)
- Rewards should be simple and inexpensive.
- Rewards may be based upon a day or an accumulative amount of time.
- Introduce the chart to your child in a positive way and begin immediately.
- Allow the child to help choose a reward. Be creative.
- Give the chart time. Depending on the child's personality and age, it may take several weeks to change a bad habit.
- Behavior will not change over night. And, the behavior may get worse before it gets better. This occurs because the child is checking to see if the boundaries are indeed firm and that you won't cave.
Free Printable Charts:
Volume Control Chart - Especially an issue among children with Sensory Processing Disorder, some children do not understand how loud their voices are. Use this chart to help them control their volume.