Behavior Chart

Let's just say my house has been behaviorally challenged lately.
Kids fighting. Nothing getting done. Teeth left unbrushed. Tantrums.
The Usual times 10.
Parenthood is a huge struggle and sometimes you have to bring in the big guns.

I had pinned multiple things on Pinterest about parenting strategies, but this one really caught my eye.
I loved the system- green, yellow and red like a stoplight. Baby steps- just right for my little ones. Nothing too drastic and nothing too simple. It seemed perfect for us.
Plus, I knew I could easily make one in Photoshop.
So, I did.
I printed it on a 20x30 at Costco ($8.99), trimmed it, laminated it at FedEx ($10),
hung it up right above our time out stool in the hallway, put each child's initial on a clothespin & an empty jelly jar (with the circle lid removed for easy dispensing), and filled up a milk jug with colored mini pom poms ($1.99 at Hobby Lobby).
No it wasn't cheap, but I was sticking to a parenting plan...priceless!

The basics of the system are this...
* There is one clothespin for each child.
* Every day everyone starts out on "Good Job" (clean slate).
* The child moves the clip up one space for every good deed.
* Every time the clip hits "Awesome" they get one pom pom in their jar.
* Only mom or dad can tell the child to move the clip up or down,
and only mom or dad can give pom poms.
* If a bad choice is made the child moves their clip down to "oops", and for each
bad choice after that continues to move down and do the consequence. You skip the other green spaces when a bad choice is made since that wouldn't be "super" or "good job".
* Every good deed moves them back up one space (even though they wouldn't repeat the consequences listed in the red section when moving up....it's just the concept of slowly moving back up, encouraging multiple good choices for reinforcement.).
* If at any time they refuse to move their own clip, mom or dad moves it 2 spaces down.
* It's an automatic red (5 minute time out) for hurting someone intentionally (you skip the "oops" and the "warning").
* If a child is on any green space at the end of the day they get 5 pom poms in their jar.
* When the jar is full the child gets their pre-chosen reward (treat, prize, night out with mom or dad, etc.)
* Privileges lost are 1- snacks, 2- friend time, 3- screens (TV, computer, phone etc.)
* If a privilege is lost before 5pm they lose if for the rest of the day. If it is lost after 5pm it is lost until lunchtime the next day.
* Good deeds may include: saying "okay", following through and checking back on things asked by mom or dad, using good manners, eating all of the meal (or at least a good portion of the healthy parts), listening the first time, getting dressed or brushing teeth, doing homework or other chores.
* Bad deeds may include: whining, saying NO, crying (when not hurt), biting, hitting, kicking, saying mean things, not sharing or not completing assigned tasks.

{the clips}

{the jars}

{the whole system}

So far, so good.
We're still on day 1 but my kids have been on "awesome" most of the day.
I'm sure the novelty will wear off, but I love that the chart does all of the work.
I don't have to yell. I don't have to make up consequences or do false threats (who me?).
I can calmly say, "move your clip down one space for whining" and let the program do the hard work. I'm sure we'll still have all-out tantrums and days without privileges, but I feel happy knowing it won't be a guessing game for me as to what will happen that day and how I will deal with it. It will be consistent and it will work (insert self-fulfilling prophecy). Plus, kids thrive on consistency and knowing what is ahead based on the decision they make. That's comforting.

Download your free 20x30 printable behavior chart here.
Make the program your own...this is just our personal version that fits our little family for now.


Mandy said...

Thank You! I totally just ordered one. I need some help at the moment. You are so nice to share! I am excited to try it out :)

MelissaJane said...

So I just showed this to Owen and we both love it. How's it working now that you've had it a week or so?

Jessie said...

Melissa- I have LOVED it and so have the kids. They are still excited about it and know what it means to move up and down- and why they are moving. It allows me to let the chart do the work and not feel out of control myself. I have a feeling it will stick around for quite a while here!

Erin said...

A year later and here I am looking up this same topic. :o) Terrible week in my house and here I am searching pinterest, going to make tonight. Thank you for sharing!

Heather McCowan said...

I want to try this with my son, but the link no longer works... Do you know where else I can get this???

Jessie said...

Hey, Heather! Just tried the link and it still works. Try it again and let me know if you have problems. I can email it to you, as well.

Heather McCowan said...

I was on Internet Explorer (older version)... I think that was my problem. GOT it using Mozilla Firefox. THANK YOU!

selanderica said...

Wow! This has been a huge change for us - love it! Feedback is immediate and lots of good feedback.

Thank you

Anonymous said...

We are starting this today when my daughter gets out of school. Not that I expect this to happen quite yet......but what if they are on awesome all day? Do they just get the 5 pom poms at night? I want to make sure I that I keep it consistent!

Jessie said...

Yep, that would deserve 5 pom poms, indeed!

Karen Grebinski said...

Hi Jessie,
This is such a great idea! Just made it and am ready for some order in my house. I had one question. When they make it to awesome and receive a Pom Pom do they stay on awesome and keep getting Pom poms for every good deed there on after it once they get to awesome they start back a good job?
Thank you! Can't wait to start using this system.