Good Job Kiddo!

I’m sure we’ve all heard that rewarding good behavior is more effective than punishing bad behavior. Like most parenting solutions, that can be a lot easier said than done sometimes.

Quick Tips

  • Be clear on the behaviors you are rewarding. Is it cleaning their room every night, taking out the trash, or saying “thank you” when appropriate? I suggest talking with your kids, writing it down on a chart, or posting a picture of the behavior.
  • Younger kids need immediate rewards, even small ones. Using behavior charts with stickers, marbles in a jar, and so on are good small rewards. You can decide how many stickers,  marbles, etc. they need to earn the big prize.
  • Post a visual of the reward to keep them motivated.
  • Kids love verbal praise from their parents too, so let them know “Good job!” and “Yea!” when they do something good.

Reward Charts Online

Free Printable Behavior Charts is a great site to find dozens of free behavior charts.  I access this site regularly when working with parents to develop an effective behavior modification program for their child.

Association for Comprehensive Neurotherapy is an overall good website for tips and techniques on working with a variety of issues.

RewardingKids is another good website for reward charts. These cost around $9.95, but if you compare, they are a lot more colorful and interactive than the free ones out there. I have not personally tried this out though. If someone has, I would love to hear some reviews.

iPhone Apps:

iEarnedThat, by Kidoc, is a motivational app for kids. You can upload a picture of the reward your child is working for and the app creates puzzle pieces of the picture. You get to choose the number of puzzle pieces too. So, if you want to give credit for every morning your child gets ready for school on time, you can set it for 5 puzzle pieces.

iReward Chart, by Gotclues, allows children to earn stars for behaviors. You can write your own, or choose from their list of abstract  behaviors, such as sharing with others, eating their vegetables, and so on.

Time Timer, is a visual timer so your child can see how much time they have left. This can be used for time to clean up or time remaining in time out.

Author: Kim Peterson, MA, LPC-S, RPT

Kim is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Clinical Supervisor, and Registered Play Therapist in Dallas, Texas.

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