Being a mom can be so hard sometimes! I am in the thick of the toddler years, and it seems I am constantly looking for ways to motivate and positively reenforce good behavior at my house! Wether it is potty training or just a new habit I would like to create, the system that works best for both of my kids (ages 2 and 4) is a reward chart.
I received admission to Disney On Ice in exchange for this post. All ideas and opinions are my own.
I love how easily it can be adjusted to their needs and tailored to fit my expectations. For example, my kids both have charts going right now, but for completely different behaviors. My son, who is 4, is working on trying new things on his own. This can mean new foods at dinner or an activity from preschool. He can be a perfectionist and gets very nervous trying something outside his comfort zone. My daughter, who is 2, is just working on staying clean and dry all day as she is newly potty trained. At first our rewards were toys. They filled a card, they got to pick a new toy. But let’s be honest, how many toys do you need around your house? My kids have so many and I began looking for more meaningful rewards for children. I would much rather create memories instead of clutter!
Here are a few of my favorites-
A Date Night:
Let your kids choose an activity to do with you or you and your spouse. Get a sitter for your other kids and spend a whole night celebrating them. They will love picking somewhere to eat or a movie to see and you will be surprised at how much they love calling the shots and having your undivided attention. It will be a great opportunity to have some good conversation time.
I love this reward. My kids always seem to need new pajamas, why not let them choose them and call them a reward? My little lady worked so hard to fill her chart to choose her very first nightgown. It was something she needed anyway, but she thought it was such a big deal.
Late Bedtime or Extra Screen Time:
One full chart= staying up an extra half hour one night. I make a huge stink about putting the other sibling to bed and we spend an extra half hour reading stories and drinking hot chocolate or eating ice cream. Again, quality time used as a reward and while you and I both know that 30 minutes is no big deal, it sure feels like one to a 4-year-old. We don’t have screen time at our house because my kids are so young, but extra time on the computer or tv would work the same way.
Have you ever considered working on a goal as a family and rewarding everyone with a fun night out. It could be a trip to the drive in movie, it could be a day of miniature golf, or a picnic at the park. We have a family reward night coming up this week, and we will be heading to Disney On Ice Let’s Celebrate! Presented by Stonyfield YoKids Organic Yogurt this Disney on Ice show features 50 characters from 16 of your favorite Disney stories.
Join all your favorite friends as they celebrate all your favorite days throughout the year, A Very Merry Unbirthday, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Mardi Gras, Chinese New Year, Carnival and many more. Your kids will be mesmerized by that signature Disney magic as they join all their friends at Disney On Ice.
Anyway you choose to do it, make sure your kids know how you appreciate their good behavior! They deserve some recognition for working so hard, and when you react positively they are more likely to behave for you in the future.