Talk Back: behavioral charts

There are two tools in my parenting toolbox that make my life a lot easier. I’ve explained the tattle tally before. I am happy to report that it is still working and there is rarely a tattle in my house.

We also do behavioral charts every day. I was just sitting down to email them to a friend, and thought I would share them here. If you are interested, click here to go to a google doc of my family’s reward chart and tattle tally. (Obviously, copy and paste them and customize them for your own family).

Each night after dinner, we have a little meeting where we go over the “star charts” and tattle tally. Each child has six areas they work on each day. For example, right now Jafta is working on putting his shoes/backpack away, staying in bed all night, not fighting with siblings, respecting adults, first time compliance, and table manners. Once he gets seven stars in each area, he earns a prize. We keep the prizes on a shelf just above the charts as motivation. The prizes are usually something from the dollar bin at Target, or something I know I’m planning to buy them anyway (school backpack, new pajamas, Halloween costumes, etc).


The kids are very motivated by the star charts. We make a big deal of every star they get, clapping and hugging. They love it. We even made one for Karis because she gets so excited for this nightly routine. Once a chart is completed, they get to hang that chart on their bedroom door. I think they like that part as much as the prize.

The best part, though, is the way it modifies behavior. During the day, I can use the star chart as a warning any time they are acting out. “You are going to lose a star if you continue that” is a oft-spoken phrase around here.

Do you do any kind of behavioral chart? What has worked for your family?

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