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Do Reward Charts actually work in the long term?

(11 Posts)
feistywife Fri 30-Sep-11 10:23:55

I.e. actually achieve a permanent change in behaviour? If so what techniques/rewards worked well for people and how do you 'wean off' the rewards without behaviour reverting back to undesired type?! Thank you... <pulling out hair and contemplating 40yr old tantrum herself>

PrincessScrumpy Fri 30-Sep-11 10:31:22

dd refused to sleep - we did the rapid return technique and I returned her to bed 64 times one night! We decided to do a chart and dd would get a sticker for good sleeping if she stayed in bed and then once she had 7 stickers she got a prize (small prize). I think we did it for 3 weeks in total (including taking the chart (homemade and slightly shabby from being drawn up in 2 minutes) to pil's house when we stayed the weekend) after the 3 weeks we stopped bothering as dd was sleeping beautifully and still does now. We did it when she was just over 2, she's 3.5 now.

We stuck the chart in her view and she stuck the stickers on. We also drew a sad face in the squares for bad sleeping in black pen (she didn't like that so it encouraged her to go for stickers.

Good luck - I think the key is to be consistent and once the chart goes, continue to praise good behaviour.

mummytime Fri 30-Sep-11 11:02:27

Star charts are great, but best for the change they can make in a parent. They can train you to spot the goodbehaviour in your child, rather than just the bad.

Rewards also help in making good habits and breaking bad ones. I think you have to do something for 28 days or so for it to become a habit/routine, a reward system can help with this.

Also as adults we tend to work for reward.

notcitrus Fri 30-Sep-11 11:10:42

Worked a treat for getting ds potty trained - but only once he really wanted a scooter! We did 20 days of going along with the potty business, a sticker per day, with choc buttons/smarties for successful weeing/pooing in the potty (standards raised as we went on).

It's a few months later and sometimes he'll still ask for a Smartie for weeing and I say no, he only gets those for poos (and only when he remembers to ask, which is rare!), and he says "Yes, I'm very good at weeing in the potty so I have a scooter!" and goes off happily.

feistywife Sun 02-Oct-11 15:50:56

Thank you all- DS (4andaquarter) has regressed significantly with toilet training after starting school, so was going to try for reward chart, with a "five stickers for a Lego robot" approach (similar to scooter scenario, he is now of an age where he really wants something specific). Am also realising that we didn't do it for long enough previously, and should have continued for a couple more weeks. Thank you! smile

DillyTante Sun 02-Oct-11 16:31:48

Having exactly the same problem as you op and tried a reward chart. But that just made dd1 lie and swear blind she hadnt had an accident. So we have scrapped it. Though still no further forward with the weeing problem.

feistywife Sun 02-Oct-11 22:34:37

We're having weeing and soiling probs, so just hoping this helps and doesn't cause constipation problems instead!

SouthernandCross Sun 02-Oct-11 22:39:32

No, I don't think they do.
Reasons here

NomDePC Sun 02-Oct-11 22:56:32

Personally I don't really like them (I don't like the whole bribery thing). However, I have used one just once, and that was (funnily enough!) for potty training. DS1 hates doing new things, and he'd got himself quite wound up about the whole toilet training issue, but because he was already 3 I felt we really had to push on through and not leave it any longer. We used magazines as rewards. And it worked - that little bit of extra motivation got him to stay sitting on the loo just long enough to do his first wee, after which it got much easier. As for the weaning off rewards, it wasn't an issue. He got a magazine for his first wee and poo on the loo, and thereafter he got a star sticker for each successful loo trip, and a magazine each time he'd finished a row of stickers. When he filled up the chart (ours had about six rows of stickers, I think) he just assumed that the whole reward thing was finished, and never mentioned it again (though we did buy him a 'finishing your star chart' DVD, IIRC). That was that - job done.

BlueberryPancake Mon 03-Oct-11 12:45:51

Well there will be studies proving that every parenting 'method' is rubbish, and the equivalent number of studies proving that they are good. I haven't done behaviour charts with my kids often but they have worked. I find them good to break a bad cycle (not staying in bed, for example, or throwing toys around when not happy about something). I have never done it for reward of general good behaviour, but if there is a specific 'bad habit' to break it has worked. DS1 would often come in our bedroom at night, he was about 4 years old. We did a night chart with favorite characters and they would get stickers for not getting out of bed, and an ice cream if they had good nights all week, and it really broke the cycle after only one week. I am doing another one now as DS2 is sometimes being agressive with friends. If there is one friend visiting and he doesn't hit/throw a toy/get cross etc he gets a sticker, and after 7 stickers he will get a Bumpeez. So far so good.

I really do think that a positive environment with lots of praise for good behaviour is what makes my house peaceful. Otherwise you end up saying no all the time. I much prefer an approach where the kids find their way by knowing what's good rather than being told what not to do all the time.

Each to their own, really, but I prefer a positive way. It's all

feistywife Tue 04-Oct-11 15:59:54

Day One: Abject Failure. sad
Much reinforcing of objective and tomorrow is another day etc.
Day Two: So far, so good... Picked him up from school and he told me he should get a sticker, because he did a "massive" (not that he's at all competitive) poo at big school. [grin

So longing got the day when bowel movements are not heralded with as much excitement as Christmas.

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