We started using a star chart when my daughter was 3 years old. At first I was very skeptical that it would actually work on a toddler but lo’ and behold! it is one of the best thing I introduced in our household. To give you an idea, here’s our first star chart:
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The Star chart comes with magnetic pieces and a dry-wipe marker that your can use to write your own activities.I wanted to help her establish her daily routine. We skipped the morning because we are rushing everyday. So when we return home, I give her these activities; Put shoes away, take out her dirty clothes from her bag and put in the laundry, then let her play a bit while I prepare dinner, clear away toys, eat food, have a bath, brush teeth and go to bed. I give her a star for each activity. This sets the daily routine for my 3-year old.
When she turned 4, I decided to change the chart with a new one. (I didn’t have to!) I just thought this would be more fun to use.I had to convince my hubby to get on board because we need to be in sync in order for this to work. Kids at this age can be tricky and sometimes ask both parents the same questions. We make sure Mommy and Daddy agree and always answer as one. We decided that we will no longer keep buying toys and give in to all our kid’s requests. Trust me, a little person can all of a sudden pack a whole house with toys and stuff in no time. (This is another topic for discussion that I will put on a separate post.) This time, whenever she wanted a toy, she would ask us to put it in on the Star chart as a reward. The new chart comes with a monkey meter that shows her how close she is to achieving a target. The monkey moving up the scale gets her even more motivated.
She does most of the activities on her Star Chart independently so I also added “Wake up with a Happy Face”, “Obey Mom and Dad” and “Help around the house“. I am proud that she sometimes comes and asks me if I need help with anything. I think it is incredibly sweet. She helps me with the laundry, washing vegetables when I cook and even takes out her lunch boxes from her bag and place them on the kitchen counter.
I heard some moms say “Why would I reward my kid for good behavior? They are supposed to do that anyway!” And that this is similar to bribing the kids but I do not see anything wrong with rewarding them for good behavior. In fact it teaches them patience, encourage independence and makes our kids understand that they can’t just snap their fingers when they want something. I make my kid work for it!
The awesome part is seeing my kid happy with herself for achieving her target. Here’s my daughter’s I-did-it-smile when she received her reward!