Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Worth a Try!

I was talking with an older friend of mine about how to get my 2½-year-old son to pick up his toys and to share with his little brother. My friend suggested using charts. I thought, charts? Charts are cute, but do they really work?

I didn’t know how powerful charts could be until my friend told me that her kids are avid readers, were good in school, and are responsible. And she honestly thinks that charts had something to do with it. Charts encourage activities that are repetitive and sustain attention, which in turn, develops the skills of concentration, self-discipline, and self-motivation.

Her kids agree with her that using charts all growing up helped them become better learners. They remember having charts charts charts for everything! And it worked! They loved the thrill of being recognized and rewarded when a task was completed.

Praise your child and give a sticker for every time your child gets closer to the goal written on the chart. She will love placing the sticker on the chart and will look forward to completing future tasks. Make sure the reward is drawn or written on the chart so your child knows what she is working towards. For a reward, you can choose a favorite dessert or a special treat. And as she gets older, she can choose a favorite outing (within reason). If you have more than one child, color coat the chart. For example, your oldest son could be blue, your daughter purple, and your youngest son orange. Children will love this new, fun approach to getting things done.