Chore and Behavior Incentive Chart
We are excited to share this tutorial for the creative at heart as well as those of you who aren’t feeling very crafty!
Step One: Hold a family meeting to discuss recent behavior challenges and goals for family chores. Share your thoughts with your child/children about behavior you would like to see improve. Share a list of chores you expect to be completed. You can also include special or more involved chores that are not daily expectations. It is very important to be clear about how you expect the chores to be completed. Make sure your child/children’s understanding of the chore is clear to avoid future arguments over effort put into a chore. For example, when your child cleans his or her room, does that mean everything is in it’s place? Does it mean the drawers are all pushed in and the bed is made? It is very common for children to have a different idea of what the expectation is from their parents and then not understand why they are not getting credit for a “completed chore.” We love using photographs or drawings of what everything looks like after the chore is completed.
As this particular chore chart incorporates a behavior incentive plan you want to be sure there are more chore point opportunities than behavior deduction points. You want your children to be invested and excited about the opportunities to earn points and not feel defeated when they lose behavior points. As with all behavior plans, you want to grab their attention and excitement first and then gradually make it harder. In the first week, it is helpful to give reminders about point opportunities so they can become accustomed to the plan. After several weeks, the reminders will be less needed because the system will be already established.
Step Two: Discuss a family incentive. You can choose to have a small incentive and make the point value to earn relatively low. Alternatively, you can choose a bigger incentive and make the point value proportionately higher. In our photo example, this family opted for the higher incentive, a day at LEGOLAND. This could be expected to be earned in about a month for this family with 3 children. It is important to base the chore expectations, point values and incentives based on the number of children participating so that the chore expectations are reasonable and goals are attainable.
Step Three: Assign point values that your children will earn for each chore and points that will be deducted for poor behavior. At Navigating ADHD, we don’t typically recommend losing points once they are earned. However, with this particular program it works because if set up correctly, there are more opportunities to earn points and extra incentives to make up for lost points.
Step Four: Design the chart. You can make a creative chart with few supplies. This particular example, was made from a pre-purchased burlap canvas. The point system was simply written in marker on plain white card stock and then covered in clear Contact Paper. One column contains the chores and point values and the other are the behaviors and point values. You can see there is plenty of space to add additional chore opportunities and new behavior directives. You can write directly on the contact paper in permanent marker, if you realize there are some items you would like to add. Next, affix the list to the canvas. In this example, a simple clothespin was hot glued to the canvas and the list was attached to the clothes pin.
Step Five: Add the embellishments to the chore chart. This particular project used an index card that as covered in chalkboard duct tape to display the LEGOLAND incentive and the points earned thus far. Along the bottom of the chore chart, there is a simple piece of twine hot glued on the bottom with small strips of paper attached by small clothes pins. The strips of paper include bonus chores with higher point values, such as “clean out the garage.”
Good luck with the design and implementing this plan! It may seem complicated and involved, but you will see that your creative and smart children will pick up on it quickly and it will practically run itself!
Cost for materials $10.00 off the clearance rack!