I love a reward chart and until recently I thought the days of bribery rewarding good behaviour were behind appears not.

I started a reward chart for Ella when she was about 2 or 3.  It started with a star every time she had a wee on the potty, we then progressed on to a star for being dry in the morning.   

All kids seem to love a sticker, so it's a cheap and easy option.  Reward charts don't need to be expensive either, I used to make a simple chart, add in her favourite characters like Minnie Mouse and print off. Alternatively, eBay and other places do a range of charts from £2 upwards.

Check out Ebay for reward charts or just make your own!

When me and Mr J got together Ella was 3 and I was in the bad habit of letting her get into bed with me during the night, so soon had to break the cycle...let's just say she didn't take kindly to having to share me with someone else.  So out came the reward chart yet again and a sticker for every night she'd stayed in her own bed.

It's always been suggested that you should ignore the bad or negative behaviour and instead praise the good.  Recently every school day morning was becoming hell and we were both getting worn out by every morning resulting in us moaning and nagging for simple tasks like eating breakfast and getting out the door on time.  Constant calls of "are you dressed yet?" for her to then come in to my bedroom with "errr Mummy..." in just a pair of knickers, followed by some bullshit unimportant nonsense, while inside my head I am screaming to myself "just bloody get ready!"

This would be followed by breakfast time and "I'm just doing this...", no just sit down and eat your sodding Weetabix.  No matter how hard we both tried to get through to her that the sooner she got ready, ate her breakfast, the longer she would have to play or watch some TV before school.  By the time we'd got her off to school we were about ready to reach for the valium.

New year, new chart we decided.  I was starting to stress that mornings were going to be hell with the prospect of me sleep deprived and trying to manage a newborn and a 7 going on 17 year old.

We have reminded Ella that we hate nagging and each day starting with a battle, and so with a new chart, if she gets all her boxes ticked, at the end of the week she'll get a reward.  Where previously we'd agree what the week's reward would be this time we've said we'll decide what her treat is as we don't want her motivated purely by the promise of a trip out.  We don't choose elaborate treats either, so a treat could be going out for tea, going to the cinema, staying up later on a weekend or choosing a cake from the bakers.

Madam and her chart

We're now a week in to our new chart and so far so good.  We usually get up at 7am, and the other morning at 6.50am we heard her getting up and shortly after heard the kitchen cupboards opening and closing and by the time we went downstairs she was sitting at the table eating her breakfast and had got the porridge and bowls out ready for us.  Roll on when she can make us a cup of tea!

A note posted under my door!

If you've not tried a reward chart I definitely suggest giving it a whirl.  It works for us....just hoping it lasts.

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