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“Sticker… Chart??”

by Dawn on May 27, 2008
category: 1 – 3 year (toddler),Potty time

dsc03500.JPG This is one of Lucy’s newest questions to ask when she does something well. Two weeks ago, we started using a sticker chart as a reward system for accomplishing small but important tasks. I decided it was worth a try, because our main problem was (and sometimes still is) getting her to keep her diaper on during naptime. For a few weeks, she would get into the crib and within minutes remove the diaper. If you’ve experienced this you know it’s enough to make you crazy!

Off the top of my head, I made up the chart pictured and listed the things that her dad and I would like to see her do without a fight, such as help clean up the toys, brush her teeth, and wash her hands. She has not taken to potty training yet, so we added several things relating to that area as well, recently adding “sitting on the potty without a diaper”. For each success, she gets a small sticker to put in the box. If she completes an entire row of stickers, she’ll get a prize. For now, it’s not hard to please her, so her prize is simply a larger sticker, which she wears on her shirt proudly. When she’s older, we’ll probably put together a little reward box and fill it with trinkets from the dollar store, and she can choose from that what she’d like to have as a reward.

We have seen this process work for us in numerous ways. A few evenings ago, I asked Lucy to brush her teeth, and she said no. I reminded her that she’d get a sticker on her chart if she did, and she promptly scooted herself into the bathroom and got to work. It was great to witness. We’ve also seen a general willingness to ask about the potty and to follow through with sitting on it – prior to the chart, it was as if the potty didn’t exist. So we’re hopeful that this trend will continue, and make the task of potty training a little easier in the future.

Here are links to more tips, charts, and ideas:

Free Printable Potty Training Charts and Certificates

Printable Certificates & Rewards

Spotlighting Good Behavior on iVillage

Changing a Toddler’s Behavior

Have you used sticker charts or reward systems with your children? What worked for you? What didn’t work?

10 Responses to “Sticker… Chart??”

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Sara
    May 27, 2008 @ 1:54 pm

    Impressive sticker chart Dawn!! We use sticker charts for two of my children.
    For Josh we use it to help him remember to practice his piano. He takes lessons and we would like him to practice for 15mins a day. Once the sticker chart is complete he gets a reward special reward (ice cream treat, dessert at dinner, free happy meal coupon etc)

    We have a very simple one for Xavier. It’s simply a chart with 20 squares. Every time he helps without complaining or does something nice for his brothers he gets a sticker. Basically I use it when I want to curve his negative behavior. It’s on our fridge and when he starts acting up I jump on the first thing he does that is positive. That is usually enough to remind him he better start acting better because he wants a treasure from our treasure chest. Which is simply a plastic box filled with dollar store items.

    We did us a sticker chart when we were in the process of potty training and whole lot of other positive reinforcements. Going to the restroom was a whole 10 minute ordeal. :)

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Stephanie
    May 27, 2008 @ 4:04 pm

    We use a magnetic chart for my daughter. It works pretty well when we keep it up. Haven’t been too good about it lately. It was really cute last night, though, when my daughter decided that she didn’t need the “make bed” magnet up there anymore because she plans on just doing that daily anyhow.

    Now I just need to figure out why she switched in the “no bad words” one. That really hasn’t been a problem….

  • Comment by Amanda
    May 28, 2008 @ 3:48 pm

    This is awesome, Dawn! I am totally going to remember this for when Ace gets bigger and can understand it. That is why I love learning from moms a few steps ahead of me. I know Ace isn’t going to be perfect and I can use all the tools I can get! :)

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Julie
    May 29, 2008 @ 7:49 am

    Thank you thank you thank you!!! I had completely forgotten about the sticker chart (saw it on Supernanny a couple years ago before I actually had a child!). I always wanted to try something like this to focus on positive reinforcement rather than just the “do this” “do that” and “don’t do that” aspects. Creative parenting seems to be so much more effective anyway! My daughter is 19 months now so I’m sure how much she will understand but I definitely want to start trying with her. Thanks again for this post!

  • Comment by Dawn
    May 29, 2008 @ 1:12 pm

    Glad to hear that this positive reinforcement technique works with other moms & kids too! Thanks all for your input!

  • Gravatar
    Comment by Megan
    August 25, 2008 @ 5:30 pm

    I was searching for ideas of what to put on my son’s sticker chart and I came across your post. I love how you set it up! Thanks for the ideas! I looked up your info on the About page to see how old your daughter was when you started this and it turns out my kids are a month younger than each of your kids. We’re putting it together tonight and hopefully it’ll work well! Thanks for the great advice.

  • Comment by Sharon M
    August 30, 2008 @ 12:03 am

    We’ve done a similar thing with our son, except he gets money. I know, sounds like bribery, but since he’s a bit older than Lucy (four y.o.), he’s getting to the point where he sees toys at the store that he wants. Naturally, we can’t just go out and buy everything for him, so the chart is a good way for him to earn money for doing things around the house (yes, I have actual chores, like “Dusting the Furniture” and “Put Clothes Away”). He’s currently saving up to buy a Transformer, and has almost eight dollars!
    Dobson wrote about it in Dare to Discipline as well.

  • Gravatar
    Comment by KELLY
    November 12, 2008 @ 5:14 pm

    THANKS FOR ALL OF THE ADVICE FOR THE STICKER CHARTS. MY CHILDREN ARE 2 AND 4 SO READING THE STICKER CHART WAS AN ISSUE, SO INSTEAD OF WRITING THE WORDS OUT FOR MY 4 YEAR OLD-I TOOK PICTUES WITH MY DIGITAL OF WHAT NEEDED TO BE DONE- I TOOK A PICTURE OF A TOOTHBRUSH AND TOOTHPASTE FOR HIM TO BRUSH HIS TEETH, I TOOK A PICTURE OF HIS CLEAN ROOM FOR HIM TO PICK UP HIS ROOM! IT WORKED GREAT FOR HIM AND I WILL START WITH MY 2 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER SOON!

  • Gravatar June 29, 2009 @ 1:21 pm

    [...] could think of to help the transition. We tried the reward system, potty training books, and even a potty poster where should could proudly display a special sticker each time we had success (which , by the way, [...]

  • Gravatar February 2, 2012 @ 10:10 am

    [...] behavior in children.  Some of my favorite are sticker systems (check out this awesome one from The Mom Crowd) and special [...]

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