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Make A Chart

All parents look for creative ways to guide their children in the process of learning new skills and putting away childish habits. Parents try all kinds of systems to make discipline in their homes easier. One of the easiest, cheapest and most effective ways that I've found to help accomplish the goals of my parenting is a chart. I thought of the chart method as I walked through a art supply store one day. I saw the large pieces of poster board and the thought struck me instantly: make a chart that will help your kids take ownership and get excited about the responsibilities you are trying to teach them. It was as simple as that.

I picked up a few pieces of large white poster board and headed home determined to institute the chart system with my four young children. The great thing about using the chart system for your children is that it is flexible. You can design your chart to work on any variety of skills or responsibilities that you are focusing on in your home. The section of the chart devoted to help me two-year-old start to enjoy potty training obviously looks differently than my eight-year-olds column for making her own bed each day. Think about each of your children and the specific things are have been asking them to work on.

Take maybe four or five specific things for each child and make a chart that displays each child's name and each task you hope they accomplish. My chart looks like a graph that displays the child's name, the four or five responsibilities I want them to work on, and then space for each of the seven days of the week. My children all know what I expect of them, and each day that they accomplish a task they get to put a sticker of their choice in that space. They have gotten so excited about filling their columns up that they rarely complain about doing their tasks each day. Of course, it doesn't hurt that there is a reward for filling all of your spaces on the chart each week. The rewards for each child vary based on their ages and tastes, but I make sure that they are rewarded in ways that will inspire them to keep learning new responsibilities with joy. I'd encourage any parents to institute the chart system and see how your children begin to love seeing stickers fill the spaces on their chart.


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