Thursday, July 05, 2012

So we're using star charts

So I'm still in love with 123 magic but really, I have some stubborn kids and sometimes they just push me right to the edge.

When I saw these cute star charts on Erin's blog, I had to try them.

(BTW, she had me at laminator)

It seemed like a good idea to change tactics from the stick to the carrot, but also still doing 123 magic. Adding something extra to the parenting arsenal :)

I promised the kids we'd make them star charts one weekend and so we did.They were very excited even though they didn't have a clue what I was on about.

They are only 3 (well, what's two days?) so I thought 4 items to focus on for a week at a time was plenty.

They helped me decide which stickers to use and which colour flowers, etc. so it was a group effort.

And of course Connor's favourite thing in the world is the laminator. He wants to laminate everything under the sun. I do store up all my laminating and then I ask him if he wants to help me laminate. Well, his smile is so big you'd swear he was let loose in a toy shop.

He proudly switches on the laminator and tells me when it goes green. And then he holds the cord back so the page slides through easily and we're done.

D and I decided what each child's chart should say based on the behaviours we don't find desirable :)

Louisa connected a dot or two for me once when we chatted and I said Connor is the only one who throws tantrums. She said, "does Kendra sulk? It seems like the quieter ones sulk" and YES, it's true. Kendra sulks which is just as annoying.

This is Kendra sulking. I said, "Kendra, are you sulking?" She said, "no, I just don't feel like talking". D and I packed out laughing! "Baby, that's what sulking is!"

here's where she's really trying to stop sulking!
So they both have two the same and two different.

"Going to sleep nicely" which means no jumping around the room, scratching in the tidy cupboards or drawers (this sends me RIGHT over the edge!) or jumping in each other's bed. And certainly no coming out to us! This is for naps and for real sleep at night.

"Listening to Mummy/ Daddy" is another catch-all. I told Julia the other day I'm VERY fussy about kids listening and obeying. Yes, I may seem like a commandant but I believe that it's good spiritually too. When God speaks to them, they also need to listen and obey immediately. Moving on. So we like them to listen quickly because I really don't like to hear myself say the same thing 3 times.

our worse day was Thursday

Connor then has "no tantrums or fighting" because he has a temper and will sometimes lash out in frustration and of course the lovely tantrums.

He also has "nappies and dressing nicely" because he fights us when he has to get a nappy on at sleep time or get dressed. And you all know I'm not my best in the mornings anyway and the last thing I want is to start off my day in a worse state.

Thursday was even worse for Kendra

As I said above, Kendra sulks and she has another charming little habit, whining. Do you know how the whining gets to me?! Tonight I said, "Kendra, do you know my ears can't hear whining?" :)

And she tends to get distracted with other bright, shiny objects on her way to do what I told her, but mainly she purposefully ignores us, so that's why "obeying immediately" is on her list.

So we've been doing these for 1 week 5 days and already I've seen a huge improvement.


The pics are from week 1. You can see they both got 18 feet (I don't have stars) for the week. This week we've only done 5 days and they're already on 18 (one child) and 16 (the other child).

I do have to say things a few times still but I just say, "are you LISTENING? Do you want to get your star tonight?" and it mostly works.

I LOVE how Erin explained in her post that she allows some leeway because there is no such thing as perfection. Love it!

So I'll also allow one in each category to go unnoticed.

At night before we do reading and prayers, we do star charts. Yes, we still call them star charts~!

And if they get 3 or 4, we all clap and go "yayyy, Connor/ Kendra" to make a big deal.


Well, my rule is 20. They must get 20 out of 28 every week and then they can decide what they want. It's always going to a restaurant with these two (their father's children!).

And good thing they've pulled up their socks this week because I've been telling them the whole week if they're good they can go to a restaurant with us on Saturday.

So that's our star charts.

(BTW, I laminated the chart itself and then I laminated a million little feet, cut them into rectangles and I stick them on with some Prestik)

What do you think?
Have you tried star charts to reinforce positive behaviour?

PS I think I'm going to add "no rudeness" from next week because I've heard some screaming at one another :)


  1. Mellow loves his sticker rewards. He gets rewarded for: finishing his dinner, putting on his shoes, and being a "first time listener." He likes to do the ignoring thing, too :) I LOVE the pic of K sulking!

  2. The two older girls had sticker charts - at one time, they had 3 at once, one was small (could fill it up in a week or less), a medium sized one (filled up in a month or two), and a large one (took 6 months to a year). Each night we counted up their sticker rewards for the day - and they chose what chart to put them on.

    The small chart usually was for a candy or desert type reward, the medium was for a small toy or outing with Daddy (ice cream or an hour at the park), and the big one usually was a Big Reward - such as a Zoo day.

    Keep in mind that money was really tight even back then - so for us, these were realistic goals. We had a school in our back yard (well, 5 minutes walk), and we walked down to it almost every night - but there were 3 super neat parks in town - and those were where they went for Park days.

    LOVE the pictures!!!

  3. Ok, I have up to now shunned this idea but I think I am going to use it - maybe from after the grandparents leave next week because all routine goes to the bin when they are here.

  4. We haven't, but it looks like a great idea!!! And getting a laminator!!! Sounds like fun!

  5. I tried this with both my kids - it worked well with Cameron. Kiara just did not respond at all - she would actually take the stickers off and give them back to me.

    Will give it a go with Jack because it does actually work really well.

    I LOVE the little feet - LOVE them!

  6. 1. i want a laminator. i can only imagine all of the things i would laminate! :)
    2. i really like this idea. when i get back from traveling i think that i might do this, hopefully we'll be into it before september!
    3. i'm wondering if i should do one for potty training, one "regular" star chart, or add a potty training section to a regular star chart
    4. your kids are so OLD! :) love the pictures!

  7. I still have one for Child1. We start and drop it at least twice a year. I thought that we needed to permanently stop it by now but he gets a kick out of collecting "awards" - almost like us that like to cross stuff off lists. We usually reward with the gift of time - that's his love language. Quite frankly, the star chart is the only way that the room stays clean and the behavioural aspects change from time-to-time depending on what we are struggling with. I tried it with Child2. He was having none of it and was handing me the stars just like Laura's Kiara. Think I may try it a bit later - maybe in Summer.

  8. LOVE the star charts! Glad they are working, I wish mine were!

  9. I love this idea! I may think of a couple of specific areas where we could use it for the girls.

    And do you know how much I love that K & C choose to go to a restaurant for their reward?? Children after my own heart! ; )

  10. We're only using a star chart for using the loo at the moment, but it's a pretty cool idea to expand it to other stuff later.


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