After finding myself struggling more so with getting my soon-to-be 5-yr-old to get up in the morning and to bed in a timely manner… I started to search for a better reward system. I had purchased a behavior clip chart in the past (I just opted to buy a nice one on Etsy because I was short on time and lazy to make one myself), which had made some progress when we first started it – but it just wasn’t enough. See my thoughts on it here.
So I went back on the hunt for something better. I’ve seen all sorts of things floating around for a reward system, star chart, marble jar… all using the same concept of accumulating something in exchange for the behaviors that we want. I like that this is visually more clear to kids their progress and they see what they are working towards (vs. the clip chart that only shows progress).
I settled on iRewardChart Lite on Google Play for Android.
OMG… so far… One week in… this has been a parenting game changer for me. My daughter totally understands the concept – obviously because I know they have a marble jar in her preschool classroom. But I really like it because together, we decided on 4 simple things that I wanted her to accomplish weekly, and then we decided on the rewards that she would like to earn in exchange.
I LOVE that you can earn more than one star in a day and I LOVE that you can lose stars too (red stars). My daughter loves being able to click on the stars herself and track her progress. We talk about how many stars she has, and after a reward, how many she has left, and deciding how she wants to spend the stars that she has earned. Lots of learning opportunities here in my opinion.
I’m keeping it really simple to start with the following tasks: Sharing, Homework, Getting up on time in the AM, Getting ready on time in the PM. For her rewards, I just settled on a handful of things: A new $2 toy (right now she is trying to collect all the My Little Pony toys from McDonald’s), Extra 10 mins iPad time, A new book, A new iPad app, Movie Night, Ice cream. For the most part, each one is valued at 10 stars for now. As she gets more on point, I might up the value or add more enticing high value items. In fact, her birthday is coming up, and I told her that things she didn’t get off her wishlist, we can add to the reward chart.
My 2.5 year old is not quite needing this system yet. We are mostly just working on Sharing, No spitting, and Gentle Hands with him. But I ended up liking this app so much, that I paid for the full version ($3.99) and added him so that he didn’t feel left out with the “stars”.
Looking forward to seeing how this app works for us long-term.