Wednesday, October 5, 2016
A sticker a day keeps the sassy away
I've posted a few times on snapchat and on my gram stories about Sloan's sticker charts. So many of you have asked about how they work, so I decided I have to share more about it! I used to use sticker charts when I taught preschool and again when I taught second grade. I am all for positive reinforcement, I love the idea of making a big deal of positive behaviors rather than giving negative behaviors attention.
We started using a sticker chart with Sloan because she was having a really hard time listening. Repeating myself and asking her to do something over and over was driving me crazy. She kept asking for a particular toy and a sticker chart popped into my head. I decided I would buy her the toy if she EARNED it. Stickers would become her currency and she could "buy" special things by earning stickers.
I involved her in the entire process so she totally bought in. We sat down and made the sticker chart together and talked about ways that she could earn stickers. As we colored together, I told her that she could earn stickers if she followed directions and listened (the first time she was asked), if she was helpful with her sister, if she helped clean up, tried new foods, etc. Basically anything I want to work on with Sloan, I use stickers as a way to promote that behavior.
When we first started using sticker charts, I gave her stickers all throughout the day and would constantly remind her why she earned a sticker. She quickly filled her chart and we went to get her first prize. She was beyond thrilled that she had earned it. As time went on, I didn't give stickers quite as easily and I stopped giving constant reminders of how she could earn stickers (once I knew she really understood how the sticker chart worked and that she understood that she was earning something that she really wanted).
Each time we make a sticker chart, I let Sloan decide how it will look. I obviously do most of the drawing, but she loves helping me color it. I also always write her "prize" on the sticker chart, this way I can constantly remind her of what she's working towards. She always pre-picks her prize which is totally fine with me. She loves knowing what she's earning or working towards and that promotes good behavior. I also get stickers that I know she'll love so that she's excited to use them (thank you Target dollar section for allllll the Frozen stickers).
You don't ever want to make the sticker chart a negative thing so I never ever take away stickers. The sticker chart is for good behavior, not for bad behavior. If Sloan is having a hard time, I often remind her of ways that she could turn her behavior around and earn a sticker. I do not ever threaten to take a sticker away though. You want your child to feel confident that if they earn a sticker, they'll get to keep it. I'll also totally admit to using stickers as bribery. "Sloany, if you pick up all of your Little People toys, I bet you'll get a sticker!" You bet those Little People toys will get picked up and put away quick.
We also read this book called Polite as a Princess a lot. The book talks about how princesses have good manners. Since Sloan is pretty certain she IS a princess so she loves copying the princess' polite manners. I love rewarding her with a sticker when she is polite and then making a big deal about how she's acting just like a princess.
If making a sticker chart isn't your thing, here is a super cute princess sticker chart and here is a simple sticker chart that you can print at home (they're free)! This would also be great for potty training!
I think that about covers it, but please leave me any questions below!