One Sunday morning while sitting on our church chairs, my one son was having a particular tough time. I am not one to expect perfect behavior all of the time, especially during church. Kids are kids. And I understand that church can be boring for them. But this particular Sunday, he was extra wiggly, extra whiney, and extra loud. Luckily, a spark of creativity hit me, and I put together a super simple DIY behavior chart for him on the fly!
Scroll down to see the example, and learn more about my strategy!
Simple DIY Behavior Chart
I created a simple DIY behavior chart on a scrap piece of paper that we had along with us. And amazingly, it worked like a charm! I found that 10 minute increments worked well for him since he was only four years old at the time. And I told him that he needed 5 out of 6 smiley faces to get a treat.
We used the 5 out of 6 method because I wanted to have the ability to deny him a smiley face to show him that I was serious. However, my goal was to show him this, but without him having a full blown meltdown that he would lose the treat. So by giving him the 5 to 6 ratio, it provided a “warning” opportunity, and yet still gave him the chance to do better.
I chose to reward instead of punish, because this was a setting more geared for older children and adults. My goal was to teach him what was reasonably expected of him, but in a positive way. I wanted to encourage the good behavior, and show him that I appreciate when he can behave appropriately, even in a setting that might not be his favorite.
Our Behavior Chart
We worked together to create what is below. I drew the boxes and times. And he got to draw in his own smiley faces – which he took pride in 🙂
Turned out that he got all 6 smiley faces, we had a peaceful mass, and we happily took a walk after church to go buy a doughnut. Win, Win 🙂
Co-Owner: Shari Medini
Shari Medini is the co-owner of the parenting website Adore Them. Her prior experience includes working as a marketing strategist and writer on multi-million dollar capital campaigns, website designs, advertising campaigns, and book launches. Shari’s parenting articles have been published in dozens of publications; and she enjoys doing various speaking engagements. When she’s not on her laptop, Shari can be found spending quality time with her husband and two sons exploring their hometown of Lancaster County, PA