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 🙂