This might be familiar to you if your children are in a school classroom setting. The teachers at our elementary school use a similar style chart and system. The premise is that you “clip” the child up for positive behaviors and down for negative.
I like this system for a few reasons.
1) They get the chance to change direction throughout the day. I can praise and reward good behavior as often as dealing with the bad. So some days they end up right in the middle. Which is fine by me.
2) It’s daily reward/discipline. When we use this method we look at the chart after dinner, which is usually about an hour or so before bedtime. See where everyone is at, and make adjustments accordingly. If you are like me, I can’t remember what I said they could or couldn’t do the next day, so this way, there is almost immediate consequences to the day’s events.
3) It’s pretty straight forward and easy to monitor. He says kind things, without prompts, to your brother after he finished his trombone practice = “I noticed you were encouraging and kind. Go clip up!” or He slams the door shut coming in from outside because he’s mad about play time being over = “We don’t slam the doors, plus we obey with a good attitude. Go clip down.” This method forces me to take notice of the good and not just the bad. It seems like more work at first, but it’s totally easy once you get going and so refreshing to not always be Bad Cop, right?
Now, let me be honest. This doesn’t work for us every month of every year. We tend to go in seasons. It is great for course correcting attitude and smaller infractions. The large stuff (lying, hitting, etc.) gets some more serious consequences at our house. When we are busy, it’s a life saver, because I can’t seem to remember my promised punishments or rewards for the life of me.
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I printed ours on card stock. Cut. And laminated with some clear contact paper. It hangs on the fridge or above the stove so all can see. Use clothes pins, paper clips, magnets to identity each child. Don’t forget to reset everyone after bedtime. Everyone deserves a fresh start with a new morning.