Sticker charts are the wonder of my life as a toddler mom. Really, how is possible that a toddler will continue to do the things she is supposed to just to get a sticker?
Now, that being said, Mom and Dad have to keep following through in order for it to work.
The sticker chart can be as simple as a piece of paper with the child’s name on it to complex with a chart made in Excel with different tasks and pictures symbolizing the tasks that need to be done for the ultimate reward of a sticker…
Uses for Sticker Charts:
1. Potty training – We started our first sticker chart at home with potty training. The daycare also had sticker charts for potty training. Here are suggested reasons for a child to earn a sticker:
a) One sticker for going on the potty
b) One sticker for peeing, two for pooping on the potty.
c) A sticker for every dry diaper at diaper changes throughout the day (daycares have regimented diaper change times).
d) A sticker for when the child wipes herself.
e) A sticker for when the child washes her hands without a fight.
2. Bedtime routine – Have you gone through that phase when the bedtime routine feels like world war 3 is about to start? Make a sticker chart for the different parts of the bedtime routine where the battles start and see if the reward of a sticker can make the events any smoother.
3. Are there chores that you want your toddler to do? Pick up her toys before bed? Hang her coat up instead of throwing it onto the floor when she takes it off? Try a sticker chart!
4. Behavior issues for repetitive tasks? Can you stop the toddler from throwing fits over brushing her teeth every day with the reward of a sticker at the end of it?
5.Swimming skills – our swim teacher adds stickers to a sticker chart when a child accomplishes a new challenge. This could also apply to other classes, lessons, or learning that you are trying to achieve.
6. Use them for good behavior in public. Does you kid always kick the pew in front of you at church? Alway drop the silverware on the floor of the restaurant? Does she always make her baby brother cry when in the shopping cart next to him? Try a sticker chart for good behavior?
7. Bribes – Let’s be honest – There’s not a lot of reasoning with a toddler in the midst of a tantrum. Try saying the word sticker and offering it up if they calm down and see what happens. I’m not saying it’s a guarantee that it’s going to work, but I’m also not above doing what it takes to stop the madness.
8. Encourage the please and thank you’s – is your child not saying it as much as you want? Try positive reinforcement with the sticker chart!
The next time you are trying to figure out how to stop your kid from always fighting you when you want to cut his nails, brush his hair, get her pajamas on, use the potty, try starting a sticker chart. Sometimes even doing it for a few days is enough to make the child realize that washing his hands is not the end of the world.