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How to Improve Your Child's Behavior With a Points System

How to Improve Your Child's Behavior With a Points System | Parent Like a Professional

In another post, I talked about how we used a sticker chart to increase our daughter's book reading (Read: How to Use Sticker Charts to Effectively Change Your Child's Behavior).

Sticker charts are good for improving one specific behavior, and for younger kids.

However, I was recently approached by a family friend that was struggling with her older kids' behavior. I met with her and her husband, and we talked about the issues and put together a plan for them to implement.

What they were looking for was a way to reduce tantrums, decrease yelling and bad attitudes, and just generally improve their kids' behavior. A major component to their plan involved a points system, which I think is a SUPER easy way to work on improving behavior.

Doesn't every parent at some point ask, "How can I get my kids to behave better?" Sometimes our kids' behavior gradually gets worse  over time.

Sometimes our kids are born feisty and have pushed our buttons since birth.

Either way, we all want to improve our kids' behavior somehow. A points system can hugely improve behavior!

How to Improve Your Child's Behavior With a Points System 2 | Parent Like a Professional

How to Implement a Points System with Your Child

The gist is pretty simple: put together a system where your kids earn points for doing good things, and those points are traded in and exchanged for things that they enjoy doing.

Create a menu of items that your child REALLY loves. Ascribe a value of points for each of the items; the most loved things would be the highest point values, and lesser loved items would cost fewer points.

House rules or expectations are identified, and the system is reviewed as a family prior to beginning.

Learn more about reinforcement (Read: What is a Reinforcer?).

In working with my friend on her family's point system, we really tailored it to her unique family needs. I'd make suggestions and she'd say, "That's just not doable for us," which is totally fair!

How to Improve Your Child's Behavior With a Points System | Parent Like a Professional

We can create the BEST, most effective plans for families, but if it's too difficult to actually do, then it's not the right plan.

After going home with their newfound knowledge, they played around for a couple of days, tweaking things here and there, and eventually landed on something that felt manageable, executable, and right for their family.

And just like it is most of the time that we work with families that are able to put a plan into action, she called me a few weeks later and said what a dramatic change they had seen with their kids; HUGE change.

That's why we do what we do!


Points System: Improve Your Child's Behavior | Parent Like a Professional

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