We introduced B’s first sticker reward chart last month and it’s become an ongoing work of art and lesson in self-control for all of us. The sticker chart tackled two areas that I felt were within B’s reach but he wasn’t consistent and/or disciplined enough about:
1) Self feeding and sitting down for meals (snacks not included) – I was so excited when B would use his spoon or fork to eat porridge, yogurt, oats/cereal, fruits around 16 months. He’d eat pretty much everything in his first 2 years. Alas, that didn’t last 😦 Now there are times when a mealtime battle looms, sometimes for a reason (sick), sometimes for no reason (aka #terrific2s). Besides stickers, I’ve tried reducing snacks, reasoning with him, even a “join us, eat what you can.” When B eats slowly and gets picky, he still needs prompting and bite-sized food to make it easier (and faster), but all this has helped without needing a rotan! Yet.
2) Going to the potty – B started gradual potty training around 18 months. We first introduced potty books and a standalone potty, then wore trainers at home, moved to a kids potty seat (on the big seat) by 2 years as he was tall enough then. We’re now seeing increasingly diaper-free days and he’s comfortable standing up or sitting down to pee, when the boy urinals are too high (or there are none). The sticker chart is helping to minimise accidents outside, transition to diaper free in school, and when he needs to do his big business coz for some reason, he doesn’t like to sit and poo!
For both areas, I try not to make a big deal out of it and affirm the positive, though I admit, I’m not a patient mom…. As he’s young, I didn’t want us to be too fixated on any “final big reward” so I kept the design fun and open, with him having the freedom to choose and add stickers to celebrate his accomplishments. It’s nice to hear him say “Mama, I pee, so now get sticker!” or “I am big and strong!” (after eating) as he enjoys and understands what this sticker chart means.
Here’s how we did it: For my vehicle loving boy, I chose a design that would appeal to him – hand drawn, copied and adapted from here. I explained what, why and how – even got B to help paint the background while I wrote out how the system would work (with tiny images for our non-reader to see). We stuck it at height level along the corridor between his bathroom and our dining area. As he adds his stickers, he’s also adding to his work of art aka the sticker chart!
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