Oh Please…not more reward charts!

Charts, lists, journals, timetables…the list goes on when it comes to different ways in which to organise oneself. It can become equally depressing when you have to organise your children’s life too.

Where do you begin to organise their life to fit their needs, wants and uniqueness… well…cut the long story short…there is no easy way. And the only way that I have found it to be less challenging is to really focus and develop a structure that fits their personality.

My eldest has started to get interested in mummy’s bullet journal. He has always had the desire to get every notebook he can lay his hands on and starting a bullet journal at his age may help him be organised. But, I am extremely attached to my bullet journals and sharing, at this stage, is not an option. So, I have resorted to finding a simpler solution to help organise one’s offspring weekly activities and it comes in the name of a reward chart!

Now if you were to see into my little brain, you would be met with lots of ideas, goals, ambitions accompanied with a heck load of complicated, adventurous lists of what I should get right now to achieve them, e.g. a new mobile phone! But this is not the way in which it should be done. To reach a specific goal or ambition, you need to have a plan, you need to have steps, you need to focus on where you are at the moment and where you would like to be. You need to progress one step at a time, whilst reflecting on what you have done to get where you are today. Does this happen as a child…well I have yet to meet one. Kids think of today and tomorrow. As far as I can tell, my child does not need to worry about future goals, all he is worried about is whether we are going to the cinema on Saturday. And, by using a reward chart, you are essentially, training your child to think and reach goals, that he/she would probably not think he could touch. For example on Monday, your child tells you that he wished he was better at French (reflection on his school day), you sit him down for 15 mins for 3 days that week and go through the days of the week in French with him (action and habit) and by the time Friday comes around, he can recite it to you, without hesitation. To help deepen and store this information, you go over it once a week. Now I know this may not happen in one week, every child has his own learning speed and abilities, but they all have the ability to do it. And when it happens, they will feel so proud and confident of themselves, that they will hopefully make this kind of learning into a HABIT (I’m sure this has popped into one of my posts before). These small actions/habits will develop as they grow, allowing them to find their own styles of organisation and progression, but you have built the foundation.

So my monthly experiment will be for my child to follow a reward chart. And, for goodness sake, it does not have to be fancy smancy. A pad, coloured pens, a ruler and lots of stickers are all what are needed to help your little one succeed in gaining confidence in themselves. It is the concept of learning, organisation and progression is what you want to get across, not just the fact that you get a reward at the end of it, although having a treat always does help push those little procrastinating thoughts away!

Let us see how this works out and maybe the “sharing is caring” policy of journals may be put back into play.

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