parenting

Points Charts for Kids’ Behavior Issues: An Easy Method That’s Working for Us

We’ve been struggling with end-of-summer-unstructured-days-dysregulated kids (see previous post). A friend of mine, also a doc-mom of kids who fight with each other, shared the system that’s worked wonders for them:

It’s a simple points system, with one, two, or three points awarded for acts of kindness. She made it a contest, with prizes at the end of the week. 

Her three kids, who are on par with mine for sibling wrestling/ punching/ kicking/ scratching, transformed “in less than a minute”. Suddenly they were competing to see who could be the nicest, kindest, most helpful child. “Here, YOU play with the toy now!” “Oh, no, YOU play with the toy, here!” She was floored, and thrilled. 

She told me this story Friday afternoon in clinic, and by that evening, I had implemented the Kindness Points System in our house as well. 

It was amazing. They really got into it. They started falling all over themselves to see who could be the nicest, kindest, most helpful child… and I was floored, and thrilled. I just jotted down points on a little scrap of paper, with the promise that they can cash them in for some sort of prize at the end of the week. Don’t ask me exactly what, yet…

Of course, didn’t I go and misplace the stupid scrap of paper yesterday. Then, I was at work all day. So, today’s point- keeping was spotty. The kids are still keen on it, though. If they start poking and teasing and yelling, I can say “I’ll take away points for mean-ness, guys” and they will simmer right down. I just need a better points-recording method. 

Just now, I did a Google search on “points system for kids”, figuring that someone must have thought of a way to make this more organized, and, they have. 

The first site that came up was KidPointz.com, which features oodles of free printable points charts for all ages and every occasion. Toileting, chores, behavior, et cetera, and featuring various adorable themes. 

But then I thought, There must be an app for this. And, a search for “behavior chart” in the App Store yields so many options, I haven’t had time to go through them yet. 

I’m hopeful, though, and plan to stick with this system for some time. 

Photo: My seven-year-old giggling as he reads a “Dogman” book to his five-year-old sister. So nice to see them sitting next to each other not fighting. 

2 replies »

  1. I did this with Jack and Cecelia. I bought a big roll of fair tickets at Office Depot. They collected them in a jar in their room. They had a list of behavior targets too – brush teeth, go to bed after mom asks one time, etc. I stuffed a pillowcase with toys from the dollar store they got to choose from every week- I refreshed it monthly. It was a game changer for me.

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  2. Nice! I have a system where if the kids read non-fiction books, are kind, etc. they get money. That way, they learn to count coins and do math. Also, if they are break the rule, for example, lie or hit, they owe me money. We count up the coins and go to Target once a week. The challenge is keeping it going. I’m always tweaking things so will check out the app. Thanks!

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