When it comes to our little ones, you've got to do what works! For our 5 yr old "reward" charts have worked great to recognize and encourage achievements whether it's the norm or going above and beyond to be polite and helpful, I am a strong believer in positive reinforcement. We started this a few years ago and used a sticker chart for basics such as when she slept ALL night or used the potty for a whole day without any reminders (we have already established I am a MOM so talking about the potty shouldn't phase you by now). For each accomplishment she received a sticker on her chart and even helped decorate it and choose her own rewards along the way. Sometimes it was a treat like ice cream or an outing like the local pool. When she got the poster all filled we had a bigger "reward " such as an overnighter at the beach or a trip to the Zoo or Aquarium.
The sticker chart looked something like this:
Let me clarify. These are incentives. That is different then bribing your kiddo to do something. They should be things that either they are working really hard on or something positive that you acknowledge at the end of the day.
Since she is 5 1/2 now and is ready to start college (laughing giggling moment of sarcasm) it is more for things like being helpful in the mornings by being all dressed with shoes on and teeth brushed, cereal bowl in the sink kind of stuff. Or at night it looks more like this..."Wow. Today I noticed that you were really helpful with your little sister" (Translation: you didn't get into a flat out brawl today with your sister or argue! Woohoo!)
To mark such maturity, I update her chart to a more reusable version with a magnetic board....Love =)
Here's how: To create the magnets you will need glass drops and decorative paper. You can find both at any craft warehouse or if you are looking to save in your creative endeavors you can also find them at the dollar store.
First, cut the decorative paper to match each designated glass drop and glue to the back using modpodge.
Look at the sweet 3-d effect! Next, add a small magnet to the back using super glue or a glue gun.
Last but not least, glue your paper to a metal sheet!
Another final look:
This may not work for all little ones but it is worth a try! Undoubtedly, it can give them a sense of accomplishment as well as empowerment. Oh yeah- it's pretty fun too =)