Tuesday, 24 September 2013

RADICAL REWARD CHARTS

It all started when my girls began fighting to get my attention. No I mean fighting. A swipe here. A bite there. It had been going on for three weeks when I reached breaking point. I finally realised I needed to turn their behaviour on its head.

Little did I know that enlisting the help of Amanda Noble-Simmons, designer of the fabulous 
RADICAL REWARD CHARTS would prove so helpful. 

I think that's because Amanda's reward charts are so incredibly positive, and incentive driven. For example, children only ever go up the chart. Never down. And captivatingly, the chart can be personalised i.e. the child watches a cut out photo of themselves climbing up to the reward.

Indeed, there's so much incentive for good behaviour, it's no wonder I now want to share them with you. 

DETAILS:
PRICE: The retail price is £14 and this includes postage, packaging, & the personalised figure. 
AGE SUITABLE FOR: It really depends on the child, but anywhere from 18months-old to teenagers (with an age appropriate reward). 
HEIGHT: 85cm/33"
AVAILABLE FROM: Radicalrewardcharts.com and Amazon.

The arrival of the RADICAL REWARD CHARTS in the post, caused quite a stir. But that's not surprising, as they really are something to be excited about. Different to any simple star chart I've created in the past, they are colourful and clever, as well as brilliantly unusual. 

Esme was impressed immediately, listening intently, as I explained how it would work; there are basic instructions that come with the chart. Esme loved the little cut out of her and Sofia. By the way, you don't have to personalise it, you will get a character (called Crunchy Carrot) to move up the chart instead. 

My girls earned their way up their individual charts, with a step up for each small good behaviour. Amanda recommends that you reward for small good behaviours that they may not expect you to notice, or be rewarded for, such as sitting up straight to eat dinner, allowing Mummy to leave soft play without a tantrum, or, as was pertinent in our home at the time, being nice to a sibling. Amanda feels that way, children realise very quickly that they will get something they want for being good, but more importantly, will learn very quickly to repeat that good behaviour.

There are 20 steps to the reward. For children aged 2-6, Amanda suggests having a mid-point reward at number ten, to keep them motivated. The reward can vary depending on you and your children, but Esme doesn't get to go swimming with me often, so that was a great incentive for her. Amanda suggests placing a picture of, or labelling what the reward is, at the top to remind your child what it is they are working towards.

The key to the chart is that you never use it as a punishment. i.e. put your child down the chart if they misbehave. This really grabbed me. I love that the message is all about positivity.

At home, when Esme's behaviour has been dire, I've always taken one of her bed time stories away... I find this is something that bothers her so much it never fails to have swift u turn results. Plus, she can then try to earn the story back by being good. This system has been in place for a long time in our home and works for us. But I have to say, having the chart to use is a great addition to our system, for it continually encourages good behaviour.

The charts themselves are beautiful creations. There are a whole range of them from Creepy Crawlies to Gruesome Graveyard; fitting all ages. Indeed Amanda's 11 year-old, and 18 month-old, both use them.


The charts work best at kiddie level, so that the children can track themselves and make the most of the designs. Esme in particular (aged just five) has enjoyed the spectacular art work/images of the Wacky Wildlife and Reedy River charts, having fun naming the creatures as she landed on them. Sofia too, has been very interested in the pictures and the process, but being Sofia, she is also interested in eating the blue tak! 

VERDICT
I think the thing about bulk standard star charts, is that they use the tabular method of collecting stars, and the trouble is, Esme never quite seemed to reach her ultimate goal. It was literally just stars on a graph. RADICAL REWARD CHARTS however, with their personal step by step approach, are so much more. They are all about reaching the goal.

I'm convinced Amanda's fresh approach to reward charts, and all the incentive they hold, is the reason my girls responded to them as they did. As a consequence we've had a successful run of very good behaviour. 

Cheers to that!

TOP TIP 
You may want to laminate the RADICAL REWARD CHART to prolong its lifespan, as you'll soon realise they are a worthwhile investment, and are something to be used over and over again, for years to come.  



If you like Amanda's positively fresh approach to reward charts, you can follow her on Twitter @radicalrewards and check out her website as highlighted above.


(I was sent this product for free, but my opinions/views are all my own).  

For more info, please view my disclosure statement.