Stickers hold a funny power over kids. For a while there my kids had been asking me to make them a sticker chart. But I had some mental block that made me push it away... Until a few behaviour patterns reached a point where some kind of new approach was desperately needed. Most of it boiled down to the fact that the girls were exhausted by the end of a school day and couldn't be bothered being nice to the people around them (us and each other).
So this monstrosity was born. Pretty simple and practical. I bought a big sheet of card and a packet of stickers. As you can see, the drawings are very precise and exact... and the kids care... They are getting plenty of counting practice as they continually tally their stickers and compare (something which I am absolutely working against). And the lure of each of these tiny little artworks is magic. They sure aren't perfect (neither am I...) but it is amazing that they can find the energy to be nice with such an insignificant carrot to dangle.
Naturally, the chart is only a means to an end (in my mind, at least). I am hoping and even beginning to observe that the standard of normal behaviour is changing. New precidences are being set all the time and the old grumpy standard is slowly being forgotten. Of course, new challenges will arise with new seasons... But then there's always the back of the piece of card for a new and more exciting chart when these behaviours seem like innocent hiccups in our routine.
With new growth comes new training. And I've got a lot of learning to do just to keep up!