Easy behaviour management AKA how I bribe my son!

Back in June, with the 3 month school holiday looming I was a little nervous as to how we would make it though and stay reasonably sane at the same time.   Leo is on the whole a very good boy but at the end of the day he is only four years old and that means he can be a right royal pain in the bum when the mood takes him!

I'd only used a reward chart once with him whilst potty training and although it worked well I didn't know how I could make it work now.  The problem wasn't so much that I wanted him to do specific things it was more that I needed him NOT to do things.

As I realised I couldn't 'reward' him for 'not hitting his brother' or 'not whining/ banging/ interrupting/shouting etc  so when I saw this fab idea on Pinterest I thought it might just be the answer.

Leo hates to think he is 'naughty' and was always asking me if he was good or becoming very sad if he was told off. Although he is no angel, he really wants to be good and make everyone pleased with him. He would ask me every night as I put him to bed if he had been good so I thought this chart would work really well with him.

Each morning Leo starts the day on 'Good boy' as I explained to him (in an attempt to build his confidence) because he is always a good boy, and knows how to behave, but sometimes he forgets or makes a mistake.

If during the day he does something naughty he gets a warning,  and if he does it again he gets moved down.

Going onto 'Oops'   does not mean he is bad or 'naughty', but it does mean he has done something that wasn't very good / nice behaviour.

He is moved up as and when I (or my parents) think he has done something particularly good - this can be anything from being well behaved whilst out, being kind, playing very nicely, or just doing things he should do without being asked.

He can move up and down the chart as many times as needed during the day but he has to finish on 'Good boy' or higher at the end of the day to be able to stay up late with Daddy on a Sunday evening.

In the month or so we have used the chart he has only moved onto the bottom square once, and was completely distraught by it. Once he had calmed down  within minutes he ran off unprompted to get toys that Louka would like and began playing nicely with him and trying to teach him things, which then got him moved back up.   (this was lucky as I realised I hadn't though of what I would do if he continued to misbehave!)

We then reached the point where increasingly the warning is not given - ie 'hit your brother / climb on the furniture means you go straight down.  This works well for the things he knows FULL well he should not do.

Several weeks later and the chart is still going strong, I can't believe how effective a few pieces of coloured card and a clothes peg could be!


  1. Such a simple idea....Sounds like it's working well x

  2. That is a brilliant idea although at 6 and 9 mine are a bit too old now but I know they would have responded really well to this idea when younger


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