Creating a house of order with children can sometimes be difficult. But being a parent to children, and not just a friend, is very important! My goal as a Mom is to teach my kids to be independent, respectful, kind, human beings with manners. That’s why I created this Free Printable Kids Behavior Chart in hopes that it would help you as much as it has helped me!
Need more ideas? Check out these other posts! The Only Chore System You’ll Ever Need and How to Create an Easy After School Routine + Free Checklist
Why Have a Behavior Chart?
Kids thrive on positive reinforcement. As a matter of fact, we all do! Do you enjoy going to work for a boss who is nagging you all the time and telling you everything that you are not doing correctly? A boss who is always grumpy and who never seems to notice the good that you do? This is absolutely how our kids feel a lot of the time, I’m sure! And I have to catch myself every now and then and try to be better at noticing the great things that my kids do.
A behavior chart is a great way for kids to visually comprehend how they are behaving for that day. This gives us a great way to track their positive behaviors and reward them. However, kids are kids, and expecting perfection from kids is not helpful.
How a Behavior Chart Has Helped My Family
About 5 years ago, I was trying to figure out a way to help my son visually see how he was behaving. He was a very difficult 2,3, and 4 year old (it was a long 3 years)! I saw one of these awesome behavior charts online and decided to make my own. He wasn’t quite reading at the time so I wanted to put emoji’s on the chart so that he could see, through the emotions on the emoji’s faces, how he was doing.
You can choose to work the reward and consequence system however you choose and believe me when I say that there were many trial and errors in my household. But in the end, we decided on a very small reward for my son when he had his picture placed at the very top of the behavior chart.
And when he was having a hard day in his behavior wasn’t so great, I would have to move his picture down to the bottom of the chart. There was also a consequence of that. He didn’t get down to the very bottom super often but when he did, his punishment was often to go to bed early.
Does it Work for Multiple Kids?
This chart works really great for multiple kids. All you have to do is get some sort of magnet or picture of your child and glue it to a magnet. That way when you move the magnet up and down on the chart according to their behavior, they will be able to visually see where they are. You can also do this for other siblings at the same time with their own magnets.
My kids are now in school and I have noticed that every one of their teachers uses this same behavior chart (with slight variations) to help kids with their behavior. The best part is that it is effective! It really helped my son with his behavior and he has now done a 180-degree shift (hallelujah!)
It’s Great for Non-Readers
My favorite thing about my behavior chart are the emojis! This is especially great for little kids who don’t know how to read yet. It’s a great way for them to visualize an emotion to their actions and behavior.
Make Your Own Chart Marker
You really could use anything as a marker on your chart for each child. A magnet would work, or I have even been desperate enough to use Sticky Tack before! But if you really want to make it extra cute, I recommend using these flat bottlecaps.
In the past, I have printed my kids’ pictures on them so they can easily identify how they are behaving on the chart by looking at which line their picture is on. If you do want to go the extra mile to make the chart more fun for your child, I suggest the following products.
- Behavior Chart Print (download below)
- Laminating Pouches
- Thermal Laminator
- Bottle Caps (plus Epoxy Stickers)
After you have your supplies gathered, print your image on your home printer or take it to be professionally printed. Then you can laminate the sheet so that it will last longer. For the chart marker, you can cut out your child’s photo or even just write their name on a piece of paper and attach it to the bottle cap. Then top it with the epoxy Sticker to give it a finished look.
Then I used some magnets I has lying around the house and used a hot glue gun to glue the magnet to the bottle cap. Make sure to glue the bottle cap to the correct size of the magnet!
Here are the supplies that I used to make our Kids Behavior Chart and as well as the magnetic photos that you can slide up and down the chart (if you place it on the fridge or another magnetic surface).
The Goal of a Behavior Chart
It’s important to keep in mind the goal of having a behavior chart. The goal is not to point out all of the bad things that your kids are doing. The main point of this behavior chart is for you to make a concerted effort to focus on the good that your kids are doing.
I promise you that if you make an effort to be positive about your kids behavior their behavior will improve. This is a lesson that has taken me years to learn and I still forget quite often. But I go back to this again and again and really make an effort to improve my reactions as a parent.
If you turn the behavior chart into a negative thing, then it will most likely not work for your family. But if you can use it as a tool to focus on the positive things that your kids are doing and improving on, it will be a success! Be the kind of parent that you dreamed that you would be before you had kids. Because let’s be honest, parenting is significantly harder than we all thought it would be. but also much more rewarding!
I hope that my kids behavior chart can be helpful for you and your family as you journey toward a more peaceful home.
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My Emoji Icons were used from the website freepik.com