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child star

A star or reward chart can be a great way to deal with your child’s more challenging behaviour.

At this stage, tantrums and difficult behaviour come with the territory, but a reward chart can be a great way to encourage him to behave well. It’s up to you to decide what he must do to earn a star. It could be for simple good behaviour, or it could be task-based – for example, if he eats all his dinner or clears away his toys. It can also be used to help with toilet training for toddlers.

How it works

Most charts consist of a simple grid, with one column for each day of the week. You could either divide the columns into morning, afternoon and evening, or into hours of the day. The aim is to set small goals, so they become part of his everyday routine. Once he’s got stars for, say, an entire week, he gets a reward or ‘treat’.

Make it clear

It’s important to explain how the star chart system works. Be sure the stars have real value for him in order to make his good behaviour worthwhile – work towards a special treat or an outing. When he earns a star or a reward and sees how pleased you are with him, he’ll look forward to doing it all over again – he’ll probably even remind you when it’s time to add a sticker to the chart! However, never take away a star for bad behaviour and don’t be tempted to award one just to pacify him – he needs to understand that only good behaviour earns stars and not the other way round!

Star prizes

You can tempt your child in a variety of ways. Try:

  • A trip to the swimming pool
  • Giving him the chance to choose dinner for the family
  • An extra bedtime story
  • Making and decorating fairy cakes together
  • Making him a special certificate

Make a chart

Let your child choose the colours of the crayons or pens you use to draw the grid – the more colourful it is, the more enticing it will be. You could also let him choose the stickers or stars so it’s a real treat every time he gets to add one to the chart. Take a look in store for a wide range of art and craft materials.

Show your child his star chart at the end of each day, so he can see the progress he has made


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