Behavior Management Through Reward Systems

A Little Girl Showing her Rewards Chart With Stars

Do you find that your child needs to learn a specific skill but also learn the consequences to others?

Perhaps your child uses the iPad too much or is playing video games too much and you want them to understand the concept of money and earning something based on hard work. After all, nothing comes for free. Right?

Behavior management can be achieved through reward charts, which allows the child to they EARN the task they want based on the value of the task. For example, they may earn 30 min on the iPad by working hard to earn $3.00 in coins. (This could be done through earning 12 quarters, 300 pennies or 60 nickels etc.)

A great way to incorporate these ideas in order to improve behavior would be with a REWARD CHART.

Download this Reward Chart example to get started today!

For example if you want to teach the value of money – set up different jars with different variations of coins….…penny, nickel, dime, and quarter. On the jar or on a separate sheet you would list the tasks that would EARN them that money and their value.

Another example to teach the value of money would be to earn coins for the different tasks they are required to do on a daily basis and then at the end of the week they can cash in using the coins they earned. Each item in the ‘reward basket’ would have a value and they can then “buy” it out of the basket so to speak.

To further teach the value of the money and assist with behavior management, children can “match” their coins to a chart knowing that 4 QUARTERS would earn them xyz or 5 DIMES would earn them xyz. Start simple with multiples of same coin and then as their skill increases you can show how you can achieve a dollar in different denominations. Matching to a (laminated) chart may be useful for them to understand how much they ‘have’ compared to how much they ‘need’ to earn the desired reward.

Elevate the exchange of money by taking the “cashing in” of the rewards to the dollar store or grocery store to better grasp that you use money to buy/pay for things.

For simple, easy tasks, they earn pennies. For harder, longer tasks, they’d earn a quarter.

Suggestions could include:

  1. make the bed
  2. wash the dishes
  3. load the dishwasher
  4. clear the table
  5. take out the trash
  6. put the toys away
  7. no fighting
  8. complete homework in a timely fashion (not wasting time)
  9. help out without being asked (the possibilities are endless)

Some kids may need the use of a timer to complete a task in a set time limit due to losing focus. The TIME TIMER is a great tool ( to assist in giving kids the visual aid they need to see the passing of time.

On another sheet of paper you could list the REWARD ACTIVITIES and what it would take to earn them. You can also do this WITH your child to see what means something to THEM.

Suggestions could include:

  1. 30 minutes of video games or iPad (add value)
  2. Sleepover with a friend (add value)
  3. Pick the movie for movie night (add value)
  4. Mommy and Me day or Daddy and Me day (add value)
  5. Stay up an extra 15 or 30 min on a weekend night. (add value)
  6. Watch a TV show of their choice. (add value)
  7. $1 – $2 or $3 to spend at the dollar store. (add value)

Ultimately they can choose to “spend” their money right away or save up for a really big reward (behavior management).

Using a system, such as a reward chart, teaches responsibility and taking ownership of their actions, which is at the core of behavior management. However, it is more than just behavior and doing the right thing. Children understand that different rewards have different values and the importance of helping out and contributing to the family.

Robyn Drothler and Brook Todd are both speech therapists with separate companies. Connect with them and learn more.

website |
email | [email protected]
phone | 404-784-1252

website |
email | [email protected]
phone | 678-858-4777