About the speaker: Dr Helen Likierman is a consultant clinical psychologist working with families and children where there are emotional, social, behavioural or learning concerns. Visit Helen's website at www.psykidz.co.uk.
Further information about this Talk
Visit Helen's website at www.psykidz.co.uk.
To get hold of Valerie Muter's and Helen Likierman's latest book on how parents can prepare their child for school please click here.
Key Points Covered in This Talk:
- Changing specific behaviours: Reward charts can be used to target specific things, for example going up to bed when asked. First of all you would need to set up a bedtime routine. It is important that your child knows that they are going to go to bed after a certain time. It's useful to give your child a warning that bedtime is going to happen in ten minutes. Even if your child can't tell the time you can use a kitchen timer or some other signal that can mark the end of the time period. Your child needs to know that if he or she goes up to bed at the correct time that a reward will follow. This might be a sticker on a chart. Then you need to go through all the other parts of the routine that your child has to go through to get into bed (e.g. undressing, washing, cleaning teeth, getting into bed). At the end of that another reward (sticker on the chart) is due. You can use a separate sticker for each of the stages. When all these parts of the routine are in place you might only need one sticker for getting into bed having done all the things that needed to be done.
- Keep reward charts interesting: This is very important, as they soon get boring for children. One of the ways that you can make reward charts interesting and move more quickly to just using one sticker for one behaviour/action (instead of breaking it all down) is by having a special bumper sticker. For example if a child does all the things he or she was meant to do during the bedtime routine (went to bed, got undressed, washed, brushed teeth, go into bed) then a special sticker can be given. Vary the stickers and charts by using themes that your child is interested in (e.g. a train with passengers as the stickers, balloons, rockets etc.). Turn the charts into part of a game and ensure your child has fun creating it. This will help esnure that the whole thing is valued by your child.