If you walk into many classrooms, you will find a reward and consequence behavior chart for kids. As a former teacher, I know I used one in my classroom. Now that I have my own children at home, I recently decided that having a clear system with rewards and consequences would help improve behavior. Not only would the kids know what to expect with disobedience, but the parents would have the tools in place so we can discipline our kids in a consistent way. When you have a plan, it helps you teach your children in a more calm way. I have another post to help you think through clear consequences for behavior, and I also have more ideas for creating reward systems that work for you family. The free printable I’m offering today handles rewards and consequences in one succinct way, and it has been working for us. There will be a printable version for both Christian families and non-Christian families.
* Affiliate links provided for your convenience. Anything you purchase through these links helps to support Meaningful Mama and the free resources I provide. Thank you for choosing to support us.
This idea was inspired by a friend who had this up in her home. She had seem something similar at school and decided to make her own version. She has been seeing success in her home using these charts, and she sent me pictures of her version so I could make a free printable available for my readers at Meaningful Mama.
I am going to provide you with two free printables. We believe in the Bible and how it can be used for reaching our children’s hearts. Scripture should be used for teaching in our home. Each section of version one of this behavior chart will have scriptures attached so that kids can learn the reasons behind our desired behaviors. As children move their markers up and down the chart, they can read the scripture and begin to set it to memory. That said, I definitely acknowledge that not everyone holds the beliefs I do, so I wanted to make a version that can be used by people who don’t have a Christian worldview. This version 2 will be used in the same way, but it will not have scripture attached.
The Bible teaches that “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” – 2 Timothy 3:16 NLT. When raising our kids, we want to capture their heart for God’s truth. Part of that is teaching our kids to know scripture. We do not use the Bible to teach us how to be perfect so we can earn some sort of reward. This is impossible. Rather, God’s Word is a measure as to how imperfect we are and our need for a Savior that offers us grace and forgiveness. That said, when we understand God’s grace, we want our behaviors to come into line with his great and perfect will for our lives. We know that God’s ways are perfect, and to live a more complete life full of his joy, love and hope, we want to live out truth through our actions. I want my kids to experience that.
This version is for the parents who like the behavior chart concept but don’t believe in the Bible. Thank you for being here, and I hope this is a great resource for you. Can I take a moment to encourage you to look into the claims of Jesus and the Bible. I, too, was a skeptic. In ways, I still am. Faith doesn’t come easy for me. However, after much investigation into the intellectual arguments for a divine creator and then the historical proofs that back up the Bible, I have decided that Christian faith stands strong under scrutiny. Not only do philosophical and historical arguments for faith make sense to me, but the hope, community, forgiveness and fullness found in my belief system only supports the power of the gospel message. If your experience with Christians has been negative, I sincerely apologize for that. Based on the Bible, we really should be the most humble bunch, recognizing our sin and need for a Savior. However, we mess up too. I encourage you to look into Jesus and Bible to see if they stand up to scrutiny. Blessings on your journey to discover truth. Here are some books that might help in your pursuits: More Than A Carpenter, Mere Christianity, The Case For Faith: A Journalist Investigates The Toughest Objections to Christianity (Paperback), The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus (Case for … Series),The New Evidence That Demands A Verdict: Evidence I & II Fully Updated in One Volume To Answer The Questions Challenging Christians in the 21st Century. and here are some links to more. I have read all the ones with the Amazon links, and I also love listening to apologetic PodCasts. The Veritas Forums I found very engaging.
How to Use Your Behavior Reward and Consequence Charts
Whether a child moves up or down on the chart depends on their behavior. Every day starts new on “ready to have a great day.” Super amazing choices will move them up the ladder, while poor choices move them down. Neutral behavior keeps them where they are at. It will be under the scrutiny of the adult in charge. I would try and catch the good behaviors so that they quickly experience successes with the chart. Each child is different, and what is amazingly good behavior for one child might be average behavior for the other. You, as the parent, get to make these choices. If my child moved down to +1 job owed, and they did the job without complaining or arguing or making the situation worse, I would move them back to up “ready to have a great day.” If they move up from from +2 jobs owed, they don’t then owe more jobs. They are just there until their behavior allows them to move up again. If my children ended in the blue or purple sections for multiple days in a row, we would add an even great reward for them. Rewards can be as simple as extra time with you – a game, a trip to the library, a park date. You could also have a prize bin where they can choose. Your child might be motivated by earning extra screen time. They don’t tend to land on super spectacular often. It’s when the whole day is filled with above and beyond behavior. This, again, is up to you to decide what will speak to your child. If they get to the black, it normally means their behavior was pretty out of control. This has happened twice in our home. I would always make it super clear that I love them so much, but they can’t let their behavior impact our home in such a negative way. I make it very clear that I’m super excited to start the day new tomorrow and that I am confident they’ll make better choices. Our rule is that they only move a magnet if I asked them to move it. If it was moved without my instruction, they automatically moved down. They also weren’t to ask to be moved. I like them to move the magnet so they can feel the weight of their action – good or bad – and be able to read the scripture. I read the scripture to the younger kids.
How to Hang Your Behavior Reward and Consequence Charts
Hanging these charts can be tricky. I initially printed them out on card stock and taped them to the wall, but the weight of the clips I chose didn’t make it work well. That said, my friend had hers taped to mirror, and she didn’t seem to have problems. The next thing I tried was to add magnet tape to the back of the paper and put them on my refrigerator. This really worked well for a time but didn’t have the longevity I had hope. The best solution (where I would start) is to print them onto printable magnet paper. I had used this before when we did our magnet photo puzzles, so I was familiar with the product. It is a great option, and then you can get some cute magnets to represent each child. This should hold up over time, making this a great long-term solution for behavior development.