Who doesn’t love stickers? They’re fun and colourful and they can be used for all sorts of things. Kids especially love them and like to collect them.
But how are you using them? Are they handed out freely, or do they have real educational meaning for the children?
Like so many things in life, if they come too easily, then we take them for granted.
Stickers can be a great tool for helping parents to teach good habits.
So I try to use stickers with the children in a way that rewards them by doing the right things.
Here are my top 4 sticker uses:
- Building up rewards for homework done – Together with the child, create a chart and every time a piece of homework is completed give a sticker for getting it submitted. Make it quite a plain one, with a simple tick or smiley face. Do it week by week so it easy for the child to see their achievements.
- Use stickers to show progress– get the children to bring home test results from school.
Scores of 80% or more get a green sticker.
Scores of 50 to 80% gets an orange sticker.
Scores of less than 50% gets a red sticker.
Write the test name and dates on the different colours and if they improve on a test at a later date, put the new colour above the old one, with the new date, so they can see their progress.
It is important to reward the hard work that leads into better grades.
The progress chart is important to teach perseverance and long term fulfilment.
If you start seeing inconsistence in your child’s performance or too many red or orange stickers, it’s an early indication that something is wrong and action is needed. So sit down for a chat and find out what help they might need.
- Rewards for great achievements – on the same chart use much brighter stickers for getting great marks for homework well done. This reinforces the feeling of overcoming difficult tasks and achieving the best possible results.
You may want to set a prize for a certain number of great stickers on the chart.
Remember to set realistic targets and that each child has its own pace.
- House Points – each child gets a housepoints chart and every time they do something extra around the house or garden to help out, they get a sticker of their choice on the housepoints chart. This can be as simple as daily chores of making a bed, taking out the rubbish or feeding the cat. Some families like to add outstanding behaviour stickers to this chart for when the child shows great empathy for a friend, helps the parents without being asked and so on.
On this chart you may want to retrieve stickers if the child is asked to do something reasonable but fails to help without reason.
Agree a target for rewards, little ones like an ice cream or a video for 5 or 10 stickers, a bigger one for say 25 or more over a week or month, like a takeaway on Friday, or a sleepover.
- It is important to be consistent in every chart
- Get your child involved in setting the goals and choosing the prizes
- Praise them for their effort as well as great achievements
Used like this, stickers can help parents show kids that you recognise and value their efforts. In amongst busy family life, it is a simple and visual way to show them you have noticed what they are doing and want them to know that. Happy stickering.