Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Incentive Charts

If you have ever had a two year old or attempted to potty train you know incentive charts can be a huge help!  If the child is motivated by stickers or prizes, this form of encouragement can be extremely beneficial.  But, the truth is, toddlers are not the only ones these charts will work with.

I worked with a 9 year old who needed to do a lot of hard work to get back to her baseline and much of this work included painful stimuli.  She was motivated in the beginning simply by wanting to get out of bed, but quickly learned that meant pain and she was becoming reluctant to participate in physical therapy.  I found an incentive chart with prizes along the way to be the perfect motivation and distraction to get through those tough days.  We created this candy land incentive chart and I got really lucky when we had just enough blocks to get her through the most difficult part of her hospitalization.

There are tons of ways to visually record progress that will encourage any individual to stick to their goals, even adults.  All that is needed is a solid goal and a little motivation {prize, money, etc.} to get most individuals ready to move.  Whether the goal is weight loss, a vacation, new job or other exciting event, by mapping out a plan and setting up rewards along the way, most individuals will meet their goal much faster.

Since we are doing most of the house renovations ourselves, I thought it would be perfect to do a little incentive chart to keep us focused on our goals.  I feel encouraged when I can cross off the next item on a list.  We talked about what order we wanted to do the work and then decided we would put money in a jar when these things are complete to put toward something special.  This will be especially helpful {hopefully} when our projects drag on and it is difficult to see the end in sight.

How have you used incentive charts in your own life?  Have you ever attempted to use an incentive chart personally or with a child that did not work?  I am curious about your experience and would love to read about it in the comments!



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