3 tables of incentives to change childhood bad behaviors

Incentive tables are a motivational system used to change some negative behavior or to get the child to acquire certain habits or tasks.

It is usually used as an alternative to punishment, that is, to avoid constantly scolding and punishing the child for bad behavior, what is done is to reinforce good attitudes.

There are many and very different types of tables that we can use to change specific behaviors. The 3 most common tables are:

1. Simple table: we can even make it ourselves. On a cardboard or paper, you draw a table with a single row and 5 columns. In the row you will write the behavior to change and in the rows the days of the week (preferably from Monday to Friday)

You have to choose well the behavior you want to change, explain to the child how to behave and why. It should not be an overly ambitious request and the message should be clear.

Each day that the child has achieved the goal, we will ask him to put a sticker. If you have not succeeded, we will leave it blank.

2. Table with three behaviors: We create a table similar to the previous one but instead of including a row with a behavior, we will add two more rows. In one of them, we will write the behavior that we want him to change and in the other two, behaviors that he has achieved. What will happen? The child will receive stickers and compliments for those behaviors that he has already achieved and will feel more motivated to work on the one that remains to be achieved.

3. Table for special situations: we will only use it when there is a behavior to change in a specific situation and place, for example, that does not scream or run in the doctor's office or that it is polite and calm if we visit a friend's house.

- Put it in a visible place in the house.

- Next to each of the tables, the prizes that the children will receive for the established goals should be set. It is important that your recompensations are not material, that is, avoid buying toys or gifts. It is preferable that it consists of going to the movies one afternoon, going for a bike ride or going to the countryside.

- Remember that the reward must be as immediate as possible.

- You should keep the commitment: it is not worth complying with the table one day or another.

- You should only mark positive behavior and not give negative points or remove stickers if they have misbehaved.

- Children have to be prepared to be able to carry out this system, if you see that it does not work, perhaps it is better to wait a while.

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