Reward Charts – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Rewards charts seem to be one of those opinion dividing things – some people swear by them, others don’t like the idea of having to bribe a child to behave. I’m of the opinion that I don’t really care why the child is co-operating as long as they are (with the exception of hitting) and I’m also of the opinion that most things in life are worth having a bosh at (with the exception of heroin).

Soon as reward charts don’t commonly involve either of those things and supposedly MAKE BEHAVING FUN we got stuck in.

When it came to drawing up a chart we did consider a simple two pronged approach:-


But although this seemed to cover all the bases, J thought we ought to be a bit more specific rather than honing in on the overall personality type. So the criteria we set were:-

  • Getting yourself dressed
  • Eating  your lunch
  • Being nice to your brother
  • Eating  your dinner
  • Good phonics practice
  • Dry pants
  • Going to bed nicely

We decided that a small reward would be distributed for a full day of stickers (choosing something from the treat tub) and a bigger reward would be distributed for an almost full week of stickers (the much coveted Optimus Prime).

Simple enough right?




It seems we are still stuck in the annoying stage of not being able to talk about anything even vaguely appealing if it is not happening THAT EXACT SECOND.

So I am currently repeating myself 20 times a day defining the terms of conditions of the reward chart whilst simultaneously picking stickers off every god-dam surface in my entire house. If you happen to see a destitute blonde woman wandering around Brighton with Batman characters emblazoned across her arse it is probably me. Please don’t be afraid to come over and pull them off. I will probably hug you for it.

All in all the verdict thus far is that I hate reward charts, maybe even more than I hate kids in possession of stickers. One of the worst things about them is that they force you to come to terms with your own pathetic failings i.e after receiving about 25% of the stickers on his chart…


Perhaps we might benefit from having a reward chart as well.

NYC (1)



P.S. I have a new book OUT NOW! You can nab it on Amazon here or in your lovely local bookshop :)


20 thoughts on “Reward Charts – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

  1. Carie

    Kitty had that sort of a reaction to rewards charts the one time we tried them (potty training – I was desperate). It led me to the conclusion that (a) reward charts are not for us and (b) my daughter will make an excellent lawyer!

  2. Flick

    Ha-ha glad to see it wasn’t just us, we had exactly the same reaction to a reward chart. Every morning l had to explain he didn’t get a woody doll until the end of a month! As if! Woody arrived in the post pretty quickly and l gave up on the whole thing! Xx

  3. Mrs ATWWAH

    Ha ha, great post. I hate reward charts and never used one (yet!) as I don’t want to get into the habit of having to reward good behaviour. And I know Master ATWWAH would just obsess about the big reward which would no doubt be Star Wars related :-)

    I definitely need one though which would involve not being a grumpy cow most mornings and breaking the chocolate habit.

  4. Alexandra @dontcallmestepmummy

    This is so funny. You’re always so accurate. We once tried reward charts for potty training. Think I just failed to follow through and remember to keep up with it for both children I potty trained. Oh well. I remember having them as a child myself and my little brothers stars trailing down the wall as he would stick them on himself to get treats :)

  5. Life at the Little Wood

    Tee hee! I love your adult reward chart – we could definitely be doing with one of those round here. Sometimes I think we are worse than the kids really! :) This made me chuckle a lot Katie. Loved it, as always! Xx

  6. Rose

    Reward chart for parents – think you could be on to something there! Currently promising myself a lovely big gin if I get through this pregnancy with a toddler entering the Terrible Twos without LOSING MY MIND. Stickers would certainly make the whole venture a bit more jolly. Future Gin Bunny enterprise, perhaps?
    Thanks for making me chuckle, as always.

  7. Katie @mummydaddyme

    I laugh out loud at most of your posts Katie but this one especially so. The not being a dick made me chuckle cause last night I said to Mr E (quietly I may add so she didn’t hear!) God Mads is being a dick! ;) She really was though! x

  8. Jude

    Love this. I too am in reward chart limbo. Can’t work out if they are a good thing or just another thing to lie on the floor and scream about. Saying that I DO have an adult reward chart. It’s wine shaped and is the only thing that keeps me on track… x

  9. suzanne3childrenandit

    Pa ha ha ha. I LOVE the first sticker chart. Please go back to that one – ‘Not Being a Dick’ – not sure any of us would achieve that sticker in our house!! Brilliant as ever. Sticker charts are wayyyy more hassle then they’re worth but then you know that, right? xx

  10. lianne

    Brilliant, finally the truth about them bloody star charts!! They are more trouble then they are worth for us mums. I tried something similar with my daughter and marbles! It was a great idea in theory, but I didn’t have time to piss about with marbles and dish them out after every threat/bribe. I end up saying I owe you so many, by the end of the week I didn’t know how many I owe her or how many she owed me due to bad behaviour. Ahhhhh.
    I feel your pain x

  11. Anna

    This is my life as also. I reward myself with nice coffee and chocolate if I don’t lose the plot.

    A steam mop gets stickers off stuff.

    Optimus Prime is the work of Satan.

  12. Jane_In_Brighton

    Hi Katie – I accidentally stumbled across this post on my search for an adult reward chart. Yes, I really do find it that difficult to get into a routine and to install good habits, so I’m going to attempt bribing my “inner child”!!

    I’m seriously thinking of adding “don’t be a dick” to my list of good habits – thanks for that gem. Also, coincidentally, I only just discovered last night that there is such a thing as “Brighton Gin”, so I shall be acquiring a bottle of that later today.

    Do you go to any of the Digital stuff here in Brighton – like Wired Sussex, the Skiff or Brighton Digital Women? Was just wondering if I might run into you around town sometime :-)


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