Reward Chart for the ADHD Child – FREE Printable / Editable Download!
“Shifting Sands.” These have been my adopted words in recent past for our ADHD kiddo. In all fairness, he has already been our guinea pig for most of his little life. However, I am now coming at it with new resolve, AND ditching my hit-and-miss approach by taking a more methodological approach.
I had the fire lit under my butt after listening to a podcast on ADHD by Russell Barkley, one of the nations leading authorities on Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. In this podcast, he encourages parents to become detectives, consider all [mainstream] options, and to press in and not get discouraged. It takes time. It takes observation. It takes effort (this may be the understatement of the year IMHO).
A lot of this effort, for me, has involved documenting any changes we make (diet, routine, rewards, etc.) and noting his seemingly corresponding moods in a habit tracker in my bullet journal. It has been so cool to look back and see pretty clearly what is working and what is not. One area we saw the best results in was when there were immediate consequences, good or bad (ie reward or discipline). He also seemed to do the best when he knew what consequence to expect.
I chewed on this for a while not entirely sure what to do with this newfound data and finally came to the conclusion that it was time to create a reward chart designed just for him. We have dabbled in different types of charts in the past, but they didn’t seem to stick very well (maybe he was too young?). This go around, we are seeing a completely different outcome. Our son gets excited about getting a star by one of the tasks on his reward chart. He also seems to be excited to KNOW what is expected of him and is extremely motivated by the prize that comes when he reaches 25 marks.
So, without further ado, I present to you our tweaked-to-perfection reward chart. Here is how it works:
- 1 star for every item completed on the list
- 25 stars gets him a visit to the treasure chest where I have dollar store toys and tickets I printed for things like ice cream or 15 minutes of screen time
- I also paper clip a note card (see image to the right) under the “Chores” section every morning with the jobs he needs to check off in order to get one star next to the chore task. In addition to a star, he gets one or two dollars based on the amount of jobs (I do $1.00 for every 2 chores).
- I designed the chart so that he couldn’t abuse it and get 25 stars in one day. It takes him til at least the third day to earn a trip to the treasure chest.
- Also, the chart is split into three colors: yellow for morning tasks, green for afternoon tasks, and blue for evening tasks.
- I print it on an 8.5×11 and hang it low on the fridge so he can see his progress.
- Star stickers work great for this chart. Use 25 of one color and once you use 25, move to the next color. It makes it much easier to keep track of how many stars your kiddo currently has.
You can download an editable chart here and tweak it to fit your child’s needs! Let me know in the comments below if it works for you, and what other experiments you have tried and found to work.