Tips & Tricks
Here are a few recommendations and “best practices” to help you get the most out of Character Badges. As you use the program you’re sure to discover even more ways to customize it to the needs of your home.
ASKING FOR CHECKS - Consider making a rule that asking for checks ensures your child won’t receive a check. Maintaining this rule will help the program run more smoothly and will also encourage true obedience in your children.
NOT TOO EASY. NOT TOO HARD - Give enough checks to help your children achieve badges and earn Character Coins, but not so many checks that they obey just to get checks. Remember, the object is to turn good deeds into daily habits of good behavior.
CHART FOR A MONTH (Character Badges) - Keep your charts confined to a month. At the start of each new month, wipe your Obedience and Disobedience Charts off and start fresh. We’ve designed Character Badges with just enough boxes to make achieving rewards each month a challenge but not so many that the process is overly difficult.
CHART FOR A WEEK TO 2 WEEKS (Little Character Badges) - In Little Character Badges, look to confine your charting period to one to two weeks. At the start of the new week, wipe your Obedience and Disobedience Charts off and start fresh. Little ones have shorter attention spans and we designed Little Character Badges especially for them. There are fewer boxes to fill and the shorter charting period is just right for 3 – 5 year olds.
KEEP IT SIMPLE! - We like to say that your consequences should be "reasonably repeatable." You want a consequences that you won’t skip over because they're too harsh or too elaborate. Once you start to pass over consequences, the numbered boxes on your child’s chart begin to become meaningless - kind of like threats that don’t really come until the parent gets angry. : (
QUICK CHECKS - Try to make sure your child places his/her check in the appropriate category as near as possible to the act that brought it about. This mainly applies to the Disobedience Chart for obvious reasons. : )
QUICK CONSEQUENCES - If at all possible your child should receive the consequence you’ve assigned to a particular act of disobedience as near to the act as possible. Waiting too long can get confusing for both you and your child and the consequence will most likely lose it’s effectiveness.
HOW TO DISPLAY BADGES - Allow your child to display their badges in any way that allows them to highlight their special achievement. They might want to wear them on their clothing or stick them on a school folder. They might even want to create a poster where they can stick every badge they’ve earned for a year and hang it in their room!
MAKE IT SPECIAL! - Get creative when awarding badges! You might want to hold a little ceremony or award a badge at the dinner table when the whole family is gathered and have everyone cheer! Any little extra thing you do will make receiving their badge a special event for your child and that much more motivating to work on building good habits.
ADDING REWARDS - If you don't use the Rewards Kit, you might want to consider attaching rewards to the reception of badges. For instance, you might give your child a cookie or special snack when they get a #3 badge. With each badge they earn, the reward could get a little larger. Setting goals and attaching them to individual badges is a great way to encourage your child to make a better effort in an area they might struggle with.
USING EMPTY SLOTS - Put the empty slots on the Rewards Chart to good use. You might even want to set some big goals for the last two slots, like a new bike, a special toy, or a day trip to a special place! The sky’s the limit!
MULTIPLE PURCHASES - The first two items on the Rewards Chart (stay up 15 minutes past bedtime and 10 minutes computer / tablet / phone time) can be purchased multiple times; that is, if your child wanted to stay up 30 minutes past their bedtime, it would cost them 10¢ in Character Coins. However, you may want to set restrictions on the amount of time they are able to purchase.
HOW MUCH IS A CHARACTER COIN WORTH? - When it comes to offering a purchased item as a reward, you may wonder how to set the cost of the item in Character Coins. As a general rule (and remember, you're free to adjust this to your liking) a 25¢ Character Coin is worth about $2.00 to $3.00. So, if you wrote in a toy on your child's Rewards Chart that cost you $20.00, you would set the price of the toy somewhere between 165¢ and 250¢ in Character Coins (or $1.65 to $2.50 if you'd like your child to do the math.) That would be the equivalent of 6 to 10 #1 badges, so they would have definitely earned it! However, you’re welcome to set the cost of purchased items to whatever you think is best.
FREE REWARDS ARE GREAT TOO! - Remember - rewards don’t have to cost money! Your child might get just as excited, if not more so, at the thought of you going on a hike or having a slumber party with them as they would a new toy! Just get creative and set rewards that you know will truly be a blessing to them!
WHERE TO BUY REWARDS - If you do decide to purchase some items for them to earn, you might keep an eye out at garage sales or children’s consignment sales for some inexpensive things that you can have on hand. Or, go all out and buy that $200 Lego set they’ve always wanted and set that as a reward! It’s up to you!
AWARDING CHARACTER COINS WITH CHARACTER BADGES - Even though Character Coins are supposed to be given when your child achieves a #1, #2, or #3 badge, you may want to award them when they achieve a character badge as well. If so, we recommend that you give them a 10¢ Character Coin per each Character Badge awarded. This is also a great way to draw attention to a particular character category. For instance you could attach a 10¢ Character Coin to the Kindness Badge if you wanted your child to make an extra effort in that category for the month.
PUT THEM ON SALE! - Another fun thing you can do related to rewards is to put your rewards list “on sale” for a period of time. Lowering the prices of rewards for a while is an excellent way to motivate your child to work a little harder at good behavior.