Parenting Vivian | 24 Jan 2011 05:52 pm

Behavior Charts For Adults?

Behavior charts, controlling, yes, but so surprisingly effective. We began “charting” when our oldest was still a single child and we were new parents. As he turned two new and thrilling personality traits began to emerge from his tiny little body. His assertions of independence were fascinating, endearing and really challenging. We began to experiment with a small homemade chart and put a few essential tasks on it. Once he had his first taste of earning a sticker and experienced the celebration of our cheering and hugs, we were all hooked. He was completing tasks, accomplishing goals, receiving positive feedback and being held accountable, which all led to a sense of success and pride.

As adults and parents, we too have goals and tasks that we try to learn, accomplish, and master. I believe that being held accountable, and maintaining our sense of self is a key to success. For example, if there is a goal or intention you wish to attain and you tell someone you respect, then the likelihood increases that you actually will. Working with a life coach is incredibly beneficial in this process. Through conversations and exercises in coaching sessions, clients are able to identify and access their greatest strengths. This allows clarity in identifying goals and new possibilities in furthering one’s intentions.

Now that our oldest goes to school five days a week and our little one must come for the ride, we have found ourselves scrambling daily to get out the door at the precise time the school requires us to be there. I decided our oldest could handle more responsibility and we entered new “getting ready” tasks on his chart, but I realized how frustrated I was in the moment we announced these tasks would now be “charted.” My reaction may have initiated some sense of punishment rather than a useful consequence. So the next morning when I woke up feeling once again tired and wishing I had gone to bed earlier the night before, it hit me. I will chart myself! I announced to our son that I wanted to do a chart too. His response was stunning as he quickly got out paper and marker and began to create my chart. He hugged me and gave me a random “I love you” while carefully drawing the boxes where my stickers would be placed. The interesting piece is that this was not a gesture on my part. I really wanted support in getting more rest and being held accountable. Since this chart, I dutifully go to bed at the time I promised and beam with pride when I get to tell him in the morning. We have joined together to accomplish goals and share in our success. Sometimes I think our children are the best life coaches of all.

Comments are closed.