My Growing Up Chart: Finally, a behavior chart that might work for a kid with ADHD

Most ADHD experts and physicians will tell you, the moment your child is diagnosed with ADHD, to start using a behavioral reward system of some sort. There’s the token system where your child earns tokens for good behavior and then can “buy” privileges. There are dozens and dozens of chart ideas to track success with behaviors and reward in some manner or another. I have tried many, many iterations of a behavioral reward system in our house since my son, Luke, was diagnosed with ADHD in late 2008. None with any success… until now.

I was contacted a few months ago by the Victoria Chart Company to see if I felt that their charts might work for children with ADHD. I looked at their charts in great detail before responding. We’ve been down this road so many times and these systems just never work for us. They don’t successfully motivate my kids, or help them stop and think before acting, and they tend to suck all of my time trying to manage them.

I immediately loved the very visual nature of their charts though. But I was still hesitant. My favorite is the My Credit Chart, but I thought Luke would probably struggle with it a bit — it was the least visual. So I chose the My Growing Up Chart and they sent it right over to me. I was afraid he’d think it was a little too babyish, but they were sending it to me to try, so I thought trying it wouldn’t hurt.

Luke loves it! And, he’s quite motivated by it.

Again, it’s super visual which not only works well for kids with ADHD, but it is just naturally engaging. The chart comes with a set of 10 goal stickers with pictures (I enjoyed school, I’ve been kind to someone, I dressed myself, I practiced my reading, I’ve eaten my food, I practiced my math, I’ve written and drawn, I practiced my spellings, I’ve been good at bedtime and I’ve been polite), many of which are great goals for kids with ADHD, and then 5 blanks, with general images but no text, for you to create your own tailored goals.

As your child meets a goal, they can place a number sticker in the space by it. The chart comes with numbers up to 20. I love the number stickers because they’re an easy, visual way for a child to quickly see how well they are doing. It also comes with some big gold stars that read “good job.” We use these in place of numbers when I think Luke has done an exceptional job of meeting that goal that day. I also use them in the empty bottom section that we are using as a Bonus Section when I feel like rewarding him for a generally good day or for a great behavior that isn’t one of the goals. He can use these as flex stickers and apply them to a goal he is behind with.

It hangs right on our refrigerator and he likes to stop by and count up how many stickers he needs and what goals he needs to focus on to earn his prize, especially now that he is very close to finishing up and getting his prize.

There’s not a section on this particular chart to log the reward the child is working toward. That is one thing I’d change about it if I could. We handled that by verbally telling Luke that he’ll receive a nice reward of our choosing once he has 20 stickers on each goal. He constantly asks me what he’ll get. Some other ideas: print a picture of something your child really wants (toy, game, activity, place they want to visit, etc) and hang it next to the chart as a visual they’re working toward; write it on top of the chart with the dry erase marker that’s included; or have the prize, if it’s an item, displayed somewhere — another technique I just learned along these lines is to have a mystery envelope/box displayed and the prize is secretly concealed inside, the element of mystery is apparently a good motivator and we will be trying this technique on a small scale with individual goals.

My only other criticism of this chart is that it has too many goals for a child with ADHD. I used seven of the eight slots for goals (the last slot we’re using for bonus stars). I used so many because some goals, like “I’ve been kind to someone” and “I’ve eaten my food” were easy. However, when we finish this one up, and we peel all the stickers off and start again (awesome that it’s reusable, right?), I will only use 3-4 goals and a bonus section, a larger number of goals is just too much to keep up with when using it for behavior modification.

Here’s what I love about Victoria Chart Company’s My Growing Up Chart:

  • Colorful, engaging visuals are great for kids with ADHD
  • It’s reusable — just peel the stickers off, erase the dry-erase writing, and set it up again
  • It uses number stickers to track progress, making it easy for a child to quickly take note of how they are doing
  • It has pre-printed goals that are great for kids with ADHD and developmental delays
  • It can be completely customized

They offer a couple other charts that may work well for your kids too. As I mentioned already, the My Credit Chart looks great, but I’d use it for kids 11 or 12+ if they have behavioral or developmental disorders (choose in regard to your child’s age of maturity, not their calendar age). I also really like the Good Night, Sleep Tight Chart, since most of our kids have sleep issues. They also have an app, called Go Rewards, for iPhone, iPod, iPad, and Android.

Even better, Victoria Chart Company has set up a discount for {a mom’s view of ADHD} readers! Shop our Amazon Store, after you add a chart or two to your cart, enter the code MOMSVIEW for a 15% discount off of your order!

COVER3D_400sq_bestsellAward-Winning Blogger. Freelance Writer. Author. Warrior Mom.
A self-described “veteran” parent of a son with ADHD, Penny Williams is the author of the Amazon best-seller about her parenthood in the trenches, Boy Without Instructions: Surviving the Learning Curve of Parenting a Child with ADHD. She is also the creator of the award-winning website, {a mom’s view of ADHD}, a frequent contributor on parenting a child with ADHD for ADDitude Magazine and other parenting and special needs publications, and co-founder of the annual Happy Mama Conference & Retreat, a weekend away for moms of kids with neurobehavioral disorders. Look for her second book, What to Expect When You’re Not Expecting ADHD, in late 2014. Follow Penny at http://BoyWithoutInstructions.com.

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adhd and sleep problems, adhd and social problems, adhd behavior problems, alternative therapy, awareness, behavior modification, executive functioning, General ADHD, impulse control, parenting/FAMILY, product reviews, rewards and consequences, rewards and consequencesimpulse control, routines, self-awareness, self-regulation ·

About the author

COVER3D_400sq_bestsellAward-Winning Blogger. Freelance Writer. Author. Warrior Mom. A self-described “veteran” parent of a son with ADHD, Penny Williams is the author of the Amazon best-seller about her parenthood in the trenches, Boy Without Instructions: Surviving the Learning Curve of Parenting a Child with ADHD. She is also the creator of the award-winning website, {a mom's view of ADHD}, a frequent contributor on parenting a child with ADHD for ADDitude Magazine and other parenting and special needs publications, and co-founder of the annual Happy Mama Conference & Retreat, a weekend away for moms of kids with neurobehavioral disorders. Look for her second book, What to Expect When You’re Not Expecting ADHD, in late 2014. Follow Penny at http://BoyWithoutInstructions.com.
The "ADHD Mommas" are not medical or mental health professionals, nor an ADHD coach. Any opinions shared here are just that, opinions. I, and the other "ADHD Mommas," are sharing our experiences with our own ADHD children. Please do not re-post or publish any content or photos without a link back to {a mom's view of ADHD}. Have the courtesy to give credit where credit is due. Copyright protected. All rights reserved.

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