Our Version of the Congratulations You Got Grounded Chart – to Discourage Problem Behaviors with Points

By now, I think every parent I know online has seen the “Congratulations You Got Grounded” chart that’s been making the rounds on Facebook. Lots of us were like, “OMG that’s awesome!” Others were like, “What a terrible idea!” What I found was an opportunity to adapt it for our own use after reviewing a recent report card that was fine as far as grades, but had some concerns regarding work habits and social growth.

One of the main issues (that we’d already been lamenting at home) was annoyance noises. TJ will sing, hum, and “make unnecessary noises” that have been “distracting to hid peers.” So now, the irritating sounds we’ve been hounding him about at home are being disruptive in the classroom. I needed a way to make his reminders (“Stop clicking your tongue like that!” “Stop that horrible low whistle!” “Bring that down an octave!”) stick in his mind so that he can stop making the noises before he even starts. Aside from that, we need to help him improve his ability to listen attentively, follow directions, follow classroom rules, control his emotions, and accept responsibility.

So now I have a behavioral point chart that comes with extra chores to help reinforce what we’re trying to do here. TJ loses points for the behaviors we want to discourage, and once he reaches the 15 point mark, he loses his electronics until he works off the points with one of the activities (mostly chores). At this point in time, it doesn’t make sense to ground him from playing outside with his friends – fresh air and exercise are good. But taking away the laptop, 3DS, etc. is highly effective motivation.

Here’s the chart in both graphic form and text form:


 

Behavioral Point Chart


 

Behavior Points Lost
Annoyance noises 1 pt each time we have to say something to you.
Not listening/following directions 5 pts.
Not bringing home your homework 15 pts.
…and it can’t be printed out at home 25 pts.
Lying to us (but then admitting the truth) 5 pts.
Lying to us, but we find out before you confess 20+ pts.
Throwing/destroying things in anger 25+ pts.
Talking back/being rude/being mean 5-20 pts.
Being more than 5 minutes late 5 pts.
Sneaking food 10+ pts.
Not turning off lights, TV, radio, etc. 5 pts per room.
Making a “big deal” out of a “little deal” 5 pts.
Other offenses Will be decided as necessary.

 


 

Activity (without complaining!) Points Gained
Do the homework we had to print at home 10 pts.
Scrub the 3 bathroom sinks clean 20 pts.
Sort all the clean laundry into piles 15 pts.
…and put all your underwear in your drawer 5 pts.
…and match all your socks properly 10 pts.
…and match all of our socks properly 15 pts.
Write a paragraph about what you did wrong 10 pts.
Put away clean silverware from dishwasher 5 pts.
Clean all downstairs windows 10 pts.
Clean all upstairs windows 10 pts.
Wipe down the outsides of all 3 toilets 25 pts.
10 minutes of running/biking on Wii Fit 10 pts.
Make the living room vacuumable (weekday) 15 pts.
Make your bookcase neat 10 pts.
Clean all the doorknobs 10 pts.
Take out trash or recyclables 5 pts per bag.
Pull weeds out back 15+ pts.
Scrub the living room tiles 15 pts.
Dust 10 pts per room.

 

Obviously, you’d want to adapt the points lost/behaviors for whatever it is you want your child to work on, and the same thing with the activities they can do to work off the points they lose.

For example, TJ has forgotten to bring home his homework way too many times, and he began to rely on the fact that I could find a digital version of his workbook to print the sheets from home. So I made the points for forgetting his homework 15 – instant loss of electronics – but doing the homework after I print it out only regains 10 points. He still has a 5 point deficit to account for, as incentive to be responsible and actually remember to bring home his homework. (I don’t accept “I already finished it” as an excuse either. I want to review his work each day.)

I also needed to come up with an approach to dealing with lying in a manner that doesn’t just excuse a lie if he later fesses up, but I also didn’t want him to have no incentive to come clean on his own. So lying but then fessing up is a minor infraction, but lying and having us find out about it on our own is major trouble.

For other “offenses,” TJ recently got a watch to help him keep track of time, which he is terrible at. We had an issue where he was at a neighbor’s house playing one night, but he didn’t come home at the agreed upon time, and though I knew the name of the friend, I didn’t know which house they lived in. He was over 30 minutes late, and dinner was ready. Tom and I ate before he went out and hunted for TJ. (He’s no longer allowed to go inside friend’s houses, just play outside so he can hear us when we call for him to come in.) So now, when I give him a time to come home, he has a 5-minute grace period before he loses points.

And sneaking food is to deal with concerns the pediatrician had last month after TJ’s BMI spiked. The spike correlates with the time period when TJ started getting his own breakfast each morning. We know he’s a growing boy, but he’d leave four string cheese wrappers (instead of the one he’s allowed) in the garbage on top of whatever else he ate for breakfast – that sort of thing. The necessary activity for working off those points is running or cycling on the Wii Fit. I had to specify the aerobic activities, because otherwise he likes to choose the games that don’t require much effort. (I waived the requirement last weekend when he proceeded to play outside for three hours before dinner.)

Feel free to adapt the chart to suit your own needs. If you post your adaptation, I’d love a link back. 🙂

Christina Gleason (972 Posts)

That’s me: Christina Gleason. I’m a professional copywriter, editor, and blogger. My company is called Phenomenal Content. (Hire me!) I’m a relatively high-functioning Aspie who also lives with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), depression, anxiety, and chronic pain. I am not ashamed to admit that I am in the care of a psychiatrist, who assures me that people in therapy are often better adjusted than “normal” people who are not, because at least we know what our issues are and are working on them. I’m a geek for grammar, fantasy, and select types of gaming, including World of Warcraft and Empire: Four Kingdoms. I hate vegetables. I have an intense phone phobia, so I’ll happily conduct business over email or IM instead.


Comments

  1. Nichole says:

    LOVE Thank you for sharing. I will now be blog stalking you.

  2. This is an awesome adaptation!! My son has a problem with sneaking food as well. He has an approved basket and cabinet shelf of healthy snacks , but I will wake up to find that he ate a half of a bag of chips and five hotdogs sometime during the night :(. That sort of thing. He tends to avoid physical fitness. So I added several physical fitness things, such as going for a walk with a family member and riding his bike five times around the block or riding my exercise bike. He also dislikes reading an unfamiliar book. Generally, he sticks to books I have previously read aloud to him, so he may earn points by completely reading a new chapter book ;). I tweaked it for him and am excited to see it goes :).

  3. While I love this idea and use a similar system a few things stood out to me. His noise making during class could easily be uncontrollable. They are called tics and they are common in some kids straying to manage stress. It’s a self soothing mechanism they can’t control. Also, sneaking food is normally a sign of a bigger underlying issue. I’ve met several awesome kids with those things that you’ve mentioned and we’ll charts like these usually don’t work for them. Anyway just throw some info your way

    • Oh, I know about the self-soothing. My son’s teacher was trying to help us help him not to be disruptive in class. She knew about his Asperger’s, and the school has been very good with him, but it was getting to a point where it was becoming a classroom management issue. There are a lot of things that are unconscious behaviors, but we’ve had some luck with helping him become more aware of when he starts to be too distracting to his classmates. Our goal is not just integration and acceptance among his peers, but also helping him become functional in a group without special accommodations.

      Maybe it’s another function of the Asperger’s (which I have too), but the chart did work for him, because he had an incentive to pay attention to his behavior. Some kids do really well with charts, and others don’t. So you just have to figure out what works best for each kid. 🙂

      • Oh good I’m Glad it worked. We homeschool and have a lot of friends with aspergers. One close friend of mine has a son with Tourette’s and your post reminded me of him. I’m so glad this has worked for your son. Great post by the way 😉

  4. Do you have a copy you could email me, so I would be able to edit it that way? I would appreciate it.

  5. I’m using something kind of in between this and the grounding letter to allow my child to earn time one her electronics and calling her friends. Each chore is worth a certain amount of points and then that corespondes to minutes she has to use for what she wishes. I’m a little generous 10 points from a chore turns into 15 minutes of time for her to use etc…

    • Can you send me your system it is more what I am going for I have. Even looking for something to get some ideas rolling for my daughters point system she’s only five so the point is really to learn how earning and consequences work

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