Our kids are at that age when they need enticement to do things around the house — from simple chores to reminders about the morning routine. It’s a challenge, and one of the ways we’ve tried to meet that challenge is through setting up reward charts.

In theory, reward charts work well. But putting them into practice and maintaining them, is where the hard work comes in.

Here are some ways to make sure your reward charts ensure success and learning for your little ones.

1. Make it workable

For a reward chart to be successful, there has to be a manageable number of things for your child to do. If your child is four, try to find three or four things. If you overwhelm them with steps, they will resist and the whole venture will crumble.

2. Be realistic

A reward chart is not for everyone or every scenario. You have to pick and choose which chores or routines a reward chart is for. We have one for our morning routine. Our kids know they need to eat, put their dishes in the sink, brush their teeth, and get dressed. The system works fairly well. If we tried to do a chart for every one of their responsibilities during the day, it would become unrealistic.

3. Be consistent

This is probably the most important part of the reward chart — being disciplined to do it day after day. The best way to do that is to update it at the same time every day.

4. Talk about it

This should be a family experience and one that everyone is invested in. By letting everyone add their opinions, your kids will feel that they have a vital role to play in the success of the reward chart. Sure, the final decisions remain with us, the parents, but we can listen to our kids and give them an opportunity to share their thoughts.

5. Make it fun

There are ways to make this experience a fun and rewarding one for your kids. Use fun stickers or markers to mark their progress. Let them put the stickers on or make the mark on the chart. Look back at the chart over the past few days or weeks to celebrate their progress.

6. Give good rewards

Another key to a successful reward chart is having rewards that your kids want and that will make your kids work for. Don’t go overboard, but you can choose a smaller weekly award for a certain number of successful days and a bigger, more exciting reward for a monthly amount.