Good Child Guide
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Genuine testimonial: This testimonial was sent to us by email and has not been edited, so please excuse any typos and spelling errors - we all make mistakes when we are typing an email in a hurry!

In terms of the tantrums – well we haven’t had one!

We have just finished our first week with a points chart for our 9 year

old daughter. We have coupled this with a time out regime for

bad/inappropriate behaviour together with the risk of loss of

privileges for really bad behaviour (yelling and screaming or hitting

etc). It is early days yet, but so far it seems to be going well and

we are certainly all more relaxed most of the time, which makes a huge

difference. The main problems which we were experiencing were as

Poor sleep patterns (difficulty going to sleep, getting up in the night

with “phantom pains” then tiredness and grumpiness!)


Crying over just about everything

Problems in getting ready (for school or bed) within an appropriate

At present it is still school holidays, so we haven’t got the same

deadlines most days, in terms of being ready for school, but overall

our daughter now seems willing/able to tell the time (she has been able

for a while, but not willing to look at a clock!), to check how long

until she needs to be ready for bed etc.
The sleeping is also much better, as she can get 3 points for going to

bed and sleeping through the night without a fuss. During week one, she

only lost one point on this for a little bit of fussing.
In terms of the tantrums – well we haven’t had one! Again it is early

days and the real test will be during term time, but we thought it

would be easier to start the whole process with little pressure on her,

except the new approach to behaviour, to give her the incentive to

continue when she goes back to school.
There has been much less crying because I have just counted 1,

2…then, on the couple of occasions she has started, she has managed

to calm herself before getting to 3. Previously the constant crying

either led us to lose our temper with her and get stressed out, or to

have long “talks” about what the matter was. I wonder if these

reactions just rewarded the behaviour we didn’t want!
I think the main contributor to the behaviour we were seeing was

attention seeking – she acted-up to get our attention. Now, if she

earns 11 points in a day (from being on time, sleeping properly,

getting her things ready etc) she gets 15 minutes of reading with Mum

or Dad (before it was variable how much time as we were always running

late and very stressed out by bed time!) In addition, because we are

not spending so much time dealing with problem behaviour we can play

games or just sit and chat with our daughter. Also, here weekly treat

if she earns it is a meal out or takeaway which provides more time as a

family in a nice relaxed atmosphere.
The only slightly tricky bit is our son. He is 12 and has always been

a pretty easy child, well mannered most of the time, responsible etc.

He did feel a bit hard done by as his sister was getting rewards for

behaviour that he would take for granted. This resulted in a bit of

rudeness and stroppiness from him. We have explained that we really

value his good behaviour and he has been rewarded as he has

automatically had things like increases in pocket money, extra freedom,

little treats etc, without having a specific star chart. I think he

now has the message, but we will use time out or a 5 minute chore if

needed to reinforce this.
Thanks for the guidance – I hope that this will continue as it has

started and we will be able to enjoy a life with a much-reduced level

of stress for all of us.

Julia Penny

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