Kid Motivation: Virtue-Vice Chart
Sometimes there are deeper things going on in a child keeping him from good behavior. Those things must be uncovered. It’s also imperative to meet a child’s needs. However, as parents, we’re generally very adept at that. Once a child’s needs for healthy food, enough exercise, a loving environment, and creative outlets have been met and they’re still unwilling or unable to obey, I like to give them a little (or a lot) of inducement. It can be a schoolwork issue or a general behavioral issue. Also see my post on
This has helped my discipline so many times through the years. It has helped me give more appropriate consequences, reinforced by God’s authority (not just mine), and keep the child’s eyes on the goal, the positive, even in a negative situation.
It’s got virtues (10) on the left side and the corresponding vice (honesty & lying / generosity & stealing) on the right side, with 2 bible verses (1 corresponding to each item) in between. This takes up 2/3 of the poster. Then at the bottom I have a long list of privileges & a short list of consequences. I LOVE this!
I take the kids to “the board”, we quickly assess that them trying to talk to me on the phone is “stealing” my time & attention. The bible verse refers to a thief learning to work hard, so the natural consequence is an additional chore. Then before we leave “the board”, we look over what God’s grace has in store for the child if only they’ll choose it. I affirm how naturally ‘generous’ my child is and we read the verse of what God thinks of him when he’s generous.
This is MY chart. I used virtue/ vice vocabulary we use regularly (or want to use) and you should change the categories to match your family. Privileges and Consequences are the ones I know my children respond to. Also, not everyone will want the same verses – so you can change those to suit your family. NOTE: If you choose to spank your children, NEVER spank so hard as to leave a mark and ALWAYS do it lovingly. If you are angry, do not spank. You can also choose other consequences that work for your family. Obviously, not everyone will choose the same discipline techniques.
How To : Virtue / Vice part is the top 2/3 of the poster. The Privileges / Consequences part is the lower 1/3 of the poster.
Top 2/3 : There are 3 columns for the top 2/3 of the poster. The first column is 6″ long for virtues (don’t use this word as a title) , second is 10″ long for bible verses, third is 6″ long for vices. Each of the 10 rows are 2″ tall.
Bottom 1/3 : There are 3 columns, evenly spaced. The first 2 columns are for Privileges (I used the word as a title). The second is for Consequences (one of the reasons you want a lot of privileges is to keep things positive, and the other is that one of the consequences is a loss of privilege).