Kind & Thoughtful Chart

in Character

What are some of the character traits you would like to see in your child?

When my children were young, and I saw my 4-year old accidentally step on my 1-year old’s fingers AND THEN CONTINUED WALKING AWAY despite the crying emanating from the baby’s lungs, I had a parenting “AH-HA moment.”

I had just assumed that my lovely daughter would automatically console her baby sister and apologize for stepping on her fingers. Wrong!

I realized that Thinking About the Other Person is a skill that must be taught.

In this case, I had to explain to my daughter that she had just hurt her baby sister. And even though it was an accident, she must apologize to her sister, comfort her if she is hurt, and let her know that she didn’t mean to do it.

The funny thing is–I thought going through this scenario one time would be enough.

HA! It would take many, many, MANY other times of explanation in HOW to:

  • stop,
  • apologize, and
  • see if the other person is OK,
  • goldstar on paper SMALL

when you accidentally run into, step on, poke, pinch, or in some other way injure another person.

I realized that children need to be TAUGHT the most basic and fundamental skills in learning to Think about The OtherPerson.

So we had a Kind and Thoughtful Chart.

It was a very simple chart: It had my daughter’s name and then a bunch of boxes that she would either mark with a check or place a sticker.

Whenever my daughter did something “Kind & Thoughtful,” I  would let her know exactly which behavior was worthy and she would place a sticker in the box.

For example:
"I like how you gave your sister a french fry. That was a Kind & Thoughtful thing to do. Go give yourself a sticker!"
"I like how you talked so gently to your sister. Go give yourself a sticker for being Kind & Thoughtful!"
"Thank you for picking that up. That was a Kind & Thoughtful thing to do. Go give yourself a sticker!"
"You obeyed right away! Go give yourself a sticker!"

Then, when a row was filled up, my daughter would happily let me know that it was time for a “treat.”  So then I could reiterate:

"Wow! You have done a lot of Kind &  Thoughtful things! I am giving you TWO cookies!"

You can make the rows with only 3 boxes for very little tykes, or 5-6 boxes for 3’s and 4’s. You can decorate it in a fun way that would inspire your particular child (super-heroes, fairies, etc.)

  • There are many sites out there that provide free templates.
  •  Just google free behavior charts or something similar.
  • Or just draw big lines on a piece of paper.

Here is a way to teach, shape, and reinforce positive behavior! It helps to keep you and your child focused on what’s RIGHT, instead of what’s wrong. bestgoldstarSMALL


 Preschool: What is it, Anyway?

It’s  learning the very important social skill of thinking about someone else!

(Because this skill takes consistency throughout the day and night, it can only be taught in the home.)






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All content copyright Margaret Burkhart | 2011-2013