There seems to be 1000 different ways to motivate your kids these days with incentives and the success of each different "program" really depends on what type of kid you have. My daughter really struggles with trying new things. From gymnastics to cursive writing...new things terrify her mostly because she's a perfectionist and the idea of failure is scary. She gets it from me, and I'm working hard to build her confidence and teach that the most important part of trying something new is that she puts forth the effort, even if it's not perfect! "It doesn't have to be perfect mom, I just gotta try!" is what my daughter has learned to say before every gymnastics or tumbling class, or while working on her homework. This takes a TON of patience, and how we took the first step toward having her try new things was with a STICKER CHART SYSTEM.
It's literally as easy as it sounds. Her amazing and dedicated gymnastics teacher Ms. Leisa at Black Diamond Gymnastics in Daybreak UT started it with her, and it has been a heaven sent. For every gymnastics class, she had the potential to earn as many stickers as "events" they had for that day. For example: beam, floor, bars, etc. And the way my daughter earned her stickers was by trying each event with no complaining, and no crying. Even if she didn't master the skill, as long as she tried she earned a sticker. After a few months of this system, she isn't just trying new skills without complaining...she's NAILING them. Anybody a "Parenthood" fan?! The character Max uses sticker charts and I just absolutely swear by them.
We started out simple and tore a coloring page from her coloring book, had her decorate it, then drew lines and created 16 boxes with a black marker. She earned her stickers, and filled up her chart. My daughter is motivated by candy and chocolate, so if she earned 4 stickers and filled her first row she could turn those in for a small round Lindt truffle. Or she could save up her stickers, and as soon as the page was full she could turn the page in for a candy bar or a treat/toy from the DollarTree. I let the kids "cash in" their stickers once a week so that I'm not constantly running to the store to get their treat/prize.
The rules are simple, and you get to decide how to motivate your child. My other boys already do great with gymnastics and school, so they earn stickers by doing extra out of the ordinary chores around the house, or doing some kind of unexpected act of kindness or service. Choose a reward that will motivate your munchkin, and give this system a try! It can be really helpful and hopefully save your sanity over fighting during homework, cleaning, eating...whatever!
If you want to get fancy, here are the two templates I just made for my kids. I printed them out (make sure to select "shrink image to fit" so that your entire image prints) and then laminated them so we could reuse them. I used a hole punch and added a hole to the corner, added a binder ring I found in my craft supplies, and hung all 3 of my charts from a 3M hook on my pantry door so it's easily seen and accessible everyday.
If you have other characters that your kids adore, leave a comment below and I'd be happy to make your child a custom sticker chart. I picked up my pack of stickers at the DollarTree and we've been using them for months and haven't ran out of them yet.
Good luck parents, we're all in this together!