I bought the Melissa & Doug Deluxe Magnetic Responsibility Chart back in the beginning of the school year to help keep Jake on the right track. He’s a good kid, but he does have some areas that need improvement or constant attention. For example, he doesn’t like to eat his dinner, he tends to whine when he wants something, and occasionally he has a hard time keeping his hands to himself. I researched all the different chart options,I wanted something that I could use over and over, and something that was also fun. Prior to this, I was printing out my own charts and modifying them, but that just felt like a massive waste of paper and ink, plus Jake really didn’t seem all that into them.
I chose the Melissa & Doug chart because the responsibility labels already had most of what I needed, plus it came with two extra blank tiles so I could add “Eat Dinner” and whatever else crops up over the years. I like that it uses magnetic smiley faces, versus stickers or something else that would require constant refills.
Like most Melissa & Doug products, the Deluxe Responsibility Chart is extremely sturdy, from the frame and chart itself right down to the little magnetic smileys. The top part contains the chart area, with room for seven chores or expected behaviors. I’ve read reviews on Amazon where people were disappointed that there wasn’t room for more chores, but I think seven is just enough. Any more than that and it can be overwhelming, especially for younger children. I do wish there were more blank tiles, two more would have been nice, but it’s not that hard to make your own if you really needed to. I haven’t needed to yet. We haven’t used all the responsibilities yet, Jake is too young to take out the trash or put his clothes in the wash, or empty the dishwasher, and he really doesn’t have anyone that he needs to share with. I also don’t understand the “Apologize to Someone” tile, because I’m hoping he doesn’t do something every single day that requires it, and he’ll end up losing smiley chances if he doesn’t need to use it. We work on the reward system, if he gets 35 out of 49 smileys per week, he gets a surprise. My therapist (for my panic disorder) is also a children’s therapist, and she told me that if I made it too difficult and he failed early in the week, he would have no reason to behave the rest of the week, so we settled on 35. We actually settled on that number because I stink at math, and thought that 7×7 was 42 for some reason. When he turns six, I’m raising it to 40. I also put some easy things on there every week- he loves taking baths, so that’s always an automatic smiley. He used to love brushing his teeth, but that’s become a challenge lately, so it stays on there now as a requirement rather than a freebie.
My only issue with the chart is that the smileys tend to fall off the bottom part because you really have to cram them all on to get them to fit when you start over each week. They fall all over the place, and I’ve lost a couple of them. Luckily, you get so many extras, so it’s not a major issue. They don’t fall from the top part, and it’s not a magnetic issue so much as a clumsy hands issue. Even after eight months, Jake still loves putting his smileys up every night, so it has definitely lasted longer than the paper charts did. I highly recommend this for anyone dealing with behavior issues, or even anyone who just wants to keep track of their children’s chores and what not.
Disclaimer- I did not receive a free product, I bought this with my own money for my own reasons. However, the link is an Amazon affiliate link, and if you click it and buy it, I may get a whopping few cents, which I will probably use to support my coffee habit.