Q & A

  • Who should use the Cooperation Chart?

    • The Cooperation Chart is a tool for anyone​ who struggles with disruptive child behavior, making it especially helpful for how the global pandemic is challenging families.

  • What age range is this best used for?

    • The Cooperation Chart is best used with children from 3 to 10 years old.

  • Is there a version for teenagers?

    • Not currently.

  • Are there modifications for delivery with different cultures?

    • Yes, The Cooperation Chart has a Spanish translation and a video with a Spanish-speaking therapist. As we have made The Cooperation Chart freely available to the public, individuals are encouraged to translate the chart into other languages.​If you do create a new language translation, please share it with Dr. McNeil (cmcneil@wvu.edu) so that we can make it available to others on this website.

  • Is giving praise and rewards for positive actions undermining the child's intrinsic motivation?

    • When families are under stress, as is the case during a pandemic, extra motivation may be needed to make positive sibling interactions​, household chores, and cooperation with parent requests a priority.

  • For children with anxiety, could using a neutral face instead of a frownie face be a gentler way of accomplishing the goal?

    • A neutral face can be used, but the frownie face may be more easily understood by young children.

  • Where can I find additional advice for how to set up and operate a token economy?

    • Please visit the About page and check out the books and articles written by Dr. McNeil.

  • Do you have examples of possible rewards?

    • Yes! When you download The Cooperation Chart, you will find that it has over one-hundred reward ideas on pre-made slips​.

  • Should the child have an active role in previewing which rewards go into the bowl?

    • Yes! We need to ensure that the child is interested in the available rewards.​

  • If you have two kids, and one gets the reward and the other does not, how does that work?

    • The sibling​ who does not earn the reward can watch the reward activity but not participate. During this time, the sibling who did not receive the reward may earn happy and frownie faces for the next time interval. In this way, the sibling who does not receive the reward can obtain happy faces to set them up for success in the next round.

  • Are there any contradictions for implementing this as a complement to families already in PDI?

    • Typically, this is a great tool to use alongside PDI to ​reduce the amount of timeouts being issued for parents who may be having difficulties regulating their emotions during quarantine.

  • How do you coach the Cooperation Chart during telehealth CDI sessions?

    • The therapist can coach the Cooperation Chart during the check in and check out portions of a CDI coaching session. During the actual coding and coaching of CDI however, no cooperation is used. It is helpful to coach the caregiver through giving the reward at the end of the session to see how they handle choosing the mystery reward and making the activity fun for the child.

  • How do you coach the Cooperation Chart during PDI telehealth sessions?

    • If it is not safe or appropriate to coach a particular family in the timeout procedures via telehealth, a therapist can slow down PDI ​​​​by using the frownie faces on the Cooperation Chart as the consequence for the first few PDI coaching sessions.

  • Do you ignore minor misbehavior or do you also chart these?

    • Yes. Parents should ignore the majority of minor misbehaviors. But, when disruptive behaviors reach a level that a parent believes intervention is necessary, a two-choices statement should be issued.​

  • Are there any behaviors that result in an immediate frownie face without the opportunity to correct the behavior (e.g., house rule behaviors in PCIT)?

    • The Cooperation Chart should be individualized to meet each child's needs. The parent may choose to provide an immediate frownie face for target behaviors, such as aggression and swearing.​

  • How/when do you transition away from the Cooperation Chart?

    • The Cooperation Chart is a temporary behavior plan that is used during particularly challenging situations, such as quarantines, long car rides, extended waiting periods, and high stress situations. Parents should feel free to use the chart on an as needed basis. It is ideal to ween the children off of the chart by providing the rewards less often prior to discontinuing the program. ​

  • How do you transition from The Cooperation Chart to the PDI timeout approach in a way that is not confusing for children or parents?

    • Parents need to understand that the Cooperation Chart is a temporary phase of treatment and that it will be replaced by the timeout consequence when the family is in a position to follow through consistently with the more complicated and physically challenging timeout procedure.​

  • How do you maintain a child's interest in the Cooperation Chart over time?

    • Change the mystery reward slips once a week

    • Continue to be enthusiastic about using the chart and administering rewards

    • Make fun new figures on the chart and add stickers

    • Take a break from the chart and bring it back in a new and fun way

  • Any recommendations for how to “sell” this to parents who have unsuccessfully tried reward systems before or who may be concerned about the threat to intrinsic motivation?

    • I would ​reiterate that these are unprecedented times. If their current parenting strategies are not working during social distancing, then there is no harm in trying something new. Also, there are few risks associated with trying out a system with smiley faces, frownie faces, and a few fun rewards. I encourage parents to try it for three days exactly according to the instructions as an experiment. If they do the program with high fidelity and do not see improvement within the first few days then another program may be a better option.

  • If one of our therapists has a PCIT client and uses this chart instead of standard PDI, would you still call it PCIT?

    • High fidelity PCIT requires coding, coaching, CDI, and PDI accordng to the 2011 protocol. The Cooperation Chart can be used as a readiness phase to get a parent and child prepared for the timeout component of PDI.​

  • Could the Cooperation Chart be melded for a family who is trying the 123Magic framework for challenging behavior?

    • Absolutely, they are very compatible.​

  • Are the labeled praises for any positive behavior? Can parents tailor the focus of the Cooperation Chart for specific behaviors that are previously identified so the child knows they can earn a happy face tally for positive opposite behaviors and they can earn frownie faces when they choose a negative behavior after a two choices statement?

    • Yes! the Cooperation Chart should be tailored and individualized to meet the needs of the individual family.​​​​​​

  • Under what conditions will the cooperation chart be unsuccessful?

    • The Cooperation Chart might fail when the caregiver lacks enthusiasm about the activity/reward. In order for the child to find the activities rewarding, the caregiver needs to be excited and needs to participate fully in the reward activities.​

    • The Cooperation Chart will fail if the caregiver forgets to give the rewards.

    • The Cooperation Chart will be less effective if the child does not like the mystery rewards.

    • The Cooperation Chart will fail if the caregiver provides negative attention in the form of arguing, criticizing, and yelling, instead of ignoring behavior problems associated with the frownie faces.

    • The Cooperation Chart will be less effective if the caregiver provides infrequent feedback, such as fewer than two happy faces per hour and and seldom using the two choices statements and frownie faces.

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • YouTube