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Posts Tagged ‘chores’

I’m usually not one for reviewing, much less promoting apps, but when I find one that actually does make life easier (instead of just helping me to waste more time), I’d like to let others know about it. In this case, the app I’m about to review hasn’t just made life easier, but helped me to parent more effectively. It has helped my kids learn healthy habits and be accountable. All that for a mere $2.99? Larry and I normally never buy any apps, but I think this one was a $3 well spent.

For awhile I’ve tried to get my kids, especially my older son, to regularly do their chores. We’ve tried all kinds of ways – physical chore charts with stickers, rewards, penny jars. Those things would work for a week or so, but eventually the novelty would wear off, and I have to confess I wasn’t that good at consistently adhering to whatever system I had started. So in the end the system would go out the window and I would go back to nagging them everyday and they would go back to ignoring me.

Well, a few months ago, Larry, believing that there’s an app for everything, did some research and downloaded some chore chart apps. There are so many out there, but the one he eventually decided on was Chore Pad. It’s relatively easy to use and you can customize chores for each child. There’s a simple reward system of checks and stars and you can decide what rewards they get. My kids love it. We’ve been using it for a few months and the novelty still hasn’t worn off. They have been consistently making their beds, folding their pajamas, cleaning their room, etc. with much less nagging from me. And I don’t have to worry about printing out anything or getting any stickers or pennies, all I have to do is whip out my ipad and have them check off their chores themselves. It has become part of our nightly ritual and both boys will often remind me if I forget to do their chore chart before going to bed.

I’ll walk you through it real quick –

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Each child gets his own page that he can customize. My boys decided to go with the snowflake theme for the winter.

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Then you assign chores for each child and how often they must be done. This is CC’s and…

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…this is Turner’s.

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You can also decide how many stars each chore is worth. The kids use their stars for payouts. So far the reward that has worked to motivate them are minutes for playing video games. CC also has the option of converting his stars to money, which Larry keeps track of in a different piggy bank app.

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As they accumulate checks, they also earn trophies for their virtual trophy shelf. There’s also the option to give them a bonus on each check, if they did a really exceptional job, or a minus, if they did their chore but not such a good job.

We also included a box for daily behavior which we check off at the end of the day if they behaved well. Many times if they’re misbehaving, all we have to do is threaten not give them their behavior check and they’ll change their tune right away.

Anyways, this app has worked well for us so far. It’s so easy even 3-year olds and non-tech savvy mamas like me can figure it out.

What apps have you found useful for parenting? Please share!

 

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CC’s preschool teacher told me at our last parent teacher conference that I should try to assign him some jobs that he can do around the house. My first thought was, “What kind of job can a 3 year old do?” All his attempts to “help” me in the past haven’t exactly been that helpful and would usually result in me cleaning up some mess or other. But for the sake of his development, the teacher told me that it would be good for him to feel useful and be given some responsibilities.

So now I look for every opportunity to put my toddler to work and I’ve discovered that 3 year olds can actually do a lot! I’ve been underestimating my son all along. Of course, I’ve also learned it’s important to not give him jobs that are too challenging because it usually leads to frustration and CC tends to deal with frustration by throwing things and screaming. But amazingly, he’s proved that he can do a lot of things which are actually helpful to me in the running of our little household.

In case you have a 3 year old at home you can employ too, here are some jobs I’ve found that are good for preschoolers:

  1. Dressing himself – he doesn’t do it everyday, but some days CC likes to be able to pick out his own clothes and put them on himself. Just make sure you give your child plenty of time (not 10 minutes before you need to leave for school). And as long as it’s weather appropriate, you have to be okay with his/her fashion choices (even if it is a red wool sweater vest over a fireman T-shirt).
  2. Helping out in the kitchen – instead of plopping your child in front of a video so you can cook dinner, try involving your child in the cooking process. When CC was little I used to put him in his high chair and have him watch while I pretended to be hosting my very own cooking show. Now I try to find little things he can do to help to keep him occupied. Here are some things my little sous chef is getting really good at (they’re also great for developing fine motor skills):
    • mashing potatoes
    • peeling garlic
    • snapping the ends off green beans and asparagus
    • beating eggs
    • sprinkling cheese on casseroles20130204-150720.jpg
  3. Cleaning – arm your kid with a rag, small dustpan and broom, or a feather duster and let them go crazy!
  4. Gardening – what kid doesn’t like to play with dirt? Enough said.
  5. Community service – every Saturday morning our church has a cleaning/service time where we come together to clean the meeting hall followed by a delicious brunch together. CC loves this time. He usually likes to help out with the gardening, but I think I’ve finally found the perfect job for both of us. We go around and pick up the trash on the sidewalks around the meeting hall. CC loves to use the special trash picker upper and has become quite adept at it even though it’s almost as tall as he is. We always get a lot of smiles from people passing by. 🙂

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