tips for success with the little ones
Our system is designed to work with children ages 2-18. That said, there are MAJOR differences in the actual implementation of the system as well as what is considered "success" among the ages.
Your main goal with a two-year-old is to introduce them to the board. They can play with it, take the hooks on and off, make letters or forts with the sticks, etc. You shouldn't expect your two-year-old to jump for joy when you say, "Time to do your fisherkids." There will be some days that you whip out the funky dusting mitt or cover their little paws with lost socks to dust with that they will be so excited and have fun with it, while other days they will pitch a fit the size of Manhattan and refuse it entirely. Both are normal, and both are okay! We are just introducing them to the idea of responsibilities at this age. When they do complete the responsibility you are teaching them, hug them, look them in the eyes, tell them how proud you are of them, and have them draw a circle or whatever they want to draw on that day's paycheck. There's really nothing they are truly needing/wanting at this age, so you can pay them three coins: one for save, one for spend, and one for give. We paid our two year old each day rather than at the end of the week. Little ones may need more constant reinforcement. THREE-YEAR-OLDs
A lot more of the same... constant reinforcement; some days on, some days off; lots of hugs and kisses, high-fives, and fist bumps for helping out the family. The biggest difference here is that your 3-year-old will soon start understanding the purpose of money. Our three-year-old calls his "Spend It" bag his "Target" bag! He gets it now so it's important for us to age-appropriately teach him how to set a goal. I know every parent fears the public tantrum when little buddy doesn't get the toy he wants at that moment. But remember that their attention span is pretty short, so the tantrum will fade quickly as soon as their eye catches a new shiny object! If there is something (s)he really wants, go to the store and take a picture of your child holding the toy they want (lots of talk on the way to the store that you aren't going to BUY the toy). Then go home and laminate or frame the picture or keep it on your phone, etc. so that when you go into the next store, you can show him the picture and start talking about the goal. This may sound ludicrous that a 3-year-old will grasp this, but honestly, they will, given time and effort on your part. There will be tantrums, but they will pass!
By now, a four-year-old can grasp the concept of helping out around the house. This is probably a great age to start talking about what needs to be done to help out the family team and what is paid for like a job. Make sure the commission you are paying is motivating, but not excessive.
No matter what the age, though, keep a couple things in mind:
*Don't underestimate your child. You are the most important teacher in her life, so take those teachable moments and make the most of them. If they are asking for chores, by all means, teach them how! If they are complaining about chores, teach them that you can't stop your chores, so why should they get to stop theirs?*In order to motivate your kids, just like we need to be motivated in our jobs, keep it real and keep it fun. Not every day is going to be perfect. First and foremost, they are kids....they need to play, blow off some steam, and get crazy from time to time (just like us!). They are learning from you, so keep it real and keep it fun.
Next month's discussion: Keeping Kids Motivated!
& the winner is...
The winner of our July giveaway is the
! They have $50.00 to spend in our online store!
Routine. Some hate it, some relish it, some couldn't care less. I am on the "relish it" bandwagon.....chaos can be fun and hilarious, but it ceases to be fun and hilarious when we can't remember the last time we had a peaceful night with the family around the dinner table. Which brings me to....
Our quote for the month is actually the caption to a picture in a Time article: "The statistics are clear: Kids who dine with the folks are healthier,
happier and better students, which is why a dying tradition is coming
So notify Hallmark, because we are not-so-officially dubbing September: Dine with your Family Month. It should be a priority to take at least thirty minutes to sit around a table with your family and talk. You may be surprised at what you will learn about your kids! Light some candles (so soothing before bedtime), teach your kids how to properly set a table (hmmmm....a chore stick idea), teach your kids how to cook a part of dinner (another chore stick idea for our older children), and relax! Your children will learn table manners, proper table conversation, and make lasting family memories, and you will learn more than you ever thought possible about your children, their friends, what is being said in the hallways or on the playground, what they are learning (or not learning) in school, and on and on and on.
It doesn't really matter where or when you are around the table together: breakfast, lunch, dinner, or all meeting after various and sundry extracurricular sports events at a restaurant. Key word here is "altogether." So grab your family, buy a big antique dinner bell, and get cookin', orderin', or drivin' to your fave family restaurant. It doesn't matter where or when you dine around the table, just do it!
This month, we have some products to spotlight, some relevant discussions about our little fisherkids, and some other tidbits of info. Thank you all so much, and remember: families that eat together, laugh together.
(So maybe that's author's license, but it works).
'TIS ALMOST THE SEASON
for very merry specials!
PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT #1:
I love love love my momAgenda! There is room to plan my day PLUS the kids' activities PLUS dinner! You don't have to wait until January to order because some of their products go from July 2010 to December 2011! What I didn't know about the organizer when I ordered is that there is a removable section that you can move from year to year for addresses, birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Click on the image above to take you to our fisherfamily website, then click on the momAgenda link on that page to check out all of their cool products and find what fits your lifestyle best. You will love it!
FAQ OF THE MONTH
"Are the chore sticks pre-printed?"
Just kidding....that's not the full answer. I have the gift of gab, so there's certainly more I can say on the subject.
Each chore stick comes blank on one end and hot-stamped with "thank you" on the other end. Our goal is to subtly imply mutual respect, letting our kids know that we appreciate their help. One of our customers shared another great idea to make this implication a home run....Shannon from Texas said that when she is filling in the other side with their chores, she adds "please". "Please empty the dishwasher." "Please take out the trash." Love it.
The sticks are left blank because the chores you choose them to do depend on your household needs, your child's age, and your child's level of responsibility.
OH: don't stress out about deciding what chores you will fill out on the sticks. The kit comes with a Parent's Guide that lists examples in the appendix. It's a start. Remember to make the chores age-appropriate, as fun as possible (Dish Dash, Lysol Limbo, Room Rumba, Baseboarding, etc) and teach them how to successfully complete each chore. You may have to show them a few times, but also show them what you expect to be done and hold them to it. Along with responsibility, we are instilling a work ethic in our children, so hold them to your expectations.
And when they are finished with the chore(s), HUG THEM, KISS THEM, and TELL THEM THANK YOU!
PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT #2:
So you may have seen this product spotlighted before, but it's worth doing so again....It's a best-seller and we love it.
So here's why we developed it: I was so tired of hearing myself throw out the punishment contingency that made no sense at all. For instance, "If you roll your eyes at me one more time, we will not go to the sleepover tonight." Problem is, of course we'll be going to the sleepover tonight even if she does roll her eyes again because it's for her friend's birthday event and she is the only one invited....so of course we'll go. So the contingency immediately made no sense but it was the first thing that would pop into my brain. So we came up with the spinner idea and now I just say, "or you'll spin for it."
Now, here's what we love about it: the spinner comes to you blank for you to fill in the consequences. Use a thin-tip permanent marker (it will come off later with fingernail polish remover) to avoid the consequences "accidentally" being rubbed off as your children pass by. The only space already filled in is the Grace Space. As adults, we often beg for some grace in our lives, so why not offer it to our children as well? The spinner comes in a frame and can be hung on the wall, from a peg on your pegboard responsibility system, or you can snap off the easel from the back of the spinner and make it free-standing. If you want to hang it from the pegboard, be sure to order an extra hook!
We have other spinners, too, and coming up with a few more for the holidays. Right now, though, check out our family movie night spinner, or the personalized couple's movie night spinner. We do take custom orders as well and these are priced individually. For custom orders, please contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What Our Customers are Saying
Our customers' satisfaction is our number one priority
Once my daughters realized the fact that they were earning money
and accumulating it in their spend, save and give bags, they had their sights
on little goals and large goals on what to spend their money. My oldest
daughter, who just turned 13, also began to earn money by babysitting and
started entering her earnings into a ledger. As the summer was ending and
she could see on paper the amount she was able to spend, she put aside her goals
so that we could go to the movies together one last time. Well, I figured
she was going to pay for herself, but she very proudly told me that she could
invite both me and her sister. As it was a matinee, I thought that at
least she was getting a good deal. It so happened that the movie we were
going to see was a 3-D movie and was regularly priced. I told her then that
I would pay for the difference. She said she would cover the whole thing
because she could. I could see at that moment her realization that her
responsibility made this treat happen. Like a little lightbulb came on.
It also helped her see how good it feels to make others happy by her hard
work. Although not all chores are accomplished every day throughout the
week, the girls have gotten the message that if they contribute to the family,
good things happen, not just to them, but to others as well!
Our family took a huge leap of faith when we decided to share our ideas with the world. We cannot believe the outpouring of support and we want you to know how truly humbled and grateful we are.