fisherkids newsletter

My daughter asked me the other day what songs we listened to WAY BACK in the 80s.  As I let fly an oral deluge of everything from Wham and Madonna to Michael Jackson and the Beastie Boys, she finally had to endure a retrospective of my formative middle school years (**cue the entire album of Chicago 17**).  So we dedicate this month's newsletter to Hard Habit to Break, to which I twinge as I recall lamenting my eighth grade breakup to my first boyfriend.

Ah, the days of teenage angst.  May we be grateful those days are behind us and grant us patience as our kids go through the same thing (just to better music played on itunes rather than a Sony Walkman).

Enjoy this month's newsletter, which focuses on why we make habits, how we can break them, and ultimately how we can use them to our advantage.

Please know how grateful our family is for your support.  We are motivated by your words of encouragement, your referrals, and your feedback.  Thank you ever so much.

The Beck Family


Here's an interesting read:  The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg (2012).  I am a big nerd when it comes to anything related to science (those of you who knew me in high school and college....I've come a long way since putting sticky notes over grody pictures in my textbook).  This book is right up my alley. 

At first, I thought this was simply another Pavlovian discourse.  But then the discussion turns from pleasure/reward to cravings.  For example: we know that if we do something long enough with a reward, then we will anticipate the reward.  Let's use video games as an example.  Let's say your little one plays video games day in and day out.  He creates a neurological pleasure circle: see a TV, desire to play, reward of playing the game.  After this is established, every time he sees a TV, he will want to play, but when he isn't allowed to for whatever reason, his brain begins to crave it.  Mood changes with cravings, such as depression/apathy/lethargy/etc.  The book uses an example that many of us can relate to: sitting in a meeting and you hear your phone beep that you have a new email in your inbox.  Your brain begins to anticipate the pleasure of opening the email, and if you are deprived of that pleasure, you get irritated and antsy (possibly even sneaking a peek of the email under the conference table!).  So how do we break this cycle?  Offer a distraction.  Going back to the cell phone in  a meeting, if you turn off the buzzer and hide the cell phone, you can work for hours and not be distracted by the intense desire to check email.   The author states that before we can overpower the habit, we have to figure out which craving is driving the behavior.   Also we need to acknowledge that stronger habits produce addiction reactions so that "wanting evolves into obsessive craving that can force our brains into autopilot, even in the face of strong disincentives, including loss of reputation, job, home, and family."

One point that is interesting is that a habit cannot be eradicated; rather it can be replaced.  Once you have identified what the craving truly is (like the endorphin rush from eating certain foods; the pleasure derived from gaming; the cravings from cigarettes), then you can replace the routine.  So the stimulant is stress at work, the reward is the calm feeling produced by cigarettes, so exchange the smoking for exercise and still produce the calm feeling.

So let's apply this to our household.  We tend to believe that our kids just don't do anything....they don't help out, they don't take care of themselves, and they think mom and dad are going to do everything for them.  Well if we ARE doing everything for them, buying everything for them, and not allowing them to take care of themselves, then of course they "just sit there."  I think we should start with our own habit circle before we move on to the kids.  I know that many people have a habit of just doing things for their kids because it's easier to just "do it yourself."  So the habit circle is dirty kids' laundry; the routine is doing the laundry for our kids; the pleasure is that the laundry isn't all over the floor of our kids' rooms.  However, there is a byproduct of this habit circle.  We end up frustrated that our kids don't do what they are supposed to do.  New habit circle: kids don't have clean clothes to wear; the routine is they do their own laundry because mom and dad aren't going to do it for them; the pleasure is that kids have clean clothes AND they took care of themselves.  It might take a while, it might be a struggle, but as the author points out, the odds of success go up dramatically when you commit to the change as part of a group (FAMILY!).   

We can apply this also to our kids' (and our own) spending habits.  If we buy everything for our kids, why would they be motivated at all to learn how to save/give/spend?  the author of the book applies habit change theory to the workplace, highlights how certain companies and entities have changed our habits to purchase their products (think Starbucks), how Tony Dungy applied habit change theory to football, and ... {Oh, I could go on, but perhaps you might just read the book}

Some other great books that help us understand how we learn, form responses, break habits, etc.


-The Female Brain by Louann Brizendine 


-Synaptic Self: How Our Brains Become Who We Are by Joseph Ledoux  

new look!
We are so excited to offer our new stations!  Take a look at these pictures to see the updated look.  Thank you for your feedback and your support.  We are grateful and quite humbled by the response to our products. 



In This Issue
Our New Look
Upcoming Sales
T. Rowe Price Survey
Refer a Friend
Homeschool Update
If you are looking for a deal....

We have just a few more stations in our old style left (the multi-colored bags). In order to sell out these stations, we have partnered again with both Zulily & Mamasource.  Zulily will run on 07/19 and Mamasource will run 07/24 (dates can change, but that's the plan now!) The Mamasource deal is great if you are looking to add other fisherkids products (spinners, after-school checklists, etc).  If you are looking for a deal, this will be your shot.  This is a great way for us to use these flash sale sources so you and our company can both benefit!  We aren't able to run these deals otherwise, so please take advantage!
4th Annual T. Rowe Price Parents, Kids & Money Survey

The 2012 results were released this past March.  This is always a great read and allows us to be sure we are appropriately

teaching our children about finances.  you can download it here or click the title above to take you to the download.


We are constantly trying to grow our business, and we really don't know of a better way to grow than by word of mouth.  We would love to reward you for your referrals, so here' s the deal:

Have your friend enter the code FISHERFRIEND at checkout to receive 10% of the order.

Ask them to put your name as a referral in the notes at checkout.  (Don't worry if they don't, though.... we will contact them to find out!

We will generate a code for you to receive 25% off your next order and send you an exuberant email full of gratitude and humility :) 

We are still on for testing our homeschool kit.  To those who were chosen to participate, thank you for your patience.  To those who filled out our initial survey but were not chosen to participate, please be sure you received your discount code.  We are still planning to send out the test kits before school starts!



-We have tried to make it easier to order for your family, so we updated the overall look of the station

-Because of this, we no longer sell the Teen Responsibility Station.  BUT...

-You can purchase the goal-setting checklist separately when your child is ready to learn how to set and achieve goals. 

-We are updating the responsibility magnet next, thank to your feedback!  New magnets should be available in 2013.


Back to school 
(we promise to be a bit timelier with the next newsletter!) 
Save 15%
We will no longer be selling the kids' cleaning supplies!  We have grown (thanks to you!) to the point where we need to focus primarily on our fisherkids products.  So save 15% on all of our kids dusting mitts, dusting slippers, stainless steel mitts, fur-removers, and all other products manufactured by evriholder (you can search our store by manufacturer to make it easier!)  These are permanently on sale until they are sold out, so no code is needed....just shop!