APRIL, 2013
{is it really already april?}

WOW!  March flew by in the blink of an eye!  I apologize for not sending out a March newsletter; our little guy turned six, Easter was a bit earlier than usual, and kids were out of school for Spring Break!  What a crazy month.  So we'll forgive and forget {we can only do so much, right?!}, and move on to April! 

Spring Break marks the beginning of the end {of the school year}, and parents begin to fret about plans for the summer.  The week after Spring Break is a big sales week for us....parents realize that structure is much needed if the kids will be home instead of at school!  Our other major selling season is back to school time: parents realize that kids need structure after a summer without it!  So here we are, post Spring Break, wondering what to do this summer....

You may have read many times in our past newsletters that the Beck Family gets a bit of leisurely slack in the summertime.  We tend to back away from stringent routine, and at first that bothered me.  Now I look at it as being realistic; again, we can only do so much.  The important lesson is NEVER GIVE UP.  Get right back on that horse when you can.  As we always say, parenting is a marathon, not a sprint.

So as summertime approaches, pick a few things you want to maintain consistency with; don't set unrealistic goals {it almost always ends up disappointing} and enjoy letting your guard down a bit with your children.  This is a perfect time to practice new routines, new responsibilities, new expectations, so that by the time school begins again, everyone is rehearsed and ready to succeed.

As always, we are grateful to you.  We are grateful for your support, your feedback, your referrals, and your dedication to raising responsible children.  With every roll of the eye from your child(ren) comes the oddly comforting subconscious voice telling you that you are doing something right :)

Happy Spring!

The Beck Family


You found it!  It's not just chores, but money management and accountability lessons ALL IN ONE PLACE.  {add to cart, enter your address, and submit}  You wait for it to arrive at your front door, certain that when the children see it, they will simply faint from excitement.  It arrives....you {easily} hang it up...then you tap your fingers anxiously on the kitchen countertop until the children get off the bus from school.  They run in, you scream out in excitement as you show them their new responsibility station, and they {choose your own adventure} a) flip cartwheels and immediately pull every single chore stick and complete each task or b) roll their eyes and slump their shoulders.

One of two, or possible a blend of the two, is sure to occur in your household.  We are not naive enough to think that every child on Earth will fall in love with a responsibility station, nor to think that even if the excitement is palpable in the first few weeks that it will last until the fly the coop after high school.  But there is a way to make this meaningful, engaging, and genuinely not a power struggle.

It simply calls for conversation {the same conversation over and over until your child(ren) can finish your sentences for you}, praise {DO NOT go light on the thank yous and i love yous}, and consistency {consistency over time, not EVERY SINGLE DAY necessarily}.  Let's begin with the conversation...

It is important with any new routine that you introduce it to your entire family.  An explanation/introduction is not the same thing as permission.  You are, after all, still the boss, Applesauce.  You are simply allowing them the privilege of not being blindsided with it.  It is a conversation that should happen over and over again.  It's an explanation that the family is a team and without everyone bringing their A-game, the family won't win.  Promoting the family as a team makes everyone feel invaluable, worthwhile, and necessary.  We constantly tell our children that since our family is a team, when one person doesn't play fairly, the team is let down.  The team has a set of rules to follow, and everyone is expected to follow those rules (even parents!).  Consequently, when one person decides not to play by the rules, the whole team suffers for it.  This argument might seem to fall apart when the rules are something as mundane as making a bed.  But let's look at that more closely: we start with the mundane to be sure that our children know how to follow a harmless rule.  As they age and go through more trying situations, knowing that they can follow the rules will be quite comforting.  My students used to ask me all the time, "Why can't we chew gum in school?  We aren't hurting anyone by chewing gum."  My explanation was precisely about the mundane.  If we can teach you to follow the little rules, then we can trust that you will understand to follow the much bigger rules in life.  It's all about loosening the reins.  As a parent of a young child, you hold the reins tight in your hands.  But over time, as your child learns a bit more about life, the reins are loosened.  We occasionally need to tighten them back up, but overall, our job as a parent is to eventually let go of the reins.

Praise.  This goes hand-in-hand with the conversation above.  Once your child acts like a supportive member of the family team, tell him/her how much you appreciate it; how much it means to you that you can trust them to help the family succeed.  Even the littlest ones will respond to praise.  Teens may roll their eyes in feigned disgust, but ultimately, they are intrinsically motivated and overjoyed by genuine praise.  Telling your child "thank you", "i love you", and "i really appreciate you" are some of the best motivators and rewards.  Praise reinforces the conversation.

Finally, be as consistent as life allows you to be.  As we have said many times before, it is a wonderful lesson to teach your children that there are days that simply don't allow for everything to go as planned.  Being flexible and realistic is a VERY important lesson to teach your children.  We have been very guilty in the past of completely giving up on a system (magnetic chore charts, tearpads, marble jars, piggy banks, etc) simply because if it didn't go as planned, then why continue?  Such a silly attitude.  It reminds me of the failed diet: eat one thing off the "plan" and then "the heck with it....I might as well just eat whatever I want since I've already ruined the plan for the day."  Silly, mathematically insane, and simply unrealistic.  It is important to be consistent with your expectations, but realistic as well.

As always, please feel free to contact us with any questions.  We are here for you, and we promise that is not just lip service!  We believe that in order for us to succeed, you must succeed.  So ask away!
chore stick
Order a set of chore sticks {they are marked with "THANK YOU" on one end; blank on the other} and use them for reward sticks.  Reinforce good behavior, accomplishments, skill achievements, etc.  The "thank you" on the end subtly implies mutual respect, while you fill in the reward on the other end.  It's amazing to see what motivates children.  We always think it has to be big, shiny, and expensive, but really, children are motivated by praise and encouragement.   

It really is coming soon....We had great feedback from our trial families and putting together the best product possible is our number one priority.  As a budget-conscious family ourselves, the last thing we want is for families to spend money unnecessarily.  Here's a glimpse into the product, however: we will be combining the fisherkids station with homeschool organization.  If you currently have the fisherkids station, we will be selling homeschool add-ons so you can have the best of both worlds.  We do not have details on pricing but we are shooting for a launch date of July 15 or sooner.  Thank you all for your patience and the hundreds of emails we received from families across the United States wanting to participate in our trial.    
We know that most children don't put a responsibility station on their holiday or birthday wish lists.  But we also know that many moms wish they would.  So, forward this to whomever may be responsible for buying you a sweet little thank you gift for being the World's Best Mom. 

Click below to purchase a Gift Certificate.  We will email you a pdf to print off.  Certificates are available in increments of $60.00 (which covers one system and shipping) but can be used for anything in our store.  

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Thank you.  We are ever humbled by your support.
The Beck Family