Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Responsibility Binders- A New Way to Do Chores!

It's here.
The Chore System you've been waiting for!
But wait... this is SO MUCH MORE than just a way to handle your household chores! This is a way to manage your family's developmental progress both on an individual level and as a team.


It's a chore system that will GROW WITH YOUR CHILD and can be introduced as early as age 2.

It's a system that gets those annoying chore charts (that don't match your decor and clutter up your walls) OFF your walls and INTO THE HANDS OF YOUR CHILD. And when not in use sits neatly on a shelf or bookcase.

It's a system that goes BEYOND CHORES and teaches your child skills that are real life applicable:

*Going to work and getting paid on pay day
*Taking care of your non-paying responsibilities 
*Goal setting
*Working as a team
*Personal planning

It's a system that WORKS. One I've used with my own children for the past 4 years and am now sharing with you.

So what exactly does this system include??

Then we move on to the Chore Section which includes:

And get this....
the Chore Cards pictured above fit perfectly into Trading Card Protector Pages!
It's the perfect way to organize, store, and assign chores to each child on an individual basis.

AND it's picture based so even non-readers can participate!

The Chore Cards are even color coded based off of how often they need attention so when stored neatly in your Parent Control Binder you can easily sort and see what needs attention and remind yourself of those tasks that occasionally slip your mind- like rotating seasonal clothes out!

Dark Blue = Daily/Weekly chores
Light Blue = Bi-Weekly/Monthly chores
Lightest Blue= Seasonal Chores.

Now onto the Responsibility Section. 

Here is a sneak peak of all the pages of the Responsibility Section! 

Pretty neat right??

Get the ENTIRE Parent Control Binder package as an instant download 
(that's 98 pages of binder pages & the chore cards with full color picture based instructions that covers printing, assembly, & suggested ways to incorporate the system into your home.)
for only $15!

NEW COUPON ALERT: $5.00 OFF your $15 dollar binder instant download kit- making it just $10 until November 27th 2014!! Simply enter 5off4you at checkout. 

Want just the 234 chore cards (that's 26 pages!) so you can create your own system? - $5


This system works. 

It is a fantastic tool to help guide your children to becoming responsible adults and keep your home neat and organized while working WITH your child instead of against your child. 

BUY IT NOW as an Instant Download by clicking here or any of the above links!


Why I Don't Pay My Kids to Clean Their Room - Chore Binder System Explained.

About 5 years ago when my oldest child was 5 I began my quest for a chore system that would fit our families needs.

I ran into 2 main problems:

1. All the chore systems out there were wall or fridge based. At the time I was a major decor junkie and I couldn't stand that all the chore systems had to clutter up my wall or fridge space- and that most of them didn't match. Don't worry- I've progressed past that OCD stage but deep down inside I'm still a little obsessed about order and visual aesthetics- even though my home is rarely a reflection of that due to 4 little people that do their darnedest to make sure that my house is ever a reflection of a massive toy and art explosion
2. Most of the chore systems out there were based around a system that involved paying your children to do things that I felt were a responsibility. For example- I don't think that kids should be paid to clean their room. Or brush their teeth. Or the systems rewarded kids with stickers, treats, or cash but didn't integrate life skills and autonomy.

So what's an OCD Mommy of 4 armed with ambition and Photoshop to do? Why design her OWN chore system of course!

After over a year of twerking and making necessary changes based off of what was working and what wasn't- I had an entire system in place that was color coded per child, fit neatly on a shelf, and 4 happy children who LOVED doing their chores!

* They love it because they each get their OWN binder. It is THEIRS. Not mine. 
*They love it because they get paid every week! And with said money they get to spend and budget accordingly and don't have to ask me for money or items anymore. 
*They love it because I'm not nagging them anymore about what to do, when, and how. Not only for their chores but also when it comes to cleaning their room and their daily hygiene.

So why don't I pay my kids to clean their rooms or brush their teeth? It's simple:

I want my home to be a safe and loving reflection of the real world- since that is what they will be entering one day. A place to learn, grow, make mistakes, and prosper, all under my roof and loving guidance

So how do we do that? 

In the real world (generally speaking) you go to work, get paid for going to work, and then come home. And you are expected to fulfill (hopefully happily and willingly) whatever responsibilities are necessary at both places. 
The way I decided to apply that theory and practice  into our home was simple. Their room became their "home" and our home became  their "job". Their physical hygiene is wrapped up in their "home" responsibilities. Because short of being a Trucker I can't think of any other job where it's OK for you to brush your teeth, shower, and get dressed on the job.

So in order to mimic real adult life as much as possible my children were now expected to go to "work" in order to receive a paycheck- which they would now need to purchase all their wants and needs. Before the age of 8 I take care of all their needs. Shoes, school supplies, new outfits, etc. But after the age of 8 they get a pay increase and that responsibility falls on them. And they LOVE it! It does my heart good to see my 8 and 10 year olds get out their shopping lists and budget their wants vs. their needs. Granted, they will make mistakes. Oops- spent all the money at the movies and on that brand new toy they thought they needed...  but it doesn't take them long to figure out that they disappointed themselves by blowing all their money in one place.

The thing is... I WANT them to make those mistakes NOW and not when they are 18 and handed a credit card! By that age the mistakes are usually on a much grander scale with much higher consequences. 

Plus, giving your children the responsibility of their own lives via their own finances builds trust, communication, and self esteem! 
AND they learn to take better care of what they have because if it breaks or gets worn out- they know it's THEIR responsibility to replace it.

This also means that I'm no longer paying for all their wants/needs so our budget has remained the same. The money is simply redirected into their hands instead of my wallet.

About half way through our little binder experiment I realized that I could make this even more life applicable by also giving them the freedom to choose whether or not they wanted to go to work that day. In the real world if you miss a day of work you miss out on a piece of your pay check. And once you're at work- you rarely get to choose what you have to do. You have a list of expectations (whether they are boss given or self directed) and you are supposed to get them done.

So now I don't force my children to go to work. But once they decide to go to work that day- they do all that was assigned. They don't get to pick and choose. In our home my children rarely take a day off. They want their paycheck on Saturday and they don't want it to be smaller than any of their siblings. But of course it happens and when it does, I don't freak out about it anymore. Granted, I may have to pick up their slack, or that chore won't get done at all that day, but that's OK! We are thinking bigger picture here! We are trying to build a life skill now not just keep the house clean and tidy. 

To BUY THIS SYSTEM as an instant download CLICK HERE

To BUY JUST THE CHORE CARDS as an instant download CLICK HERE

To See all that is included in the Responsibility Binders CLICK HERE!


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Free Online Educational Classes for Parents

A while back I did a post about Coursera and the classes I had found on it that pertained to parenting.

It was such a hit that I'm going to continue to scour the web for FREE educational  classes for parents.

Here are the latest classes I've found from COURSERA

***This course is for teachers to learn why some children have so much difficulty with reading and writing, often called 'dyslexia', and to learn more about best practice in teaching literacy to all, in light of recent scientific discoveries.


Child Nutrition and Cooking- by Stanford University- Self Paced

A childhood obesity epidemic is facing the USA and many developed nations. Why are so many foods processed, and what can we do to protect our families? We also explore the six basic ingredients every cook should have on hand!
How do children overcome hazardous experiences to succeed in life? What can be done to protect young people at risk from trauma, war, disasters, and other adversities? Learn about the importance of fostering resilience in children at risk.

If you missed the dates for these classes don't worry! They cycle through repeatedly. And many of them you can join mid-class since they are free so if it's only been a month since it began.... sign up anyway! Or check COURSERA for their next opening date.


Friday, March 21, 2014

PINTEREST- Teaching Kids

I thought I'd take a quick minute to direct you all to my Pinterest board: 

There are more than 200+ posts and articles regarding positive parenting techniques written by amazing and qualified parents and educators from all over the world. If there is a parenting or early childhood issue you have questions or concerns over you will likely find it there.


Monday, November 25, 2013

FREE Thanksgiving Printable Packet for Kids

Print out one packet per kiddo and staple together for  pre-dinner coloring fun.
Packet includes:

Cover Page
Turkey Coloring Page
Thanksgiving Coloring Page with "I'm Thankful For.." writing space
Thanksgiving Mad Lib- "Recipe For the Best Dish Ever"
My Thanksgiving Feast Plate Coloring Page
Draw a Picture of My Family Eating Blank Coloring Page


Sunday, November 24, 2013

3 Thanksgiving Tips for Blended Families

Blended families often come with many many challenges and the stress of the holidays can only exacerbate them. 
Here are my top 3 Child-Centered Thanksgiving tips for blended families:

COMMUNICATE- Obviously communication is key. With extended family, ex-spouses, and the lot. But communication with your CHILD is paramount. Explaining the day's schedule, who is expected to attend, where you are going, and how long you expect to be there OR how long you expect others to be at your home will help reduce the anxiety that can build up in your child. This is especially true for children under age 6 and those with physical, mental, or behavioral struggles and those that spend the day with newly blended families as there are likely to be a lot of strangers around. Information should come from BOTH biological parents if possible. It is extra comforting for a child if they also know what the parent that they aren't spending the day/weekend with is doing. The more information they have the better. Leave your feelings at the door and be as factual, logical, and loving as possible.

ALLOW YOUR CHILD TO EXPRESS THEIR FEELINGS WITHOUT SHAME OR GUILT- All children- regardless of age are entitled to their feelings- whether you like their feelings or agree with them is irrelevant. Respecting their emotions, even negative ones, teaches them respect in return. It shows them that you love and support them unconditionally, and isn't that what we as human beings regardless of age crave the most? If little Sally misses the parent that isn't in attendance or doesn't have custody that day don't take it personally! This isn't about you. Your child loves you too and would probably be crying for you instead if the tables were turned.  Hug her, love her, acknowledge her feelings ("I can see that you miss your Mom and that makes you sad.") and then reiterate your love for her and redirect her attention to something positive. ("I love you and I'm here for you *hugs* and we'll get through this together... let's go see what Grandpa is doing!)

DON'T BE A SLAVE TO THE CALENDAR- Yes, Thanksgiving is nationally dedicated to the last Thursday of the month, but that doesn't mean that your family needs to celebrate it on THAT particular day. It is important that your child(ren) gets to celebrate that holiday with as many sides of the family as possible. If your ex has them on the national holiday, schedule yours the weekend after, before, or a couple days after/before. The holiday is about tradition, family togetherness, and thankfulness- and all 3 can be celebrated on any day of the year.

These are just a few tips- but I'd LOVE to hear how you celebrate your blended family Thanksgiving as I'm sure other readers would too.. Sound off your tips and traditions in the comment section below! 

and as always... 


Friday, August 30, 2013

Building Trust and Acceptance through Play

Children- especially babies and toddlers, learn a great deal about themselves, others, and how the world works through play.
They are discovering their likes and dislikes, their hobbies, and learning how to share and cooperate, among a myriad of other things cognitively and developmentally.

Yet how often do we as parents tend to "guide" their play?
How often do we unknowingly "restrict" them by pointing at or giving them toys they aren't focused on?
Or "help" them by pushing the button for them, building the blocks for them, or teaching them how the toy works?

"Relinquishing any parental agenda sends our baby a powerful message of trust and acceptance, “Whatever you choose to do when you play is interesting to me. It’s ‘enough’,” rather than, “Don’t do what you feel like doing, do this.” .....

(or worse yet, "you can't do it, let me do it for you.")

"When we nurture our baby’s individuality by allowing her to stay in touch with her true self, she can grow up feeling comfortable and proud of the person that she is, more able to trust her instincts, accept her feelings and those of others. Surely, this is one fundamental key to happiness?"  - Janet Lansbury