Virtual Stars…who knew?

As a parent of 4 kids, I am always trying to make our time more efficient & run smoothly. We have a schedule that we attempt to follow…even during the summer. Of course, it’s not as rigid as the school schedule unless we have somewhere specific we must be. The last few weeks of school up to this week had been pretty rough. The kids were getting a bit of the summer fever and didn’t want to do their chores, were fighting, and getting quite sassy. No one was earning allowance, nothing was getting done…no one was happy.  We’ve tried chore tickets, charts, set allowance, per chore allowance, nothing seemed to really appeal to all 4 kids. I then discovered an iPhone app that has made a world of difference this week. It’s called iRewardChart.

It’s completely customizable with the child’s name, photo, tasks, and rewards. Once I set everything up and explained it, the kids went nuts. Chores are complete, attitudes have changed, and they are choosing their rewards. Here’s how it works.
Froggy gets a virtual star (a gold star I touch on my screen) for various tasks, such as Help Mom, Make Bed, Laundry, Get Dressed, Listening, Eat Veggies, No Fighting, No Whining, Bed On Time, etc. Once he has accumulated some stars, he can then cash them in for things he wants like, 30 Min. Electronics Time, Special Dessert, $1 CASH, Later Bed Time, 1 Pack of Gogo’s, etc. Each reward is worth a certain number of stars & he decides if he wants to save up for a bigger prize or spend it on smaller stuff.  This control being at the discretion of the child seems to be hugely appealing to all 4 kids.  There has been hardly any yelling on my part (which is huge since I’m a yeller), they have been doing their chores and being extra helpful mostly without complaint (they’re still kids, so there have been a few instances of whining), and we have had so much time for fun stuff this week…swimming, trips to the library, playing games, reading, mini-golf, making ‘chin people’ videos (there’s a blog post coming on that one…too funny!), etc.

Basically, if this continues…and I pray it does, we will get more done around here in a peaceful fashion, and have more fun.  It’s win-win!

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