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*special note – we have rebranded for 2016 as Lean Green DAD! Thanks for visiting. Same great content, just a different name! This is one of our podcasts under our old name. Enjoy!
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What You Will Learn In This Podcast:
What feelings do you get when I say the words school mornings or school nights? For me, I feel anxiety, stress, and complete exhaustion! Last school year, our family was really struggling with establishing routines during these times of day. We needed something that really worked and incentivized our kids to want to work with us, and not against us. So we did some research on Pinterest and other blogs for help. What we found was that though there is a lot of information out there, nothing seemed specific enough for us to devise a plan that fit our family’s needs. So we ourselves went to the drawing board.
Enter Real IronDAD Cool Coins. We decided we would tie our routines to cool coins that would be part of a type of allowance system. Each portion of the morning/evening would be a chance for each child to earn one Cool Coin. They were to get the tasks done for each time period with no complaining and in a timely manner. We would reflect which periods they were successful in by keeping track of them on an itemized, dry erase chart that was placed on the fridge. If a check was lost, it was tied to no emotion….just a promise that they’d still have more chances!
One of the best things about this system, is that you can set your own Cool Coin value based on your family budget. For instance, you could have each cool coin be worth five cents, ten cents or even a quarter. Plus, if they lose a Cool Coin in your house, they aren’t losing actual money! You can always print out more of our generic Cool Coins. In our house, the kids cash them out on Fridays so that they have their own money for the weekend! We have also created a routine chart template for you to easily adjust to your own schedule. Decide the time that you will all convene at the end of the week to see everyone’s accomplishments, and do your Cool Coin exchange!
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Step by Step:
- Sit with your partner and write down everything that has to get done during your morning and nighttime routines. Just brainstorm it all out and try to remember everything that you have to do.
- Divide the time periods for the morning/nighttime, and decide which tasks go with which time period.
- Download the template here for the checklists and adjust the times and tasks to your needs. Then print them out, laminate, and place on your fridge with a dry erase marker.
- Download and print out several pages of Cool Coins here. Then laminate and cut them out together as a family to get everyone involved. Keep the coins together near where you will gather at the end of the week for your family meeting.
- Introduce your family to the new system before you begin! Set your ground rules and make sure they know what is expected of them!
We hope this system is nice and specific and is easily translated into the many different lifestyles and routines we all have! We have definitely found that our mornings and nights are FAR more relaxed when we have guidelines to help us through! And don’t forget to add the fun times in there as well. No longer will you have to agonize over the decision of whether or not they can watch TV right now. You’ll already know! Make room to be flexible for special occasions KNOWING that you have a solid routine you can easily get back to! ENJOY!
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Other Items Mentioned In The Podcast:
- This episode was inspired by a podcast that I heard on Freakoenomics Radio – HERE
- Sponsor for this episode is Grocerly, an intelligent grocery shopping app that auto-organizes your grocery shopping list by aisle at any store you shop.
- When you combine education with incentives, you will have success with motivating your kids
- Expectations are not chores. In our house chores are for the weekend. Make sure you talk to your kids about the difference between the two before you start this program.