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Archive for October, 2011

Operation Smile Added to My Job Chart Charities

October 25th, 2011 - Category: Uncategorized

As parents, it’s so important for us to teach our children to be kind, charitable and responsible – all at the same time. So when MyJobChart was created, it was built with a SHARE area. The SHARE area allows children to donate some of their allowance (or other rewards) to various charities.

This opportunity to be charitable is entirely up to the child. They can make their own choices about how much of their reward they should keep and how much they are willing to give to others.

Because we believe charity comes from seeing the needs of others, MyJobChart offers several charities to choose from. And now, we’re delighted to announce that Operation Smile has just joined our list.

Operation Smile is an international charity that helps children with facial deformities. With the money they receive from contributions, Operation Smile provides these children with corrective surgeries. This charity was formed in 1982 as a response to the many children born with cleft palates or cleft clips.

Operation Smile is currently serving in over 60 countries, providing children with the help their families can’t afford to get for them. It’s a life-changing surgery that could mean the difference between success in life and struggling.

If you’re looking for a job chart that incorporates other opportunities (such as a chance to learn charity), then you need to try Myjobchart.com. It’s free, it’s easy, and it provides your children with a great chance to learn new attributes.

Free Online Job Chart Offers Solutions for Teaching Kids Responsibility

October 17th, 2011 - Category: My Job Chart

As you may know, MyJobChart.com is attracting the attention of kids, parents, and experts everywhere. We love it when another parenting guru takes an interest in what we’re doing. Our latest triumph was to get Michele Borba, a renowned educator to take a look. And she had some wonderful things to say.

 

Want to see a few of those comments? Great. Here is a press release with quotes from Michele that will soon be posted in publications around the country. Enjoy:

For parenting solutions, many look to internationally renowned educator, Michele Borba, Ed.D, whose books, blogs and seminars provide answers to virtually every problem encountered when raising children.

Now, Borba points to the free website, MyJobChart.com, as the answer for teaching children to work, to be responsible and to understand the value of money.

My Job Chart changes the entire conversation about how to teach kids the fundamentals of work and money,” Borba says.

From her expert viewpoint—as an NBC contributor who has appeared more than 80 times as parent expert on the Today Show and countless other talk shows and whose recent book, titled The Big Book of Parenting Solutions: 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries, shares a compilation of her parenting advice—Borba says, with MyJobChart.com, kids have an excellent source of motivation.

 

With MyJobChart.com, “kids can now be inspired to get off the couch and start achieving more,” Borba says.

This was exactly what My Job Chart founder, Gregg Murset, was seeking for his own six children when he hit upon the idea of the free online chore chart.

Murset said their house, with six kids, ranging in age from 3 to 13, was “out of control. We tried everything from paper on the refrigerator to everything else.”

Nothing seemed to work to really motivate his children to stay on task and none of the existing systems seemed to encourage goal-setting and real achievement.

My Job Chart was an instant hit, not just with Murset’s children, but for the 110,000 who have used the online system over the past year since its inception.

MyJobChart.com is technology,” Murset explains. “That’s what kids like. It’s what they really respond to.”

On the site, icons make it possible for even the youngest children to use, and MyJobChart.com allows parents and children to personalize the list of chores and to use a built-in reward system. As the children complete their jobs, they earn a certain number of points, to be “saved” or “spent” right away to “purchase” a reward supplied by their parents, or to be “shared” as a donation to a charitable organization.

While My Job Chart allows parents to access an Amazon store link where they can purchase reward items, the site is also set up so families can create “free” rewards—anything from extra TV time, one-on-one time with mom or dad or a family bike ride.

Jennifer Cross, of Fort Worth, Texas, says she was hooked on the free My Job Chart site from the start. Using it with her three children, ages 3, 4 and 6, she has been pleased with the educational aspect of the site.

“I’m a high school teacher and a lot of kids have everything done for them. Parents are not taking the opportunity to teach their kids about work and responsibility,” she said.

She says her children have responded well to the intrinsic rewards and immediate feedback the site offers.

“With My Job Chart, seeing things being checked off and completed is often reward enough for my kids,” she said. “Then we have created ‘extra jobs’ where my boys get most of their points” to earn items from Amazon.

“Now they like to work and they come to me asking what other chores they can do,” Cross said.

Bottom line, Murset said, “MyJobChart.com is just a fun, easy way to instill work ethic and build character over time. And, it works.”

To access the free My Job Chart website and get started tracking your family’s chores, meetings, sports practice and activities, visit www.MyJobChart.com.

Chore Charts and Child Development

October 12th, 2011 - Category: Chores

As you know by now, MyJobChart.com was created as a convenience tool for frustrated parents. Little did we know there were psychological benefits to such a system. For our blog post today, we are excited to share some advice/thoughts from Pediatric Psychologist, Dr. Lynne Kenney.

Dr. Lynne Kenney is a mom of two, a pediatric psychologist and author of The Family Coach Method. She is also a great supporter of MyJobChart.com. You can learn more about Dr. Kenney at www.lynnekenney.com.

Here is what she wrote for us:

If each morning you hear yourself saying, “I said, brush your teeth,” or “I said, make your bed,” consider the value of clear expectations.

Instead of making a battle out of it, consider your approach. Are you clear in what you expect? Have you clarified if the expected action is a personal or family contribution? Do you assert your expectations modeling peace not anger? Are you enhancing family relationships over asserting control?

Teach your children the value of contributions early on by teaching daily routines, tasks and chores. Be clear, be concrete and be consistent.

Teach, model and expect peacefully and calmly, your expectations, posture and tone will guide the outcome.

STEP #1 Identify Daily Routines For Your Children

Helping your children to identify the components of their daily routine is one step toward practicing independence and responsibility.

“We use task lists to keep the children focused on their brief responsibilities each morning,” says Diana from Chicago.

Developing independence takes 1) Knowing the expectation 2) Having the skills to exhibit the expected behavior and 3) Being recognized for the success in order to increase the likelihood of exhibiting the behavior next time.

Establish a daily task routine. Make play dates, sports and family fun dependent on their accomplishing specific tasks. It’s very simple, you give to the family and the family gives back.

STEP #2 Assign Daily and Weekly Chores

Chores are separate from personal tasks (part of a daily routine) as they are done for the good of the community. Chores teach children the value of living in a group, a community, a family.

I look at chores as valued family contributions. When you live in a home where everyone contributes it is a clean, happy well-run home that is enjoyed by all.

Chores are a part of making expected contributions to the household. Children do not earn money for doing what is expected. They are expected to be a productive part of the family, their tasks are a piece of that, just as listening respectfully and being kind are expected.

Susan from Milwaukee offers this advice, “At our house, the kids are expected to help the “family community” for which they do not get paid money. Just as I make their breakfast or dinner and do their laundry, they have ways in which they contribute to the community. Making their bed, wiping the sink after they brush their teeth, setting the dinner table, and clearing their plates from the table are typical every day expectations.”

Jane from Scottsdale agrees. “We have “chores” listed on our fridge, the kids do some each day and some weekly. If we have a big project or something outside the chore list we need done we might offer $2-$5 for that extra activity mostly to support the children’s piggy banks.

“On Saturday there is a pretty good chance that our preschool and school-age children will help out, as they can earn valuable spending money for their participation. This money goes to things they care about like horseback riding, going to the water park and having movie night at home. Without hard work there are no horses and there are no trips to the mall, that’s just the way it is,” Jane says confidently.

STEP #3 Model Your Values

If you are going to give allowance for everyday household tasks, make sure you establish a specific amount, be consistent in giving it out each week and make sure the children complete the tasks assigned to earn allowance.

It is important to also suggest that children do not need to “consume” everything they like. Children can enjoy things in a store and leave them in a store. Life is not about accumulating stuff it’s about caring for people.

Kim from Boston offers some clear advice, “When we go to the store, I do not agree to buy the kids small toys or objects that they can purchase with their allowance. We have a ten dollar per week maximum of allowance earned and they can use that to buy the newest Polly Pocket or Lego toy.”

“Further, they are encouraged to put one dollar in savings and one dollar in our “community jar” to give away at the holidays to families in need. If every child contributes, they often have more than one hundred dollars to give away at the holidays, which teaches them to be compassionate as well as generous. They learn the value of hard work early with a spend, save, and donate system,” asserts Kim.

Consider delineating what are expected family contributions in your home. Create a morning and evening task list for each child. Keep it simple with (3-8) discrete tasks. If you wish to help your children learn about money management, develop a chore list, assign fees, and encourage your children to spend, save and give. Teach your children the value of contributing to the family in the early years.

If you haven’t tried it yet, MyJobChart.com is a great way to manage the tasks and responsibilities of your family members. And the best part is – it’s free!

Cooking Safely with Kids

October 5th, 2011 - Category: General Parenting

As you’re well aware, being a parent includes a lot of responsibility. This blog is intended to cover all aspects of parenthood. We’ve been delighted by the interest the MyJobChart.com blog has received. And we’re even more delighted to share an article from a guest blogger and avid reader of this site…

 

Submitted by Dan Gilbert on behalf of Primrose Schools. For over 25 years, Primrose has helped individuals achieve higher levels of success by providing them with an AdvancED® accredited, early child care services and preschool education.

Young children are often enthralled with the goings on in ‘mom’s’ kitchen. The act of cooking or preparing a meal can stimulate all five senses, which makes the kitchen an exciting place to be. Many parents are afraid to let their children in the kitchen while they are cooking due to the potential hazards but this needn’t be the case. Dr. Mary Zurn, vice president of education for Primrose Schools says kitchen time can be a great way for families to regain some lost, but valuable, family time.

Throughout the nation, kitchens are a gathering place for families. Stories of the day are shared, jokes are told, lessons are learned and quality time is spent. What many parents don’t take into account is that children often learn a sense of responsibility when they are asked to participate in small, daily chores.

By following these simple tips, parents can ensure that the kitchen is a safe, fun, learning place to be for children of all ages:

1. Give your child tasks to complete. Young children can easily tear lettuce for a salad or snap peas for a side dish. Sprinkle salt or pepper into your child’s hand and let them add it to the pot. Allowing your young children to help in a meaningful way will give them a sense of accomplishment. If you have toddlers, let them ‘cook’ along with you on their own play oven or give them a bowl and spoon and let them bang away. Not only will your toddler be occupied but you’ll know exactly where they are while you’re cooking.

2. Establish rules. Make sure that children understand that the stove top and oven are hot and shouldn’t be touched without permission. Hands should be washed before and after touching any food stuffs and place child safe covers over any gas knobs. Make a habit out of facing pot handles inward so that they aren’t inadvertently hit and knocked over, spilling hot liquids, sauces or food onto little fingers and toes.

3. Teach new skills. Once your child has mastered easy tasks like tearing lettuce, help them build upon their skills. For example, teach your child how to handle a knife by allowing them to cut through a soft stick of butter. Children who are able to read can help you follow recipes by reading them aloud to you and, when older, by using those recipes themselves.

4. Relax! Before you allow your child into the kitchen, particularly to help you, take a moment, remind yourself that there are bound to be spills and mistakes and then go for it. Time in the kitchen should be fun and mistakes are easily corrected. Your child’s time with you in the kitchen can easily be ruined if you are too hard on them.

5. Don’t forget to clean up! This is a good way to instill the importance of engaging in daily chores. If your child sees first hand what it is like cleaning up the kitchen alone, they will better understand that it will make everyone’s lives easier if they share in the tasks. Sweeping, doing dishes, and cleaning counter tops are all daily activities that need to be done, as well as after cooking or baking. Other activities, like taking out the trash, are important for a child to learn and take part in doing.

When your time preparing the meal, snack or dessert in the kitchen is complete, make sure to compliment your children for doing such a good job and watch them swell with pride. Before you know it, you’re child is going to be offering ideas on what you can make together next; encourage their creativity and help foster a love of cooking that they can carry with them into adulthood.