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August 3, 2015

4 Ways to Motivate Your Kids to Help out Around the House


Written by: Flayk Beta Tester

My kids don’t usually need incentives to help out around the house. At 4, 6 and 8 years old they’ve learned that picking up their toys, feeding the dog, and emptying the dishwasher are their responsibilities. Everyone in the house has a job and they typically complete their chores on their own, no nagging required.

I can’t say always because last week Ava had a temper tantrum about cleaning up the Playdough, and Jacob refused to put the dishes away because he was too busy watching the hockey game, which I couldn’t turn off because dad was watching it too. Family management at its finest.

It’s times like these when I wish a magical nanny would fly in on an umbrella. When she doesn’t appear, I turn to these tips for motivating my kids to do their chores

1. Offer something good in return

Promising a reward for good behavior is a surefire way to get your kids moving. If you do “x,” I’ll give you “y” in return. I usually lean towards offering novelties as bonuses, as opposed to activities that are a part of our normal routine. For example, I would present ice cream as a reward, but not reading a book before bed. To me, reading is an important part of my kids’ lives and I wouldn’t want to use activities that encourage learning as bargaining chips.

2. Take away a prized possession

As much as I favor positive reinforcement over punishments, sometimes I simply can’t entice my kids to stay on track with a reward, which is when I suggest presenting a consequence. Perhaps they’ll lose the privilege of dessert, or maybe you can take away the tablet with their favorite games. The consequences don’t have to last forever, or even a day. Depending on their age, your family habits, and the size of the issue at hand, sometimes just an hour of no TV will do.

3. Make it seem like their choice

All you have to do to make this work is frame the proposition the right way: “Either you can pick up the Playdough and go to the park, or you can leave the table a mess and go to your time-out chair. It’s up to you.”  Whether it’s a reward or a consequence, put the decision in their hands.

This method is not only empowering for your child, but also gives them a sense of responsibility over whichever action they choose. You know you have outlined the parameters, but they feel like they have the ability to shape their future.

4. Use Flayk

Flayk’s the best tool I’ve found to put all of these tactics into practice (even in the Beta stage). I previously used sticker charts with all my kids but now I’ve adopted Flayk for my 6 and 8-year olds, and my 4-year old can’t wait until she can use it.

I get to assign point values to each chore, and the kids can win more points for bigger jobs, like vacuuming the house. They know that with 50 points they can watch an extra episode of Sofia the First, or they can save up and redeem 100 points to pick out a new book for our library (what can I say, my kids love to read). It’s still up to them to decide if they want to do the chore or not, but they know if they do they’re one step closer to getting a reward.

With Flayk’s incentives, the odds are high that the kids will do their job, while at the same time I’ve encouraged independence and decision-making!

April 27, 2015

Goodbye Dinner Table Talk: Is communicating through social media and mobile messaging the norm for families today?


Written by: Danielle Dannenberg   Photo by: Lock & Stock Photography

Back in the early days of technology, we only used cell phones when we left the house. When we were at home we had the landline and – of course – each other. Now it wouldn’t be uncommon for a kid to message their parent from another room in the same house or for a parent to check a notification on their smartphone during dinner. In fact, according to a study by Edison Research, less than half of families sit down for a meal without distractions on a daily basis. It’s easy to blame tech-native kids for this constant presence, but research proves parents are equally responsible.

Today, 84% of all American moms own smartphones, exceeding the average 64% of American adults (according to studies by Edison Research and Pew Research Center, 2015). On top of this, 4 out 5 of moms with smartphones said their phone is almost always within arms reach (“Media and Moms 2014,” Edison Research). But moms aren’t the only tech-savvy parents; according to a study by Pew Research Center, 75% of all parents in the U.S., moms and dads alike, used social media in 2015.

We rely on technology for nearly everything, from communicating to planning, scheduling, playing, learning, and even filling awkward silences in the room. Technology can make us feel closer to our friends and can even generate positive experiences for families. 89% of moms said they share technology experiences with their children (“The Truth About Moms,” McCann Truth Central). If technology is going to become a bigger part of our lives then the most we can ask for is that we share more connected experiences together. As long as we balance virtual interaction with real down-to-earth family time.

Flayk combines both into one seamless experience. With the app you can manage family plans digitally so that you can be more present when you’re together. If like many moms, your phone is always at your fingertips, organizing your family will be easier than ever with Flayk.