Chore lists aren't my favorite. Repeating tasks over and over again isn't my favorite thing to do either. I just want things to get done without me having to say one word. Well, as a parent I know that's not possible, but how I wish it was.
When I attended the 2:1 Conference last year, I learned about a cool app called Stridepost. I didn't run home to download it because like I said before I just want things to get done. Well, this summer I realized using Stridepost might have been exactly the tool we needed all along to help get everyone on the same page when it comes to pitching in and upcoming outings.
What is Stridepost?
Stridepost is an app; it is available in iOS app store and Google Play for free. Inside the app, parents are able to schedule chores on the to do list, assign value to the chores, offer rewards for the points earned, and schedule appointments and other outings.
Each person in the family has their own sign in credentials which makes it less likely for each child to see the number of points a sibling has earned or the expectations the parents have for the sibling. I like this because it leaves little room for comparison. Parents can sign on to Stridepost from a computer to add and approve tasks, but children do have to access their account from the app on a tablet or smartphone.
There is also a family wall where we can leave encouraging or silly comments to one another. Since my husband is rarely home during the day, he can leave a message on the family wall to encourage us all to do our best.
How is Stridepost helping me as a parent?
Parenting isn't always an easy task. It requires taking the time to get to know each of my daughters personally. This also means accepting their quirks and not so great qualities because I don't believe I am here to totally change them from the way they were created; since cleaning isn't always on the top of the list for one of my daughters I know that it can easily become a battle. A battle which can make my child who is less likely to clean feel bad about not being as tidy as her sister. And on the other hand, I have a daughter who is really good at making her own lists and checking things off like laundry and cleaning the bathroom, but she isn't always good at doing the things that she doesn't want to do. I am working both ends of the spectrum, and honestly, it can be tiring.
Stridepost helps me to stretch both of my daughters without necessarily changing their bent. Since it's an app, I can enter responsibilities suited for the particular child into the app. I don't have to verbally assign the responsibility each day, but I do have to check to make sure it is done. This definitely allows my daughters to take the reigns and removes the need for constant verbal reminders.
I don't have stringent rules about the way things are done as long as my daughters put in effort. I believe over time each new responsibility will be done better and better the more my daughters are called to do whatever it is. Stridepost not only helps to stretch my daughters, but it also helps me to be consistent. I am less likely to change things up or drop new expectations out of the blue. When my daughters have mastered a task, I am able to remove or lower the point value and add a new responsibility to the app, if needed. If all is going well, I simply leave the responsibilities as they are; this allows my daughters to get used to a routine without wondering, "Do I have to do it?!"