I just got word of the who the lucky winner is for a brand new Family DoDots System! A Huge congrats to:
Barbara MacQueen

“I would love to win this! with 5 little ones and 1 more on the way this would be AMAZING! Thank you so much for thinking in us :) <3″

Please email me at admin (at) whippycake (dot) com so I can get the rest of your information to get you your sanity… I mean your DoDots system! 😉

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I’ve been noticing a lot of comments from people asking me how I balance everything and have FOUR kids. My first thought is always “Photos can never illustrate the unencumbered chaos that saturates my household”. My second thought is “trust me, I am not balanced or handling 4 kids well at all!” Haha. I think we can all agree that “balance” is the unicorn of life, it’s a mythical ideal that doesn’t exist but yet everyone seems to turn themselves inside out trying to achieve it. I also think that MOST women always have that mind set that everyone else has it together and they are a hot mess. A year or so ago I made a deal with myself to stop spending any time or effort agonizing over how clean Sally’s house is, how well behaved Sue’s kids are and instead spend that time and energy into trying to better my own life to MY OWN standards. I find competing with myself to be a lot more motivating and less self destructive. I gotta tell you, Becki the mom of 3 fared much better than Becki the mom of 4! I was not prepared or expecting how hard it would be for me to transition to 4 kids. I thought having older kids around to help with the younger kids would make it easier but really I just have 4 different kids with 4 different personalities and 4 different schedules and 4 different needs and let’s be real 4 against 1 is pretty bad odds. In all honestly I have been very frustrated trying to find a way to manage it all without completely failing as a mom. I have been learning this mom business on the job as I go and it has become abundantly clear that more kids equals more work and more challenges. There has been several occasions where I swore I would never clean again because the second I would pick up one mess there would be a completely new and frequently bigger mess in another room. Thank you toy industry  for creating things I work hard to pay for and even harder to clean up! I sometimes can’t decide if it is harder to get my kids to clean up their own toys or clean them up myself. All I can say is I was just really REALLY frustrated. Frustrated that my house is always a mess, frustrated that I couldn’t find a way to get my kids to cooperate and help out, frustrated at myself for yelling at them all the time to chip in, and frustrated even more for not being able to find a solution to make anything easier on our growing family. I guess my desperation became evident when I found myself looking for chore charts and reward systems to get my kids in line.

Thankfully I came across the Family DoDots System and was initially attracted to the fact that it was much nicer than a poster board and I liked the magnet idea instead of having using stickers. Silly me didn’t even know what kind of happiness I was in for when my DoDots came! I got my big ‘ol box and my older kids helped me open it and put all the colored stickers on the magnets and cutout their photos to put on their face pieces and then like the slacker I am I waited like two weeks to watch the instructional videos on how to properly utilize the DoDots chart for better results. There are about 7 different videos that cover all the different sections on the board and how to implement them with your family. At first I was like “SEVEN VIDEOS!!! Ain’t nobody got time for that!” But then they were all pretty short videos and vitally informative. If you decide to get a DoDots system I STRONGLY suggest to watch the intro videos first because improvising can actually create unwanted habits and behaviors with your kids. Watching the set up videos got me REALLY excited about starting the system with my kids, I liked that she gave scenarios in each video so I could better understand how to use each section of the board in our home.  PS. I want to stop and apologize for the overly long post I know this is going to turn out to be. This product is ridiculously helpful for our family and I am totally geeking out about it because I am so excited about it!!! I want every mom to have one so she can know the power of DoDots! Lol.

dodots7-copyright_whippycakeOk, so let me see if I can somehow summarize how the board works and why I love it. At first glance this looks like a simple chore chart but it is actually far more involved than that. It’s an all in one system that teaches children responsibility and independence and helps a household run smoothly. I am so fanatical about it because not only are my kids doing their own responsibilities without me yelling and nagging but they are also learning the value of working hard to earn money (ie tickets) and how to save those tickets to spend on things they really want like a toy or a trip to an adventure park. It has a simple leveling system and all of it is simple to learn and easy for kids to understand and realistically do. The kids like that it is hands on and they can visually track their progress and achievements and I honestly believe it teaches them good values and work ethic for later in life. Below is a quick summary on the different levels and sections and you can also read how it works on their website.

The leveling system teaches kids that they aren’t entitled to whatever they want when they want to and that before they get any privileges (TV, video games, friends etc) they need to take care of their own responsibilities first (get dressed, clean room, chores, homework etc). Level one is set up so your kids have the same basic responsibilities (homework, bedroom, practice) every single day and as they complete each one they get to flip their magnets over to the colored side to indicate that they have completed that task and then you can customize additional responsibilities daily or weekly like vacuuming or feeding a pet. This is my favorite section I think because for a while there my kids seemed like they wanted a treat or some type of reward every time they made their bed or did something they should be doing anyway. “Look mom, I picked up all those lego I just dumped out, what are you gonna give me?” Level one helps them learn how to manage their own responsibilities and that watching TV and playing with toys are all privileges and not just something they automatically get to do. The best part is when a child doesn’t clean their room or finish their homework I don’t have to yell at them a bunch of times to do it. Without fail they will ask me if they can play on the iPad or something they really want to do and then all I have to say is “I would be happy to let you play with the iPad as soon as you are on level two.” They will automatically go and finish all their duties (quickly I might add!) and then come back again! Genius I tell you!!! Once each kid has completed level one they get to move their face piece to the level 2 spot which indicates that they are now qualified to have privileges and do the activities they want to.

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The kids can also earn tickets that they can use to buy things from your family store which is essentially your own made up store that you supply with items your kids would want ranging in value. You can have treats, toys, craft supplies, activities, itunes cards and so on in your store and once a week they kids get to come shop in the store with their tickets. I LOVE the ticketing system! My kids are learning how to save and how to work hard to earn something they really want. The kids don’t automatically get tickets for doing the duties in the level one section because those are basic expectations everyone has to do but you can still give them a ticket if you notice a positive behavior you want to reinforce like if they did an extra good job on their chore or if they didn’t complain while doing it. In level two you can give them extra chores or jobs for tickets and they place a magnets in their ticket spot for every ticket they earn and then cash in at the end of the day. You can also give tickets for positive behavior. This has been soooooo effective for us. Lo can be so stubborn sometimes and she does not get along with her little sister so when I see her doing something nice for her or anyone I quickly acknowledge it and reward her with a ticket and it has made her eager to be nice to everyone.
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The second half of the board encourages each kid to set up goals they want to work on for that week. It could be to practice a certain skill or to overcome a challenge like hitting or yelling. I feel like this section is a little harder to put into words because there are so many ways to apply it to your kids’ individual situation but I just love how it teaches my kids that they can work on overcoming things they struggle with and they can also challenge themselves to learn new skills and talents. This section also encourages my kids to do acts of service inside and especially outside of the home. It’s crazy to realize that a magnet board can have such a positive influence on the character of a child. I am loving that my kids are learning all these important values and that it is teaching them to work together and I am not having to work nearly as hard to get them to help out. I also am noticing that I myself have a lot less cleaning to do because my kids are actively contributing. As long as this post is I have barely scratched the surface of how it works and the many benefits it provides to a home and especially parents. They have many helpful videos and even a forum for members to give ideas and suggestions to get even better results in the home.

dodots6-copyright_whippycakeAlso, I want to add that this system is very well thought out, it really is soooo much more than just a chore chart, in fact the key principles of the chore chart based off of extensive research and testing from principles and concepts that have been studied and comes highly recommended by child psychologists. The system works for kids of all ages and overall helps the family and home function more smoothly. OK I am done ranting now, when I am obsessed with something I totally geek out and pretty much force it on anyone that will listen. I just can’t even say enough good things about it, there isn’t enough time or words but just so you know I was so impressed I actually emailed them and politely begged them to do a giveaway on my blog and guess what, they said YES and they are also offering a promo code for everyone to get a discount!  I have never done a giveaway for anything like this but if you have kids just do yourself a favor and enter to win this thing! You will be giving yourself the gift of sanity for Mother’s Day.

GIVEAWAY:

To enter to win you only have to do TWO things:

1. Follow Family DoDots on Facebook
2. leave a comment below!

I will pick the winner on Tuesday, May 13 and announce it at the top of this post! I am giddy for the winner already, your life is about to change for the better!

Discount:

Use the coupon code “whippy15” to get 15% OFF  your purchase at checkout. This coupon code is valid now through May 13th, 2014 (if you purchase a DoDots and then win the giveaway they will refund you or you can give it to a friend).

Again, I am sorry for the extra long post, you probably noticed I am a little enthusiastic about DoDots, LOL. Who already has one and who is planning to get one? I just want to close by saying “YOU ARE WELCOME!”. You’re welcome for telling you about the coolest parenting tool that has ever been invented. I accept thank you’s in the form of Diet Dr. Pepper and jewelry. XOXO,
whippy

 

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