The premise behind Thumsters Parenting App is two fold: cause and effect, and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. With this in mind it's important where possible and age appropriately, to include your child in setting up their goals. As your child keeps in mind the goal they have chosen/are working towards, it will encourage them to make good behavioural choices, in line with your family's values. These may be intentional at first but eventually, the neural pathways in their brain are rewired into choosing the positive behaviour organically (without considering the desired outcome first). An example of this may be you asking your child to empty the dishwasher (their allocated chore). If your child does this the first time they are asked they know they will get a thumbs up, and so they intentionally make this choice for the first few weeks. Eventually it will become more habit rather than intention to do it as soon as they are asked (or, without having to be asked a second or multiple times). Alternatively they may get a thumbs up for doing it first thing in the morning without being asked. To begin with they may intentionally be choosing to do this to get a thumbs up to work towards their goal, but eventually it just becomes a part of their morning routine. One of our users said it best: "I love that setting goals WITH them (the kids) helps give ownership and they're more likely to follow through". (@thehappyrepublic). This is so accurate, ownership with our behaviour choices is key right throughout our lives!
Down the bottom of the 'My Kids' screen your app automatically opens to, choose the 'Goals' button. On the Goals screen you will see each of your children, each of their goals (the first three are displayed on this screen), and where they currently stand on achieving that particular goal. Click on the child you wish to set up a new goal.
On the Child's individual goal screen you will see a few features. Up the top right hand corner is an 'Edit' feature. Click on this to edit your child's profile, including their profile picture (click on the current photo/image to edit), their chosen gender, and their date of birth.
Under the child's profile pic, you will see 'TODAY' and 'PERIOD', with thumb icons and numbers. TODAY shows you the number of thumbs up and down they have received in a 24 hour period. The PERIOD is a manually controlled time frame that you can reset. This gives you the stats since you last reset the period. For more information about resetting the period click here.
To CREATE A NEW GOAL, click on the green create new goal button and follow the onscreen prompts. We discuss WHAT goals to pick in the next section.
You can edit current goals by clicking on them. This allows you to change the name of the goal and the number of thumbs required to achieve it. You can also cancel a goal all together here by clicking the rubbish bin icon in the top right hand corner.
The last feature on this screen is the available rewards/rewards spent feature. This shows you the goals they have achieved but may not have taken yet (eg.. ice cream date with Dad), and once they have been claimed, you can move them to Rewards Spent by clicking on them. You can click on 'Clear rewarded goals' to clear this section at any time.
Goals are NOT things they are working towards such as having a dry night, or a good school report etc. Goals in this sense are the incentives being used to encourage your children to make great behavior choices in line with YOUR family's values. We say this because everyone's family has different morals, values and ways of measuring character and integrity. Goals are usually things your children can look forward to achieving once they have made a certain number of great behavior choices. For example, 10 thumbs up equals screen time for an hour, or an ice cream after school.
We recommend having a couple of goals on the go for each child. One SHORT term goal, that takes a smaller time frame to achieve, and one LONG term goal that will take them a bit longer. The short term goal is there to motivate them with small wins and keep the program fresh and exciting in their minds. The long term goal encourages consistency, perseverance and is usually a bit bigger of an incentive/motivation. Here are a few examples but remember, set goals WITH your child, this gives them ownership both of the program and their behavior choices.
SHORT TERM GOALS....
10-20 thumbs up
Ice cream after dinner
Treat from the treat jar (lollipops, small choccie bars)
Invite a friend over for a play date on the weekend
Choose a board game for the family to play together
Movie Night with movie snacks
LONG TERM GOALS
20+ thumbs up
New X box game
Sleep over with a couple of friends
Cinema date with Mum or Dad
Dessert date with Mum or Dad
'Boss for the day' (one family sent this to us and we thought it was just brilliant! And their kids love it. They get to make all the decisions for the day.... what's for dinner, what they watch on netflix after homework, a family game after dinner etc).
The options are limitless and you know your kids and what motivates them best. If you have ever read the book 'The five love languages' or its companion 'The five love languages of children' this can be a big help in deciding what could be a good option for your kiddos.