FisherKids sent me the spinner to review and it is very cool. First I was blown away by the packaging it came in. You would have thought that the spinner had been professionally packed, actually it was probably packed better than a place that packs things all day long. I was also very surprised to see that it is not just a piece of cardboard or something cheaply made but it is made to last in a frame that you can hand on the wall or sit on a shelf.
Our kids have actually been good this week so we haven't had a chance to really test it on the kids but I am so excited about this spinner. I am so impressed with this shop and our kids are at the perfect age to start using the things FisherKids has to offer.
I asked FisherKids a few questions and this is what they had to say:
How long has your Etsy store been open? Only a couple of months. I had another company that was keeping me incredibly busy, but fisherkids became such a passionate idea of mine with a very long-term vision (this is only the beginning of it all...) and I didn't have as much time with my family as I desired, that I decided to close shop on my other graphic design business and offer 100% of my attention to fisherkids and my kids. I saw the chore chart in your shop and loved it! Can you explain how the chore chart works? Background info first: The responsibility system was something that my husband and I stumbled across as we were "trial-an-erroring" with our own kids. We tried the paper chore charts, the magnet chore charts, etc. but something would always cause it to fall to the wayside: usually it was that we would forget to pay the kids on a timely manner, which reinforces NOTHING for kids, or it was ugly and didn't fit with our decor so we put it in a drawer and forgot about it. Or it was a system that depended on the parents for full implementation, no responsibility for the kids to follow through. So we decided we needed one system that focused on chores, accountability of the KIDS not the parents, and then financial management as well. We had so many friends and friends of friends asking about it that we took a huge leap of faith and decided to market it. So we sent it out to test families, and several prototypes later, came up with a pegboard system that everything hangs from and you can add to as-needed, and looks great on the wall. It's colorful and engaging to kids, so they WANT to take part.
Here's how it works: The whole focus of the system is that the family is a team, and must function as a team. So there is a weekly task magnet that you as a parent write their daily responsibilities that kids do to be a helpful part of the team (they aren't paid for all of these; some of the responsibilities they learn to do just to help out the family), and then one of those responsibilities each day is to choose chores that they will be paid for. The kit comes with chores sticks that are blank on one end for you to fill out the chores appropriate for your kids/home/family, and the other end is hot-stamped with "thank you" to subtly teach mutual respect. Once they complete the chores, it is their responsibility to write their "commission" (allowance assumes they are entitled to the money, not to earn it) on the paycheck tearpad, then add it up at the end of the week. This is their responsibility, not yours as a parent, therefore teaching accountability. On Sunday, which is rest and family day, they add up the week's commission (little guys can do tick marks and add those up) and it's pay day. When mom or dad pay them, they are to divide the money up into three money bags in the kit: give it, save it, spend it. Percentages of the three bags are all up to parents. The parent's guide booklet that I wrote accompanies the kit. But the pegboard is great because you can add other products to it and you can create your child's own little nook of the house that he or she takes full responsibility for. Test families responded often that this was what was so engaging to kids. It's theirs! If your house/budget can't handle one system per child, we do have add-on kits that will allow the board to support more than one child. It's not the ideal, but it's a bit more realistic. You can always add separate boards later!
*They recommend the chore chart for children ages 2-18.
Can you tell me about the spinner and explain the grace space (I love the grace space by the way)? I love love love the spinner! I was always hearing myself saying "if you don't.....then you are....." and it never made sense, or I knew it was a false threat, and I just became weary of it! So now, I just say, "or else you'll spin for it". So I came up with the spinner idea and it works great. It is mounted in a frame, so you fill in the blank spots of the spinner wheel with whatever consequences you deem effective (my favorite one so far was to empty our son's diaper pail for two trash days in a row....the girls literally gagged and freaked out....very very effective!), but one space is pre-filled in as the "grace space". It is an essential lesson of the entire fisherkids system to teach mutual respect, authority, and that we all need a little grace from time to time.... Humans learn from mistakes, so the occasional "get out of jail free" pass is thrilling to kids.
Can you give me one great parenting tip? Have dinner around the table as often as possible. We learn SO much from our kids as we sit down for breakfast and dinner, lunches on the weekends. If your schedules are so crazy when kids begin driving/sports/etc., sit around a restaurant table, then! Conversations happen that wouldn't happen otherwise! We actually designed the paycheck notepad with a different quote each week of the year to provide for family discussion topics. It's amazing to hear the kids' perspectives on the same quote depending on their experiences and age!
Buy It - The products FisherKids have to offer are wonderful for teaching your children how to be responsible adults. They are working on adding even more items to their shop so make sure you keep checking back to see what new things they have to offer. I also think they offer very good prices for the quality you get.
Win It - FisherKids is giving away a Consequence Spinner to one of my readers and they are even willing to ship internationally so this open to EVERYONE!
Mandatory Entry (this must be done before you can gain any extra entries) - Visit FisherKids Etsy shop and tell me something you learned from their shop. Tell me something other than what I posted above.
*YOU MUST LEAVE AN EMAIL ADDRESS WITH YOUR COMMENT SO I CAN CONTACT YOU IF YOU ARE THE WINNER.
Extra Entries (must have mandatory entry done before you can gain any extra entries): If it says (3) comments then you must leave 3 separate comments.
1. Follow my blog - (3) entries
2. Grab my button and leave a link letting me know where I can find it - (5) entries
3. Blog about this giveaway and leave a link to where I can find the post - (5) entries
4. Heart Fisher Kids Etsy shop - (1) entry
5. Visit http://www.myfisher-family.com/ and come back telling me something you learned - (1) entry
6. Friend Fisher Kids on Facebook - (1) entry
7. Follow Fisher Kids on Twitter - (1) entry
8. Enter any of my other giveaway - (1) entry for each giveaway you entered
9. Purchase anything from FisherKids shop and let me know what you purchased - (10) entries
This giveaway will end on March 18, 2010 and is open to ALL READERS including international readers. I will select a winner using a random number generator and I will email the winner. The winner will have 48 hours to respond to my email before I select a new winner.