Smiles & Frowns is a positive behavior app made by parents, for parents, and we hope on our “5 Cs” of success can make a difference for you this summer. Get it for free on your iPhone or iPad now!
Our first realization? The need to think small.
As a behavior tracker, Smiles & Frowns started like many other reward charts out there. It was a board on a wall. In fact, I made sure it was a really BIG board on the wall because I knew we’d need to stick with the plan consistently, so I wanted to make it just impossible to ignore. Makes sense, right?
So big it was, and big really worked. Until it didn’t. Because no matter how good the plan was, big couldn’t go out the door with us. Big couldn’t be at the park with us. And big couldn’t be where behavior was happening. So we made Smiles & Frowns app-size instead, with the goal of always being there to recognize behavior consistently.
How Smiles & Frowns is built for second of the 5Cs, Consistency.
So, yes, Smiles & Frowns is now an app that can ride around in your pocket. But what else are we trying to do to help you put more consistency into your plans? Well, from set-up to follow through to features and functions, it all comes down to ease of use.
It helps you mark behavior Consistently
We believe that a good app gets out of your way, so we don’t want people to be thinking about Smiles & Frowns as they use it. We just want them to use it in the moment, whenever and wherever they need it, and move on. So we try to make everything fast and easy.
That’s why we created pre-set behavior boards so you could get up and running fast. Customizing your board is easy, too, and you can do it any time you like. And then using it is a snap, with all the major pieces just one tap away from your board screen. Give a Smile. Give a Frown. Give a Reward. Review behavior. One tap takes you where you need to go.
I won’t bore you with the details of how the app works right here and now, but the point is that we think the road to Consistency is making sure the app flows as naturally around your life as possible, rather than asking you to change your flow for it.
It helps you manage a Consistent set of rules
Another important part of consistency is making sure the rules are regular and reliable. Smiles, Frowns and Rewards gain their value by giving kids a plan they can count on. It really is about creating an “economy of behavior” that everyone agrees on. Consistency is the glue that holds everything together. If the rules keep changing the whole thing breaks down.
And that’s not just a job for one person, either. Turns out, good behavior is a team sport, which is why you can invite other Parents and Guardians to join your Smiles & Frowns board so they can sync up with the plan. Just tap on the little orange “+” and you can send them an invitation to join your board in seconds.
When everyone who helps cares for your kids are all on the same page, good things happen. No more loopholes. No more playing Mom against Dad or the babysitter against both. It’s about giving the kids one set of rules and one set of expectations to follow.
It helps you stick to routine Consistently
If one side of consistency is about capturing behavior whenever and wherever it happens, the flip side is also creating a reliable routine for addressing behavior that everyone can count on.
That’s why we put such an emphasis on the review section of the app. It’s meant to help you establish a consistent time and place for a consistent experience filled with praise and rewards, as well as creating a chance to work through some challenges. We’ve even built in a few reminders to help out here.
Again, Brad (the other Smiles & Frowns Dad) and I aren’t the psychologists in the room. But like most parents, we’ve learned the value of establishing routines with our kids. So the idea of a very personal part of plan that we parents can use as an anchor for the experience is a big one for us, and we aim to keep making it better.
And, remember, Consistency Just Needs to Be… Consistent
In the end, it’s all about establishing a flow that works best for your family… and then sticking to it. That might be giving your Smiles and Frowns right on the spot, every time. Or every night and morning. Maybe you do your reviews and hand out Rewards could be once a week, or once a month, or every third Tuesday. It just helps to be regular and reliable, so your kids know what to expect and what is expected.
If Smiles & Frowns was still just a big board on the wall, that might be a hard one to pull off. But now that it’s an app that can always ride around in your pocket – and your spouse’s pocket, and your babysitter’s pocket – Consistency is yours to create, anytime you like.
Good luck out there!
A Smiles & Frowns Dad
Next week, we’ll talk Consequence, and why it’s really not as bad as it sounds.
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