CINCINATTI - Parents often resort to nagging, lecturing, or even bribing their kids to clean up the house. App developer Chris Bergman says he remembers complaining about chores.
"I was constantly getting in trouble. There was a huge tension point in our home because of these chore things," Bergman said.
Bergman says he didn't want his kids to go through the same thing, so he and his friend Paul Armstrong came up with the idea for the app ChoreMonster. Bergman says the web and mobile apps make chores fun and interactive.
"You can get monsters or rewards if you do it," said Armstrong's son Elliott Armstrong.
The more kids do, the more rewards and games they can earn.
"Kids gain points which they turn in for real life rewards like an hour of Xbox, television show, a canoe trip. Really whatever the parent wants to give their child as a reward," Bergman explained.
The app is simple to use.
1) First get your daily routine started by setting up your household helper and assigning kids chores on ChoreMonster.
2) Second, kids log into ChoreMonster to check their assignment for the day.
"Our four-year-old, that's him, he knows that means to make your bed," Armstrong said.
3) Third, parents sign-in to see if their youngster finished their homework.
4) Finally, if it's mission accomplished, mom or dad adds rewards to the digital toy box.
"Our 4-year-old is just getting into it. I was downstairs last night and he got a monster. I heard him scream like getting all excited like 'Yeah!!' I'm like that's a pretty good reaction from something I did," Armstrong said with a laugh.
Many fans of the app say it's working.
One parent wrote to www.choremonster.com.
"Day one of using @ChoreMonster and the kids were pumped...woke up early to log on and asked for more chores when I tucked them in," the parent wrote.
ChoreMonster is just one of a whole list of web, iPad, and android applications that are making the old refrigerator graphs and gold stars so '2010.
I-Reward Chart is a three-time winner of MacWorld's Best Parenting App award. It encourages positive behaviors such as saying "please" and "thank you."
Chore Hero adds excitement to the mix by randomly delegating assignments. If your teen trash talks taking out the garbage, maybe tomorrow's draw will deal him the laundry assignment.
Subscriptions for chore cheerleaders range from no cost to about $50 a year. A small price to pay for a clean home.
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