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This podcast is about creating an environment in your home that focuses on positivity and encourages your children to be cooperative and helpful in the home. There are key ideas about children “needing” being a good thing and how to incentivize them with the “I’d Be Happy to” game to happily help when they are asked to do something. I know…it sounds impossible, but it really works!

In this podcast, I am being interviewed by American Mothers, Inc. American Mothers, Inc. is a fantastic organization. Its mission is “to support mothers, empowering them to positively impact their families and communities.” They want all mothers to discover and share their innate, inherent and natural abilities to bless their children and others.


Angela being interviewed by Tamara Anderson and Deanne Taylor of American Mothers, Inc.

Tamara: How many of you out there are looking at the summer with your kids coming home and wondering how in the world am I going to get a schedule going that will be effective. How would you like them when you ask them to do something to say, “I’d be happy to”? Oh my gosh! Does that sound like some magical Disneyland place where that would even happen?

Well, stay tuned ladies, because we have a guest coming on today who is going to teach us not only how to set up a schedule, but also teach you how you can start a game called the “I’d be happy to” game that will change your kids’ attitudes. Just like this.

Welcome to the American mother’s mom to mom podcast. A show that lifts encourages, supports and educates mothers to do their best in their awesome responsibility to raise, teach, and champion the rising generation. Join us as we talk to and answer questions from mothers nationwide about the challenges, heartbreaks, joys, and lessons learned, from one mother to another.

Our guest today is a family life educator, speaker, trainer, and podcaster. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in marriage, family, and human development, as well as being a member of the national parent education network. She is the founder of Kudos for Families, a nonprofit program that provides online resources and ready-made materials that teach parents how to transform themselves, their homes and their families using principal based parenting.

As a mother of four adopted children, including several with multiple special needs, she has spoken and trained others extensively on adoption, substance abuse prevention, parenting and marriage enrichment.  She has presented for national and local organizations, as well as the LDS adoption council and has taught marriage and parenting courses at the university level. We are pleased to present Angela Meyers.

Angela, thank you for joining us on the American Mother’s Mom to Mom podcast today.

Angela: Thank you for having me. I’m super excited to be here. This is amazing. Oh, I love the organization.

Tamara: We are just tickled to have you. And I thought we would break the ice today with the mothering moment.

Sometimes those moments are fun and sometimes they’re, oh, slap ourselves on the forehead and go, well, it’s a mom moment. You know what I mean? Mm-hmm . And so why don’t you tell us about a mothering moment that you can probably look back on with humor at this point?

Angela: Okay. Well, there are so many. First of all, I do a lot of head hitting , but one that comes to mind..really, there are so many, and this is so not the worst, but I remember when my kids were younger and the older kids were off to school and I remember thinking, oh, I have some over ripe bananas. Nathanael loves banana bread. I think I’ll make him some. And then, when he comes home, he’ll walk in the door, smell the banana bread and know how much I was thinking about him.

So I’m making the banana bread thinking “I’m kind of, you know, not the perfect mom, but I’m being a tad awesome right now.” And then I realized that I was missing his recorder concert at the school while I was making the banana bread! And at that point it was too late. I mean, I couldn’t do anything about it. Who has a concert in the middle of the day, the school day? So he came home and of course he was like crying. “Mom, why weren’t you at my concert?”  I’m like, ah, “I’m so sorry. I forgot you.” Right?  “I forgot you, but…” I said, “Look! I’ve got this delicious banana bread! I was thinking of you when I totally forgot you.”

So I did a lot of things like that. I think as a mom, you’re just busy thinking and planning and working, doing everything that you can. It gets a little overwhelming. And so sometimes when we think we’re a tad bit awesome. those are the moments when we’re kind of forgetting what we need to remember.

Tamara: Oh, you are not the only one I think we, goodness, we call that just a typical mom moment where our brains are going a million miles a minute, and it’s hard to remember everything. Angela, you have so many amazing tips of wisdom that I’m so excited for you to come on the show today. I know that as parents approach summer, sometimes we’re a little, um, intimidated by our kids being home for the summer. And, oh my goodness. How am I gonna set up a structured system? Or maybe I just don’t even care. And I don’t wanna set up a structured system, even though I know my kids need it during the summer so I thought it would be great, if you could talk us through some of the things that we need to do. To be successful with our children and maintaining some sort of schedule during the summer.

Angela: Sure. I think that’s something that all moms deal with. Some of us are like, “Yes! It’s summertime! I don’t have to get up early in the morning, but then those same parents…I mean, if you’re like me. When school’s gonna start up again, I’m like, “Yes! Back to the routines and the schedules!”  So I think, yeah, it’s a different season.

The kids are gonna be home a lot of times we think, well, you know, let’s just kind of play it by ear, have an easygoing summer, but kids, people, everyone, we do so much better when we have things scheduled a little bit where there’s freedom to change and adapt, but where there’s a system where we know what’s gonna happen when, and who’s responsible for what?

So I think kids do better with that. And also. When we’re just sitting around doing nothing, we don’t feel a sense of purpose, a sense of satisfaction. And I think kids are the same way. If they’re just lazing around all summer long, they’re gonna get bored. There’s gonna be whining. There will be more contention in the home.

It just makes sense to set something up as a mom ahead of time. So that you’ve got a routine and maybe you do everything that’s routine by noon or 11 and after that you go play. But at least if you have something set up, you’ve got some sort of structure that will be helpful. And I’ve realized that our kids really need that structure. They need the responsibility, they need to work. They need to learn to cooperate. And summertime is a great time for that.

Tamara: So, what would be the first step then, to setting up a system for the summertime?

Angela: Okay. What I would do, if it were me, is, I would make sure that my kids had some needs, some reason, some motivation to want to work and to want to help out at home.

I feel like nowadays we give our kids so many things. We give them every gizmo, every gadget, they have a huge pantry and refrigerator full of everything they could ever want to eat. We make sure they’re at whatever extracurricular activities they have. So they’re given so much, they don’t need anything. And what that means is if there’s no need, there’s no motivation.

So the first thing I would do is look at the family. I would say, what am I just giving my kids? Do they just get unending time on their game systems? Do they just get to sit around all day and do whatever they want, whenever they want? It’s important to say, hey, there are things that we’re giving them that we should probably hold back and say, “That’s something that maybe you could.” And then they’re gonna feel better about themselves. So they need to need in order to be motivated to do something. So if your kids aren’t motivated to help out around the house, there’s no need and there’s probably no reward or reason to do it.

Deanne: So that is a really good thing. When we were raising our children  there weren’t so many gizmos but, there was always the perfect new toy  and they needed to negotiate and show us why they needed it. What they would do to earn it.  And they valued it when they finally were able to get it,. We would it sometimes meet tem halfway, depending on what it was. Okay. You earn this half, we’ll pull up the other half and make it work, but they had a purpose and they took better care of that thing that they worked for.

Angela: I love that because it’s so true. Once they earn it, if they’ve worked towards it, if it wasn’t just handed to them on a silver platter, it means so much more. They appreciate it. They’re not gonna leave the mitt out in the rain because they paid for part of it. And they’re gonna know that they’re not just gonna get another one. They had to earn that and work for it. So, yeah. Super important.

Tamra: So how would that conversation go then? How do you start that conversation with your kids so you can identify, “What are your goals? What do you want?”  What does that sound like?

Okay. The worst thing you can do is say, “Hey, you guys, we’ve been giving you everything. Now we’re taking it all away and you’re gonna have to earn it.” What I would do instead is, beforehand, as a parent, think about the things they’re getting and just say something like, “Hey, you know how you guys want more game time, or you want to go to Disneyland or you want to have a pizza party with your friends? You’re gonna get to do those things now because we’re setting up a system where you can earn those things. Isn’t that exciting?” You’re going to spin it so that they’re thinking, “Wow, I’m gonna get to do all these great things.” They’re not realizing that probably if they begged you enough before you would’ve given it to them, they’re just gonna think about, “Wow, I would love to stay overnight at grandma grandpa’s house”, or “I’d love a date with mom and dad” or something like that.

I would sit down at the beginning of the summer and say, “Hey guys, summer’s here. We’re gonna have a blast this summer. So we’re gonna make sure we do all of the stuff we have to do first thing in the morning” or one day a week, or whatever you decide and just set it up in a real positive, happy way. “You’re gonna get rewarded for all these. It’s gonna be so great. You’re going to love it.” I would think of rewards. I would say, “What do you wanna do this summer? What do you think would be fun? What do you want to earn? Would you like to earn a trip to the movies? Does that sound good to you?” And then they’ll give you some ideas and with that you can come up with a list and that type of thing. But yeah, I present it as a game. This is fun. This is gonna be amazing.

Deanne: So that sounds like a good way to motivate that when they have a reward,, something they can look forward. But not every child is motivated by the same thing.

Angela: Exactly. Yes. I like to call those hot buttons. So you pick things that your kids are gonna love. If a hot button for your child is those, a certain treat every day. And they get that every single day, they’re gonna get tired of it so they can get satiated. But the other thing is one child might be motivated by a tape measure from the dollar store. Another child might be motivated by a sucker or some child might be motivated by you saying, “Hey, I’m gonna  sit with you on the couch and we’re gonna read stories”. Another child would be like, “I just wanna be with my friends”.  So, you’ve gotta pick the things that are motivating to your kids. So true, Deanne. Love that.

Tamara: Well, and you’re right. Every kid is motivated differently. And as you said, those things, I was going through my head. I’m like, “Okay, that child was motivated by that”, “That child was motivated by that”. It’s interesting how they are, even in the same family, they’re motivated by different things.

I can totally tell you exactly what motivates each of my children. So, you set this up as a game and you figure out what they want, right? And then you have to figure out what they need to do to earn that. Is it points? What is the strategy there, Angela.

Angela: So generally, if I can mention really quickly, whatever you reward in your home is going to increase and whatever you ignore will decrease.  So, if you want something to grow, you feed. If you want something to die, you starve it. A lot of times in our homes, we have our children and we’re thinking, “Why are they whining and complaining all the time and not helpful?” It’s because that kind of behavior pays off in the home. If you ask a child to do something and you know you’re gonna get so much whining and so much back talk, you’re just gonna be like, “Okay, whatever. It’s not worth it. I’ll do it myself.”

That whining behavior is paying off because you’re rewarding it. The child doesn’t have to do the chore. So we have to think about rewards and consequences. And you’re gonna wanna set those up with your kids. What’s going to work? What are the rewards?

I think there are a lot of different ways you can reward your kids.  And, as a mom, you’re gonna know intuitively you’re gonna know what rewards your kids, what’s gonna work. So just think about your family. Think about your kids and what will work for them. I like to use a lot of different reward systems.

The first thing I do is I have something called Kudo Kash, which is basically fake money that I use in my system. But if you don’t have that, you can get poker chips, you can cut out or paper. I actually have tokens that you can get  free online, just a little smiley face on a card that you cut up. And those can be tokens that they earn. So the kids are actually earning something they can hold in their hands. And then later that turns into something else. So I would say, find something that you can use, that you can actually hand your kids when you want them to be rewarded for something. Like maybe they did all of their personal responsibilities for the morning, and that means they get three of the little cards and then once they have earned up enough things, they can go to the store and buy something.

Or what I love instead of just buying things is, I love privileges. So I actually encourage parents to get a list. You can post it on the refrigerator and it’s called “The Privileges List”. So you make a list of everything that would motivate your kids and you let them help you come up with a list of things. “Oh, mom, I would love to go skating with my friends” or “I wanna go buy a happy meal”, “I wanna read books”. You help them come up with a list of things that they are just going to do anything for. And then right next to there, in another column, you list how many tokens it takes or whatever you’re using, how many poker chips, how many cards, how many tokens it takes to get that.

So they will be collecting those tokens. And they know that if you ask them to go do something and they’re doing it or they got their chores done, you’re just gonna hand them a token. You’re gonna be the rewarding mama! Every time they do something great, you’re gonna just reward the heck out of them.

If you walk by a room and your kids are getting along, you’re gonna say, “Oh my gosh! You’re playing so nicely together! Here’s a couple of tokens or chips or kudo cash, (whatever it is), “Go stick it in your pocket, put it in your container, where you store them.” And then they’re gonna be realizing, “Hey! Even when my mom hasn’t told me to do something and it’s not a chore, when I was serving or I was kind, or I split the cookie in half with my sibling, I got rewarded.” All of a sudden the behavior we want to see is being rewarded. So that behavior increases. And you’re gonna see that because you’re rewarding. the positive, the negative behavior will decrease. So it works pretty well. It’s pretty motivating to kids, if you can figure out what they want.

Tamara: I have a question. So, we reward the positive behavior and, forgive me for asking this point blank. But do you take away for negative behavior or once they’ve earned it, they’ve earned it. How does that work?

Angela: Okay. That depends on you and your home. I think that a lot of us are so focused on the negative. We need to focus on the positive as parents. So if your kid comes home from school and it’s A, A, A, D, B, A ,A, what do you focus on? You’re not focusing on the A’s you’re focusing on the D immediately. So this is to help parents start focusing on the positive. It’s not to say that the negative doesn’t need to be dealt with because it does, but what’s happening is we unknowingly are rewarding the negative. All the time as parents. If they nag us enough, we give them what they want.

Have you ever been on the phone and you’re talking with someone? Your kids always know that that’s the time to interrupt and bother you. Right? And they’re just like pester, pester, pester, pester, and all of a sudden you’re like, “Okay, what did you want?”  A cookie? Okay. Here’s a cookie. You just like shove in cookies in their mouth just to get ’em to stop, but you’ve rewarded the negative. So if we first stop rewarding the negative, it’s huge. And then of course you have to pay attention to the negative, if you know, it’s not working, but you do pay attention to the negative.

I would say that when you’re presenting this to your kids at the beginning of the summer as a game and a fun thing they’re gonna do, you’re only talking about the rewards. You’re only talking about what they’re gonna get. And then if they just go through the day without doing the chore they were assigned, they lost out on the tokens.  That’s a discipline in and of itself. So by focusing on the positive, a lot of the negative will just disappear. Now we all know our kids have bad days and we all know we have to address those. So in a system, you’re gonna have to think about those things, but that’s important to do ahead of time. If you want to say, “If your chores are not done by noon…” or “If your homework (if its the school year), If your homework’s not done by a certain time, you will not have the privilege of being on your game system for the hour.”

“But I like to spin it as “When it’s done, you get to use your tokens to buy some game system time”. The negative definitely has to be addressed, but you’re gonna find a lot of the negative just goes away when you’re focusing so strongly on the positive, because when they don’t get that reward, that is a negative consequence also.

Deanne: I really like that. One time we had Taylor dollars. The children, if they wanted more, besides doing their own, I had a jar of extra credit things. So if they wanted to wipe the baseboards in the family room or wash a window or something, they would pull it out of the, the jar and then they could do the chore and they would be able to get additional Taylor dollars.

Yes. I love Taylor dollars. I love that so much so everybody can have their own dollars, Taylor dollars, Jones dollars, whatever they are. That is great. And the thing is, if your kids are motivated for the things on the privileges list or for something they want to buy at the store, They’re going be looking for those extra jobs, right, Deanne? They’re motivated.

Deanne: That’s right! They were.

Angela: They’re like, where’s the jar. Let me take the easiest one, but gimme the jar.

Deanne: That actually was the stipulation. It was potluck. Yeah. That’s even better. They’d always pick easiest one. They’d always pick the easiest one. right?

Yeah!, Oh, I love that. Whichever one you pick you get, I love the idea of putting them in a jar, like even on a Popsicle stick or a piece of paper, whatever it is, I love the rule. You get what you grab. That’s great. That’s so smart. And see it, it works. Kids will be asking you for more work. If the need is there, they will be motivated. They’ll realize, “Hey, this is how the system works at our house”.

And these are beautiful principles that are teaching your kids how to adult. You’re gonna have kids who grow up, they know how to work, they know how to earn. They feel a sense of satisfaction when they work.

Deanne: I really like something else you said, Angela. Its about their learning to work. And our family said “Dad goes to work every day. If he doesn’t go to work, he doesn’t get paid.  If you don’t do your expectations, you don’t get paid. It’s just cause and effect. It’s what life is. Nothing comes to you for.

Angela: Right. I love that too. And it’s true. It’s cause and effect, you reap what you sow and you get what you give. And I think it’s important for kids to know that everybody in the home is contributing to the family and dad’s making a huge contribution or mom, all this time. “Hey, other people gotta step up and help out.” So good.

Tamara: This is so, so helpful. It really, really is. We’re gonna take a quick break and when we get back, we’ll have a little bit deeper discussion on how we can implement the “I’d be happy to” system that Angela’s been talking about. So stay tuned.

Deanne: American mothers has amazing programs to educate, support, and honor moms.

Visit our website@wwwdotamericanmothers.org. If you have a child, a grandchild in the fifth grade or equivalent, you might be interested in checking out the fifth grade essay contest that starts in August. Or maybe you’d like to learn more about the mothers of the year and what they have to say. I’m sure you’ll find something that will interest you!

Tamra: Angela, we are back and I have a question for you because of some of the experiences I’ve had mothering. That sometimes children test boundaries as far as, “Okay, well mom said that I could only earn my video game time if I do my daily chores by a certain time and I don’t feel like doing it. I’m gonna see if I whine and complain enough if she’ll let me have my video game time anyway.”

Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything, but, you know, what, what do you do in a situation like that? Where a kid is testing the limits?

Angela: That is such a good question because we’ve all been there and we can all totally relate to that. As moms, we have really great intentions and then things fall by the wayside.  So I think it’s super critical as parents that when we say something, . That we mean it, that we follow through with it and not lie to our kids. Becaus,e in essence, if we don’t do what we said or don’t allow the system to be like we had set it up to be, and like we told the kids, it would be, we’re basically lying to our kids and they learn, they can’t trust us.

So once it’s set up, once the expectations are clear, once the family knows, this is how the summer’s gonna roll, then it has to be that way, for sure. You cannot change. So when you have a kid that’s coming to you and they’re like, “Oh my gosh, I don’t wanna do my chores today!” Or “I’ve got a blister on my finger, I can’t do anything today.” And then they need to know that that absolutely means they don’t get to play on the game system or they don’t get to go out with a friend because the rule has been set up. The expectation is there and we can’t cave as parents. We can’t give in. Once you give in, once, it’s all over, kind of.

Basically, there’s a behaviorism principle that says every time you don’t follow through, you’re doing something called “intermittent reinforcement”. And what that is, is if you reinforce or you do what you say sometimes, but not all the time, the poor behavior becomes worse. So it’s super critical that you follow through every time. Once you don’t, your kids realize you don’t mean what you say and that they can pretty much get away with it. If they scream and whine or complain long enough or say complain they have a headache and you give in, you’ve lost all credibility. So that’s huge. Always follow through.

If you need to change it at the next family council, you say, “Hey, this hasn’t been working, let’s do it differently”. Then you change the rule, but it needs to be done ahead of time. Not in the moment. And the beautiful thing is once you set up the system, you’re let you can just let the system take the brunt. “Oh, I’m so sorry that you decided not to do your chores and your friend is here to take you somewhere. But remember the rule is (or the system says or whatever)! You’ve got the system to blame. You don’t need to be the drama queen parent because you’ve set it up ahead of time. So yeah. Always follow through, be consistent. Huge. One of the most important things in parenting.

Tamara: Yeah. Whew. Well, all right guys, we need to grow stiff backbones.

Angela: Don’t we though.

Deanne: Yeah! Angela, you said something about family counsel and I’m sure that’s the meeting you talked about when you gather the children together and you outlined the intent of the program. And then they can give input, “This is what I would like my reward. So, I like the term family council. It is not a slug fest. It’s a discussion time. Everything is open on the table. No judgment. Let’s talk about mm-hmm and I like if it’s not working. Bring it back and we’ll talk about it again. I, I like that idea.

Angela: Yeah. And then kids know they have a voice.  And that parents mean what they say. It gets changed at family council. I used to have a list up on my refrigerator, where they could put all their complaints. “He took my stuff”, “I don’t like this”, and then that list was the family council list. It would be brought to the family meeting once a week. And that’s a whole other topic talking about family councils, how important they are, how you’re not the dictator it’s working together. You still are the parent and authority. But I would find that a lot of those things on the list that they were complaining about, by the time family council came around, they’d resolved it, but it gave them an outlet, a place to write something down, that “my thoughts, my concerns are gonna be heard at the appropriate time”.

Tamara: I love that.

Deanne: That’s valuable.

Tamara: Yeah, it is. I’ll have to try that too. My goodness. I’m just gonna leave this discussion with a list of things that I need him to improve upon and try.

So, okay, Angela, one quick question. Before we go is, you mentioned your “I’d be happy to” list. Tell me what is the great secret to getting your kids to say, you know, if, if we’re asking them something, “Hey, can you do X, Y, and Z?” And they respond. “I’d be happy to!”  I would love to know that secret. Will you please, please, please, tell me how to make that possible?

Angela: And it’s so easy and it really does work! It’s like magic. So we call it the “I’d be happy to!” game. It’s part of our Kudos for Kids system, but I’ve pulled just the, “I’d be happy to!” game out as a freebie because I think you can change your kids’ attitude in a day or two. Just by using, “I’d be happy to!” And it works and it changes the whole feeling in your home.

So basically, the I’d be happy to gain is where you tell your kids (again, you set it up in a real positive way), “Hey guys, gather around the table. I’ve got to tell you about something super exciting. I heard about that we’re gonna do. It’s called the, “I’d be happy to!” game. Now you’ve done the background work and set everything up ahead of time. But when you’re talking to your kids, you’re like “Every time you say ‘I’d be happy to’ and do what I ask with a smile right away, you’re going to get an ‘I’d be happy to token’”. And they just love it because they realize that every time they say “I’d be happy to!”, they’re getting rewarded. All of a sudden it’s worth something to say, “I’d be happy to”.

So, I do have, on our website, the “I’d be happy to” game freebie where you get downloads. And so it involves a lot of different things. So these are the tokens. You just get these, you can print them off, laminate them, cut them up. You just get however many you want for the number of kids in your home.And every time they say “I’d be happy to” and it with a smile, you’re gonna reward them.

So in the past where you’ve had like whining, complaining, I remember like asking my kids to get the groceries from the car, or can you go do such and such? And it’d be like, “Oh my gosh, no, I can’t, I don’t want to”. Or they, sometimes they wouldn’t say they weren’t gonna do it, but they would just drag their feet or not do it. As soon as I started playing, I’d be happy to game. They were like, “Yeah, mom, I’d be happy to help you”. And they’d run and do it with a smile because they got these tokens.

And this kind of goes back to what we were talking about earlier where we have things that these tokens can buy. So these tokens can turn into real money at the store. Or I like having a family store where I know somebody needs socks or shoes or something. And I have things in my family store that they can purchase with these tokens. But also I like having a treasure box or a treat bucket. So we have labels for a treat bucket and for treasure box and they can use these tokens to get things from the treat bucket and the treasure box.

In the treasure box, I used to put things from the dollar store. It can be toys, anything that you can think of. I would gather everything, an old kid’s meal toy that the older kid didn’t want that the younger kid might wanna buy, I would throw that in here. Then the treat bucket is just a bucket with the label on it. And you put things in there they’re gonna wanna eat, or there’s special treats gum, those crackers with peanut butter that you get in the little packages.

Anything you can think of that’s a treat. So your kids are gonna learn. You’re gonna tell them, “Every time I ask you to do something and you say, ‘I’d be happy to’ and do it with a smile, right away, you’re getting a token. And then over here in a cup, each kid’s gonna have his tokens. So go put it in your cup. You just got another token!”

And again, with this, we have the same privileges list that I talked about before. Write down everything they can buy. Let them help you come up with things they really want. And as we mentioned before, the pizza party, date with mom and dad, reading some stories…Your kids are gonna know. I have a friend, one of the biggest things that their kids love on their privileges list is they get to sleep on the floor in mom or dad’s room.

Tamara: Really?

Angela: She’s like, they’ll do anything for that. They like work all day to get that. And she said, “I don’t think we’ll ever sleep alone in our room again.” I’m like, you can actually say, on a Friday night. You can add that to sleep at mama’s dad on Friday night or something. And so when they have stuff on here that they really, really want that they’re motivated for, they are gonna be just like that. doing “I’d be happy to”. I was talking to my 21 year old the other day and he said, I remember that I’d be happy to game when Nathanael and Christopher didn’t want to do so. I would say, “I’d be happy to”, do it with a smile and get the tokens. We actually use the Kudo Kash. He said, “I got so rich on that game”.

And it’s okay if you say, if you’re like, “Oh my gosh! I’m running out of tokens! Now I have to go print some more. You guys are earning so many, I’d be happy to tokens!”. And you’re just gonna have a blast with this. It just takes a few hours of explaining. And once they try it, they’re gonna be like, oh wait, I need 10 tokens to stay overnight at grandma and grandpa’s and I just said, “I’d be happy to” how many times”? Okay. They’re just gonna be jumping up. What can I do for you, mom?”, waiting for you to say something and then as adults, you can use it too. When your kids ask you for something, you can say, “I’d be happy to”, and just have a blast because they will love it.

And it will change the attitudes like that. It literally changes attitudes that fast, because what you’re doing is rewarding. The behavior you want to see instead of rewarding, whiny, stinky behavior, you’re rewarding, positive, happy cooperative behavior. So it works. So if you’re interested, we have the free download@kudosforfamilies.com. Just go print them off. Start now because, why wait? It’s huge to have kids with good attitudes.

Tamara: My kids are older and I’m like, I think I might implement this anyway.

Angela: I mean, Hey, I’d like to put myself on the program, give myself a list of privileges manicure, which I never get. Just read a book, like alone time with no interruptions for 30 minutes.

Deanne: I think this could apply too for grandchildren.

Angela: Yes!

Deanne: Especially if they live close by. Many grandmothers have a week at grandma’s house. Or something like that. A grandma’s camp. When you have the grandchildren there for an extended period of time, that would just elevate the joy of being there. It sounds like fun. Now. I wished I had little kids.

Well, maybe not…

Angela: It works. And it works with grandkids. I mean, you can put your coworkers on the system. I don’t know. It works with anyone. Who doesn’t want to  have somebody say, “I’d be happy to” when they’re asked to do something. And if, as a parent, if you use it, you’re gonna feel good.

I should mention something else…And that is sometimes parents will say, I don’t think I should have to reward my kids for everything. I just want them to be good because they should be good. I want it to be internal. What happens is you’re starting off by rewarding them extrinsically. They’re not doing it because they get the good feeling inside, but you’re giving them the token or the cash or whatever it is you’re giving them. What happens is, when you’re pairing that behavior with an external reward, it becomes paired with the internal feeling that they get. So it becomes internalized.

So you’re gonna be raising kids who are excited to cooperate and help because they’ve learned that that’s rewarding externally. And then it’s paired and then, all of a sudden, it’s rewarding them internally. And, they might be at school and the teacher asks ’em to do something, knowing there’s gonna be no smiley face tokens. They’re gonna say “I’d be happy to” and do it with a smile because it carries over.  Because it feels good.

Tamara: So it it’s introducing the behavior, giving them the rewards, but because they find such joy in it, it just naturally becomes a good. I love that Angela, this has been so, so very helpful and I am so thankful.

Would you mind telling us the website one more time so that we can know where to find you because they can contact you from the website as well? Correct?

Angela: Absolutely. There’s a contact form in there. So the website is kudosforfamilies.com. It’s a nonprofit organization. We just want to put as many resources on there as we can to help parents. So kudosforfamilies.com. We also are starting up a Facebook group called Kudos for Families. So if you just go to Facebook, look up kudosforfamilies. It’s a group. It’s a free private group. We want parents to come on there and support each other. Say, “Hey, I tried the ‘I’d be happy to’ game!” or “Gosh, I can’t get my kid to stop lying What do you do?” So there’s support there and you can also go to the website to get the freebie to download so you can try the, “I’d be happy to” game now. You’ve got a printer at home? You can print it off and do it today.

Tamara: Awesome. Let’s get on that like yesterday.

Thank you so much, Angela. This has been such a joy to have you on the podcast today. We really appreciate you being here and sharing your wisdom and your experience, not only with your family, but what you’ve learned through your professional career. So thank you for being here today.

Angela: Sure. I’ve been so happy to be here. It’s been wonderful chatting with the two of you, so much. We need mama times when we talk and get together like this. So, so great. Thank you!

Deanne: To all you wonderful moms out there, we’re looking for topics that will be of interest to our listeners. If you have a question or a topic you would like to know more about, please reach out to us on social media or send it to our email@podcastatamericanmothers.org, we look forward to hearing from you.

Tamara: Before we go, we want to let you know what we have to look forward to on the American mother’s Mom to Mom podcast. Next week, we are going to be talking about home safety because it’s national home safety month and home safety is such a critical component of our having a happy home. So we will be having battalion chief and fire Marshall, Mr. Larson, come on and talk to us about what we can do to make our homes happier and safer places to live. Stay tuned for that.

Deanne: I appreciate what Angela told us about finding what motivates our kids, the 2021 national mother of the year, Dr. Mautra Staley Jones, shared this thought:  “Prior to becoming a mom, I heard stories of how different each child would be and I didn’t believe this notion from seasoned mothers who shared all about their children. As a proud mother of three, they are indeed amazingly unique. Every single day is different. And as a result, a great deal of adaptation, flexibility, understanding patience, and a small degree of humor is necessary to thrive.

Motherhood is a beautiful journey that is ever changing, a you navigate the various stages of your children’s lives. It is wonderful to nurture to them as they explore and create their own paths.

Tamera, after our discussion today with Angela, I hope that our listeners will be able to encourage each child in the best way they can. Sometimes it’s hard figuring it out, but the outcome is so rewarding. We invite all of you to share your thoughts and successes with us on social media or email us @podcastamericanmothers.org.

Tamara: Thanks so much for listening to today’s show. If you like what you’ve heard, subscribe. So you can get your weekly dose of mom to mom encouragement. We understand that being a mother can be overwhelming, but we hope that you found something useful you can apply to your own life. We invite you to share this episode with a friend who might also enjoy the message.

The mission of American mothers is to support mothers, empowering them to positively impact their families and communities. We want each one of you to discover and share your innate, inherent and natural abilities to bless your children and others.

Deanne: The primary purpose of this podcast is to educate and inform.  The views information or opinions expressed during the American mother’s mom from mom podcast are solely those of the individuals involved and do not necessarily represent those of American mothers incorporated its members or employees. AMI is not responsible for, nor does it verify, the accuracy of the information contained in the podcast, nor does a series constitute any professional advice or services.

We look forward to visiting with you one mom to another next week. Until then, just do your best at mothering. And remember you’re not alone. You’ve got an army of mothers all around you, cheering you on.

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