New Year, New Tool to Help Hectic Parents Organize Home, Teach Kids Value of Hard Work

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Digibeanz.com Brings Busy Parents Virtual Allowance and Household Chore Reward System

"By encouraging kids to lighten the parents' workload around the home and giving parents a tool to teach self motivation and encourage negotiation, Digibeanz is helping kids develop life skills while easing the tension of time-starved families."

This time of year is just tough for parents. The holidays are over, spring is a long way out and it’s difficult for any working mom or dad to keep things straight at home and kids motivated in school. But DigiBeanz.com, a new online community for parents and kids could certainly help.

DigiBeanz.com is a website where parents and their kids can agree on goals for household chores and school grades. Parents receive an automatic weekly email when chores are completed, schoolwork assignments done or grades achieved and are prompted to authorize rewards for their children. The system is stunningly simple: each chore or grade is given a DigiBeanz value and each DigiBean is worth ten cents. Kids earn DigiBeanz in their account by completing each task. When enough points have been earned, a child can then choose a reward such as a book, video game or toy from the site’s integrated Amazon.com shopping cart, which is automatically shipped to the home with the parents’ approval.

“In our previous generations parents had a lot more time to parent,” says Ben Buckwold, co founder DigiBeanz.com. “But now the endless cycle of homework, extra credit projects and after school classes make it almost impossible for working or busy parents to devote the kind of time they’d like to teaching their kids about the value of hard work. We designed DigiBeanz as a solution.”

The site is designed not only to enable parents to reward their children for jobs done around the house or for doing well in school, it’s also a place where kids can experience and build life skills, suggesting chores to their parents and negotiating the number of points for each in a special section of the DigiBeanz site called Contracts. Here, the child can negotiate extra projects with their parent or choose from templates of potential projects to suggest which can be customized and auto-emailed to the parent. In this way children are encouraged to follow through on assigned family responsibilities, but also to seek out new chores and set their own reward goals.

Simon Trepel, MD FRCPC, a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and Assistant Professor of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Manitoba Medical School, believes in the value of rewards-based learning. “By encouraging kids to lighten the parents’ workload around the home and giving parents a tool to teach self motivation and encourage negotiation, DigiBeanz is helping kids develop life skills while easing the tension of time-starved families. It’s a win-win situation for both kids and parents.”

The site is not all about monetary gain and consumer goods, says Buckwold. Features such as the DigiBeanz Book Club enable children to create virtual book shelves containing books they have read, are reading or would like to read and share those with friends in their neighborhood or at school. The Healthy Choice Awards, a similar feature, is a useful tool for parents to award virtual “medals” to their children in return for them making smart choices each day: eating vegetables instead of chips, exercising instead of playing video games and a wide variety of other choices.

“As much as this is a tool to help children and parents communicate better, it is also about having fun in an environment that teaches children to explore, negotiate and develop life skills and make smart choices, while allowing parents ultimate control behind the curtain.”

EDITORS/BLOGGERS: For more information on DigiBeanz or a test account visit http://www.DigiBeanz.com. To speak to Dr. Simon Trepel, please contact Laura Sandall at 612-240-9706 or laura(at)sandallmarketing(dot)com.

About DigiBeanz (http://www.DigiBeanz.com)
DigiBeanz is a Winnipeg, Canada based web development company. Founded by Ben Buckwold and partner Jon Forst, http://www.DigiBeanz.com is a new kind of online tool for busy parents to teach their children self-motivation and other useful life skills. Powered by Amazon.com’s affiliate program, DigiBeanz allows children to work toward and purchase their own rewards in return for completed chores using DigiBeanz credits in a controlled, safe and secure online environment.

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Laura Sandall
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