As a Sassy Mama to three girls, I know only too well there are (often!) times when it’s simply impossible to give equal attention to every child at the same time, without little noses getting a little out-of-joint if someone is perceived to be getting more “airtime”. But like most mums, it is what it is and I plod along, trying my best to spend equal quality time with the whole brood. Cue my recent meeting with Singapore-based Aussie Rachael Cox, mother and designer of the clever new iPhone app, Child of the Week.
The mother-of-four’s eureka moment first came some 10 years ago (before the existence of apps – ha!) when her two eldest children, Jemima (now 17) and Jacob (now 15) battled over who would get to recount their day’s events to her first. Thinking to herself that there had to be a better way, the former graphic designer came up with a system whereby each child got the chance to be “child of the week” and receive all the perks that went along with it (for example, they would get to sit up front in the car, were dropped off at school first, had one-on-one alone time with their parents, got to choose which movie to see… you get the drift!). Along with these perks, the Child of the Week was also allocated a series of pre-agreed chores they had to do, a godsend, especially in Asia where most households have help at home… this stroke of genius ensuring accountability as well as encouraging a sense of ownership and pride in the child.
Fast forward to mid-2013 and with two more children (Remy and Orlando now aged 11 and 9 respectively) and with the Child of the Week system now firmly in place, Rachael hit upon the idea of developing an app of the Cox household’s modus operandi — with Child of the Week launching on Apple’s iTunes store a few (intense) months later in September! Talk about being on a mission! Super easy to use, you can also initiate discussions with the app, for example “where should we go for dinner on Saturday night”, invites the whole family to have their say, but of course, the Child of the Week gets the final voting rights. And if they’re not happy with the decision? They can wait for their turn to be Child of the Week!
Shared rotational responsibilities, with no more whining or arguing over who gets to go first? Sounds almost like heaven to this Sassy Mama’s ears! Heading over to iTunes now…
Child of the Week