We had the proper chores for the right ages, and the chart was great, but we as parents failed miserably at checking off the calendar each night.
With our busy lives, I thought I had created something simple enough that it wouldn’t take much time.
The problem, I think, was that it was too simple and placed the entire burden on the parents to hold the children accountable.
Obviously, we aren’t the only ones with this problem! In our own Facebook group and in several others, we saw moms asking for advice on how to keep kids accountable for their chores, how much to pay, etc.
I saw several women recommend Family Do Dots, and I was intrigued. I was initially turned off by the high price, but there were several things about it that I really liked. I finally broke down and showed Phillip, who surprised me by loving the idea and wanting to get it! (And this man never likes to spend money – he definitely lives a frugal lifestyle.)
There aren’t very many reviews out there for the Family Do Dots chore system, so I told myself that if we purchased it, I would write an honest review about it for others who were trying to make the same decision. (So no, this is most definitely not a sponsored post!)
Well, we love it! There are some things we like, some things we changed to fit our family, and some things I’m not a fan of. So I’ll be going over those things in this post.
How Does Family Do Dots Work?
I’m not going to go into tons of detail about exactly how the Family Do Dots system works in this review, becuase the methodology is really detailed. Plus, it’s part of their trademark and what you pay for, so I would feel dishonest giving that away, if that makes sense.
Family Do Dots is set up on a large magnetic board. This board is shown in a video on their public home page, so I don’t feel uncomfortable sharing a picture of ours and explaining it a little bit about what is on it.
The top half of the board is Level 1. Every single day, every family member begins at Level 1, which all of the magnets turned upside down (so you only see the black side).
As each person does their responsibilities throughout the day, they get to turn over the magnet to their colored side (each person has their own color). Once all of Level 1 is turned over, you get to move your little person down to show you are on Level 2.
Once you are on Level 2, you get to have privileges. You can earn tickets for doing extra things (which the parents approve, like “anyone who finishes their dinner before the timer gets a ticket). You do not earn tickets for anything you do in Level 1.
Also, in Level 2, you can finally play, read a fun book, go outside, get the allotted screen time, etc.
At the end of each day, you give the kid their tickets they earned. Then once a week at a specified time, you open the Family Store and the kids can use their tickets to purchase things. So if you’re at the store and your kid wants something, you can get it then and then have them buy it from the store with tickets later.
The really awesome thing about this is that you, the parent, are no longer the bad guy! The kids are excited to try to get to Level 2, so they keep track of where they’re at all on their own! Then if they ask if they can play a video game, you can just say that yes, they can when they get to Level 2.
Everyone knows what’s expected of them.
Family Do Dots Review: What We Love
We really love the two different levels system. I went over it briefly, but there is so much to it. The best part, for us, is how it takes the responsibility and puts it on the child, as opposed to the adult having to nag constantly or be the bad guy for saying “no” because chores aren’t done.
Another part we love is how easy it is to customize to your family’s needs, but it’s also very thorough. We customized more than I think the creators intended, but we needed to make it work for us.
Probably our children’s favorite part of the system is being able to earn tickets and purchase things in the family store. We assigned each ticket to have a monetary value of $0.25. This makes it simple for them to turn in tickets to us to convert to cash for tithing, as well as how to price the items in the store (a $10 item is 40 tickets, for example.)
Lastly, I love how everything resets itself at the end of each day. It’s a great time to talk about repentance, service, a good attitude, and trying again.
Family Do Dots Review: What We Changed
We already had a system set up for Family Home Evening, so the line for Family Night didn’t really apply to us. Instead, we decided to use that line for Family Pick Up time at the end of the day.
Because we homeschool, we are home all day long. We do school in the mornings, then the afternoons is for activities and free play. The Family Do Dots system is designed more for public school where the children are gone all day and therefore have very little time. Because of this, we separated toy pickup from the responsibilities section.
I also didn’t love taking pictures of the kids since ours are so young (and I also hate getting my picture taken). So we chose fun animal magnets for each person instead.
It was a little difficult for our kids to remember whose responsibilities are whose, so I used those jobs magnets and put them on a whiteboard on the fridge. We can rearrange every day or week.
Family Do Dots Review: What We Don’t Love
First, I was so disappointed by the Family Do Dots Member Center on their website. There is no forum anymore (although I emailed to ask and they said they would be starting a Facebook group soon and redesigning the website). That hasn’t happened yet, but I will update this review if/when it does.
The videos in the Family Do Dots Member Center had helpful information, but they were a bit long-winded and somewhat unprofessional.
I also wish they would have sent enough magnets for all of the white and colored stickers they sent you. The size of the stickers is slightly larger than any I could find on Amazon, so I had to manually trim them down.
Even though there are things that we didn’t like or had to change, overall we definitely think the Family Do Dots system is worth every penny!
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