If you’ve got young children, there’s a good chance you’ve worked out a system to convince them to behave themselves and do their chores. In the old days, they called this an allowance. But many families have moved on to systems that are a bit more complex, like progress charts they hang on their refrigerator. That’s where iRewardChart comes in. The new startup makes an iPhone app that looks to help parents keep track of the childrens’ good behavior, and reward them appropriately.
The startup, which is a a recent graduate of the Adeo Ressi’s Founder Institute, launched an iPhone application earlier this month that you can grab here (or you can try the free lite version). When you first fire up the app, you’ll be asked to enter your child’s name, photo, and a set of tasks they are charged with on a weekly basis. Example tasks include things like “Help Mom”, “Clean up toys”, and various behavior categories. When they complete one of these tasks, you reward them with virtual stars.
These stars are the app’s currency. The better your kids behave, the more stars they earn. All the while, they’re looking to get enough stars to ‘purchase’ whatever prizes you’ve made available. For example, you might tell your child that if they earn 30 stars, they can take a trip to the movies. Or you could offer to convert stars in exchange for cash. As with the tasks, these are all up to you to determine (though the app comes with some suggestions).
The premium version of the app (which costs $4.99) allows parents to monitor an unlimited number of children, tasks and rewards. The free version is limited to one child, with a maximum of three tasks. Founder Satyajit Sahu says that the company could also offer multiple versions for different use cases. For example, day care centers could use a version suited for large groups.
You could obviously do most of this with some markers and paper, but using iRewardChart has a couple of advantages. For one, it allows parents to track their child’s behavior over a long period of time, so they can look back and identify any trends. And while the app is pretty basic at this point, Sahu has some bigger plans. He wants to offer a web version of iRewardChart that would let kids monitor their performance, and he also says that the app will soon be able to sync between multiple phones (so two parents can share one account). iRewardChart could eventually offer parents and kids something akin to a ‘banking for kids’ service, allowing children to monitor their current star count as an analog for real money.