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    Smiles & Frowns is a powerful, easy-to-use app of my own design. It's meant work as a common platform connecting the home, school and therapy nee… Read More
    Smiles & Frowns is a powerful, easy-to-use app of my own design. It's meant work as a common platform connecting the home, school and therapy needs for creating and managing positive behavior plans for kids. Read Less
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When I say I've temporarily stepped away from full-time work to chase down some ideas, this is what I mean. I'm not just an ad guy – I'm a dad with dad ideas. Smiles & Frowns™ has been my mission to build the parenting tool I couldn't find, and I needed the time to go really deep here. (It's been a great boost to my app-building skills, as well.)
 
This "app + approach" takes rewards charts apps up a few notches by introducing over a half dozen features no other app can match, while also creating a common platform to link the home, educational and therapy markets. . It's half clinical technique, half parental wisdom, half marketing savvy – and it can best be described in this post,  "Six Ways Smiles & Frowns is (Possibly) Reinventing Rewards Charts." 
 
Sweating out your own product with your own skin in the game? Every ad person should do it.
The "5Cs of Positive Reinforcement" did actually arise from years of tweaking and trying to figure out why rewards charts always start out working like gangbusters, then sputter and fade. This are the five factors I found needed support for a system to work long-term. Trademarked, of course.
Most of these apps start with the kids and go from there, forcing you to add behavior after behavior, kid after kid. Smiles & Frowns has presets boards that are well-thought out, and can get busy parents and teachers up and running in minutes.
The app uses a simple system of invites to make good behavior a team effort. Building the back end of this was very much like building a mini-Facebook, meaning the serious social capabilities can be added in future updates.
The key to flexibility in Smiles & Frowns is the simplicity. I've boiled every potential reward into four easy-to-understand categories – Money, Time, Treats and Goals – and made them easy to create in seconds.Try to think of a reward these don't cover – and let me know if you do.
Gamification. Back to the start. It's important for kids to be drawn in, and the "Smiles - Frowns = Rewards-buying power" does the trick. Not only is it a game kids can understand quickly and start playing immediately, it put the consequence of all their behaviors firmly in their own hands.