The Coda Parenting Navigator is a tool to help you consider, plan, and implement the things you most want to accomplish as a parent. You fill in the content, because it is entirely up to you to decide what lessons are beneficial and appropriate; Coda simply helps you craft your own parenting strategy.
For lack of a better term, Coda is referred to as a journal, though “planner” is more accurate because the tool is used for making plans for the future.
How Does Coda Work?
Register and enter your kids’ first names and month/year of birth. (Note: Coda will never ask for any child’s full name or date of birth.)
Your children are your “primary” family. You will have access to the full Coda journal of each of child you enter. When someone invites you to contribute to their child’s Coda, the name of that child will appear under your “extended family.” You will not have access to the full Coda of an extended family member, only the tickets you add to it.
Any ticket you open will default as being addressed to all of your primary children and none of your extended family, but you can check and un-check names as you like.
When you get an idea about something you want to do as a parent, open a ticket.
Write in the parenting goal, choose which child or children it applies to, assign it to a category or categories, then file the ticket to the age(s) you wish to address it.
For example: You might enter “Demonstrate how to change a tire.” If you keep the default settings the ticket will apply to all of your kids, include any of your extended family whose Codas you contribute to by checking their name(s).
Choose category, which may be for Science, Technology, Skills and General Knowledge and Sports, Health, Safety & Appearance.
Assign the ticket to age 16.
That ticket will appear in each child’s journal, and you will be notified that the ticket is “hot” when they reach age 16.
Once you’ve punched the ticket (addressed the lesson), click a button to close it. If you like, write in a note about how it went, or include any key points for the benefit of future generations.
If you choose not to address the ticket, you can either delete entirely or close it with a note saying it was never punched.
If you want to put off the lesson or do it again, simply “re-ticket” it to a later year.
Invite an extended family member to contribute to your child’s Coda by clicking the button to Invite Extended Family Member. You determine what constitutes extended family; the person need not be a relative, he or she only has to have demonstrated a willingness to be a key figure in the child’s life.
What is a ticket?
A ticket is an idea, anything you want to do with, or for the child.
What can I put in a Ticket?
A ticket can be anything from silly, to practical to profound. Some examples include:
-Lesson to teach
-Experience to share
-Trip to be taken
-Gift to be given
-Behavior to model
-Discussion to have
-Project or activity to do together
-Guidance for a transition
-Cherished family history of any kind
-Precaution or warning, advice about how to avoid a certain danger
-A lesson you learned that you wish to share
-Your thoughts on any particular subject from the profound to the practical
-Instructions for skills not learned in school
-Advice on anything from faith to finances
-Words or love or encouragement
-Even as adults we are always learning. Open a ticket when you learn a lesson or encounter a situation that you think would offer a valuable lesson to your child.
The list is endless but the format is simple. Each Coda is built one entry at a time. Each ticket becomes like a single tile piece of a mosaic. Over time, your parenting strategy emerges, illustrated by theme and tone.
Why do I have to choose a category?
Categories are there so users can see where they are focusing their attention. From there, it’s up to the user to make adjustments if they choose. If there is a category or categories that you do not wish to include in your parenting strategy, simply ignore them.
Are there any rules for Coda tickets?
There is only one rule: Coda is about being better parent, not about having better kids… The kids are already pretty amazing.
Therefore, contents of a ticket are for the parents to address, not the child. For example, rather than opening a ticket that says “Katie will be a star goalie,” the phrasing should be “Teach Katie how to block a goal.” The difference is subtle but important. Coda is not about parents planning out their kids’ lives, it’s about parents organizing their time and priorities so they can teach their kids what is most important to them.
Who is Coda for?
Coda is not just for parents, it is for anyone who takes an active role in raising a child: Grandparents, step-parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, close family friends, mentors, clergy or coaches.
Usually it is a parent or primary caretaker who opens a Coda for their child. He or she can then invite extended family to contribute tickets to the child’s Coda.
When you invite a family member or friend to contribute to your child’s Coda, you honor them. When a family member or friend starts a Coda for your child, they affirm their intention to be an active part in the child’s life. It need not be a major commitment; the contribution of even just a few tickets adds tremendous value and strengthens family ties across current and future generations.
How do I add a ticket for a child that hasn’t been born yet?
Enter the child’s name as “not yet born” (or whatever name you want to give to your future kid!) Leave the date of birth blank. When the child is born, edit the name and add date of birth.
When should I start my Coda?
Start a Coda anytime! If you have children, want children or participate in the upbringing of a beloved niece or nephew or extended family member, Coda is for you.
Before you have kids: Many people start thinking of the kind of parent they want to be, long before they’re actively planning to start a family. Like a hope chest of ideas, open a Coda to capture your thoughts as they come to you about how you want to parent when the time comes.
When you’re expecting a baby: Families make all kinds of plans during months before baby arrives. Soon-to-be parents can use Coda to begin to actively create their vision for their family. What are the important things that you want to do as a parent? Traditions to pass on, parenting philosophies that you connect with, etc.
When your kids are young: Life with young kids can be hectic! What are the priorities that you wish to carve out so you can be sure they won’t get missed amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life?
When your kids are older: You’re amazed at how much the kids have grown and starting to panic about how little time is left before they leave the house and embark on their own. Is there anything you want to be sure to do with or for your kids before they leave the nest?
When your kids are grown: Thinking ahead to the not-to-distant future when your kids become parents themselves, do you have any advice or parenting tips that you know now that you wished you had known when you became a parent? What new parent wouldn’t cherish some advice about how to soothe a newborn baby, or how to or connect with a defiant teen? Undoubtedly, you’ve had some major wins and losses in your parenting strategy over the years: What worked and what didn’t? Now there is a way to preserve those pearls of wisdom.
How will Coda help me?
As busy adults, we are not able to “parent on purpose” very often. From the moment we deliver or adopt a baby, it’s game-on: There is no time to develop a strategy for what lessons and experiences we most want to share. Even if we did have the time or inclination to sit down and plot out every lesson we want to teach our child over the next 21 years, how could such a document hold its relevance in the face of changing times and circumstances, not to mention the emerging talents and challenges that each child possesses? This is why your Coda is built one ticket at a time: By layering ideas on top of each other, your parenting strategy gradually comes in to focus, without ever having to spend more than a minute or two at a time.
Why is it Called “Coda?”
“Coda” defines the dual purposes of the tool: Primarily, Coda helps the user develop a clearer vision for what they most want to impart to their kids– another way to put it is that Coda helps you build your family code.
Coda is also a riff on the musical term coda, because once it’s completed, it is essentially your parenting swan song.
Who does the Coda belong to?
Coda belongs to both parent and child, but at different times: As you’re building it, it’s yours. When it’s completed, it’s theirs.
Is the hardcopy version necessary?
There are two purposes of the Coda Parenting Navigator: First it’s a planner. Later, it’s meant to be an heirloom. As long as you have access to the Internet, you don’t need a hardcopy to utilize Coda as a planner; that’s all taken care of online or with your mobile app. However, in order to compile the heirloom, it is necessary to print out tickets periodically and add them to either the standard or heirloom edition Coda binders. Alternatively, you can add the tabs from a Coda DIY starter kit to a standard 3-ring binder that you purchase and decorate on your own.
That aspect of the concept is similar to a photo album or scrapbook.
* NOTE: Coda is currently in its first version. Hard copy binders or workbooks are not yet available.
Do I have to buy the book or pay money to use the site?
No! The Coda website and app are totally free to use.
It is up to you how you would like to produce the hardcopy version of your Coda.* If you purchase the book (standard or heirloom edition), your usership will automatically be upgraded so you are able to print out tickets as often you like. Once the tickets are printed, simply add them to the tab in the book that corresponds with the age on the ticket. If a ticket is assigned multiple ages, file it in the youngest age, then if you want to address it again, simply re-file it as needed as the child grows.
If you prefer, purchase your own standard 3-Ring binder and decorate it however you choose. The do-it-yourself (DIY) kit includes tabs and instructions. There is a small fee to upgrade your usership to be able to print tickets.
If you would rather not print, subscribe to have their tickets printed out on high-quality, acid free paper. We will send them to you a periodic basis of your choosing.
*Note: Coda is currently in its first version. Subscriptions to have your tickets printed are not yet available.
Do I need Internet access to compile a Coda?
Those who don’t have Internet can fill out tickets by hand using the soft-cover “workbook” style book of blank tickets.* Pages are perforated and 3-hole-punched so that tickets can be easily removed and added to either the standard or heirloom edition binders or purchase the tabs from a Coda DIY starter kit to a 3-ring binder you purchase and decorate on your own.
* NOTE: Coda is currently in its first version. Hard copy binders or workbooks are not yet available