So I saw a booth at the Homeschool Convention I attended months ago about raising accountable kids. It jumped out at me as I was struggling with what to do with chores, etc with our family. I only had a few dollars to spend and decided to spend it on their book. I didn't even have time to attend the class. So I came home and the book sat and sat as life sped on.
Then I got sick, and found myself having to be still. I picked up the book and started to read. With each new chapter I would get excited. I was reading all about the stuff I learned about in college about shaping behavior, including the perspective of agency and God. It was exactly what my BYU college professor had suggested for raising kids. I had to do a double check to make sure it wasn't my college professors book! (no it was not).
As I was sick and had so little energy and very little breath to talk, it was hard to encourage chores to be done and easy to give in to TV and movies. It made me realize how much I needed this program.
So what is it?
It is called Accountable Kids.
In their own words it is...
"a unique parenting program designed to teach accountability and responsibility in the home. It is a back-to-basics system which includes essential parenting principles and concrete stepping stones that strengthen relationships and build a foundation for success. Children learn to balance choices and consequences in a fun, productive manner. They experience the joy of being a vital, contributing member of the family and develop confidence and self-worth."
Basically, you are implementing this program into your family routine in 4 steps. I love that it not only has chores and rewards, but it also has one-on-one dates with a parent, as well as Family Council, although they call it "Family Forum." It even has a way for kids to earn money for extra chores, and teaching about managing money. So to break it down, again in their words:
"Step One: Children learn to take care of personal responsibilities without constant direction. They learn work ethics, time management, and responsibility. Children earn Tickets by completing basic chores. Tickets can then be used for activities or privileges. Tickets provide parents the ability to discipline without losing control or physical contact. Basic values are encouraged and reinforced with the Best Behavior Card.
Step Two: The Privilege Pass is introduced to eliminate specific negative behaviors. This process empowers children to predict consequences, follow rules, and redirect themselves towards positive behaviors. A Special Date Card is added to allow children to work for future rewards and enhance parent/child relationships.
Step Three: Completing basic chores provides basic privileges, but not the extras. Children earn Bonus Bucks for completing extra chores. This gives them the ability to make decisions about purchases. They experience the advantages of saving and learn to manage resources for the future.
Step four: The Family Forum presents an opportunity to discuss goals, problems, challenges, and accomplishments. It provides an opportunity to monitor progress and encourage positive behaviors. Quiet Time is introduced to refresh and recharge children and parents. It encourages the use of imagination, self-discipline, and self-entertainment."
I got a progress board for Handsome and Gorgeous. The program is for ages 4-14, so Gorgeous is a little young, and needs a little more guidance and reminders, but so far so good.
The program encourages that the kids be part of the decoration process of their board. So we went to the craft shop and they picked out a color to paint their board. In the future I hope to get some vinyl lettering of their name to put on it, but for now the colors will have to do. They really enjoyed painting the boards.
In the back of their book they have pages for you to copy and put up to help. I decided to put them up, as a reminder for the adults and babysitters mostly.
We are now in step one. So I put up the way to use tickets, (for our family 1 ticket gets 1/2 hour of an approved PBS TV show, 2 tickets can get 1/2 hour of the Wii, or 1 hour of a movie.) how to lose tickets; and the Best Behavior characteristic we are working on (honesty right now).
So each child has a their chores on a peg, they see the chore that needs to be done, do it, and turn the chore over to see the next. This has been such a good reminder for Handsome and Gorgeous. Then if the chores are done by a specific time, they earn a ticket.
This has saved me so much time reminding, nagging, and threatening to take away privileges, to get chores done.
So far so good. On a scale of 1-5 I give it a 3.7, mostly because I figure to get the top score you have to be PERFECT, and I need more experience with it. I'll give it a new score each time I blog about it. I plan to blog about this as we go through the steps and let you REALLY know how it works and ways we have adapted it for our family of young children.
If you are interested check out their website here.