Monday, June 18, 2012

Accountable Kids review

I've been wanting a chore chart for my boys for a long time. We have done some homemade ones periodically, but none that lasted. Then my friend, Stacey, told me about Accountable Kids. It's basically a system to teach children not only to do their chores but to hold themselves accountable for their responsibilities. Here is Accountable Kids creators, Scott & Traci Heaton's philosophy: "to strengthen families by providing fun, hands-on tools that help parents teach accountability, responsibility, and character development in the home."
blurry picture (sorry) but you can see the whole system; low enough the boys can reach
Big A and I sat on this information for awhile before purchasing our boys' start-up kits. Each kit comes with: "the Accountable Kids book, one child kit, and a link to the online Quick-Start Video. Each child kit contains  a natural wood Progress Board, 60 Reminder Cards, 3 blank Reminder Cards, 10 Tickets, 10 Bonus Bucks, 4 Best Behavior Cards, 2 Privilege Passes, 3 Special Date Cards, and 2 sticker sheets. Includes DVD with 1 hour instructional video and 12 minute Quick-start video." We didn't buy the actual start-up kits but bought some products separately (both of their boards were on sale due to aesthetic reasons - i.e. they have knots in the wood), but we have everything that comes with the start-up. We did buy a mini board to hold the extras, too.


We've been using this program for going on a month. Now, our boys are around the start-up age for this program. Squirt will be 3 next month, Moose will be 5. I really like how excited my boys are to finish their "chores" (right now their chores are things they already do: put clothes in hamper, get dressed, brush teeth/vitamins, and we added set the table). They like getting tickets (to be turned in for use on things like watching tv or going to the park). They don't like getting tickets taken away (for things like hitting, biting, being mean). 


My only problem with the system is the tickets. Most children want to do things like go to the park, the library, watch tv, go swimming, do arts/crafts. My children like those things, too, but only ever ask to watch tv. Plus, we live right across the street from the park, so I didn't like charging them a ticket every time we walked across the street: that could be multiple times a day! So I don't charge them a ticket. Mostly our tickets are used for television and video games (that they watch me play or the Leap Pad). I think this will change as they get older and realize they can ask for those things (I think I've made schedules with those things on there for so long they don't really know they can ask to go there). 


A few of my questions, too, are what to do when one kid wants to use a ticket to go to the park (or whatever) but you can't. What if they want to use it to go swimming but their brother doesn't have enough tickets to use? And what if I forget? My kids aren't going to remember on their own (yet), so do I not give them their ticket because I forgot? Do we have to give the kids money for bonus chores?


I blurred out his name, but you can see the knot in Squirt's board. Not a big deal to us. I just used a stencil and paint to write their names on their boards. The site says to let the kids decorate their own boards but that doesn't interest my sons.
I do like this system and I really like having my children do chores. Right now, I would rate the system as a 3 but with potential to be a 5. My kids are just young and strange in that they don't really ask to do things. We haven't even started to use all of the stages of this program: there's date night and bonus bucks. But my kids do get REALLY excited when they earn Best Behavior Cards (not as often as I'd like to give them out...).


There are a ton of chores on the chore cards to choose from: from taking out garbage or car care to doing homework or reading the Scriptures. I like that there are extra blank cards to personalize, too. I've thought of making Squirt some "treatment" cards so he can use them for his nebulizer treatments (maybe helping me to remember to give them to him!). 


If you want to check out the kits, I really recommend looking at their website. You can learn about their products, the program, other reviews, and buy products for sale (not always available)

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