Friday, November 4, 2011

Accountable Kids Review

Accountable Kids was introduced to me by a good friend after a heavy-hearted discussion about how I felt like I wasn't building up my children enough. I felt as if there was too much spanking going on. I felt like I was fussing all the time, yelling all the time, and all too fed up with repeating the same things over and over and over!

"You know what your chores are! Why do I have to keep telling you what to do!"

"Can I watch T.V.? Can I play the iPod? Can I play on the computer?"

"Is the table cleaned? Is the floor swept? Is your room clean? Come on! If you know you haven't done your chores WHY are you even asking!?!

By adding Accountable Kids to our daily lives, those are conversations that no longer occur...most of the time.

The Accountable Kids program is a wonderful system that allows children to take responsibility for their chores, for their attitudes, for their actions, and for how they spend their free time. We've been using the program for almost a month now and I'm excited to share the experiences we've had with the program.

Let me first begin by explaining the break down of the program.
When you order the system you will receive the board, the core chore cards, best behavior cards, privilege passes, bonus bucks, the special date cards and stickers and the tickets and the book. The DVD is the same video listed on the website but can be purchases at a very minimal price(.99).

The program is broken down into four basic steps. In the first step, you introduce the core chore reminder cards. These cards can be broken down into morning, afternoon and evening chores. As your child completes the chores, they move the card to the second peg. For each section of the day the children earn a ticket for completing their chores. In our home, they only earn the ticket if they completed their chores with little or no prodding from us. This allows them to take responsibility for their actions. If they don't do their part, they don't earn their ticket. No ticket, no privileges. I love that the program gives us an alternative method of discipline. It also lets the children be ....well.... ACCOUNTABLE! No more "mean mommy, mean daddy"--THEY make the choice and know how to avoid punishment or losing privileges.

The Best Behavior cards are also introduced at this time. These are my FAVORITE!!! (They also yield the BIGGEST grins from my children!). This give me the chance to catch the being good! My son loaded the dishwasher--not even one of his responsibilities--and set the table for breakfast the next morning. I was blown away! I love catching them doing good and they LOVE when I acknowledge it!!! Who wouldn't, right?

In step two, the Privilege Pass and the Special Date cards are added. The Privilege Pass is to eliminate specific negative behavior. I am proud to announce that our three year old (soon to be four) is no longer a thumb sucker! WOW!!! A dentistry blessing! She was already starting to become conscious of it, the cards were just an extra push in the right direction. Praise the Most High! For my son, the behavior I wanted to eliminate was him neglecting the table and floor after they were done eating. If he wipes it down and sweeps up without being told, he gets a PP.

The Special Date card is another favorite of mine. It's like the Most High answered my prayer personally, lol. I worry that with a large and possibly expanding family, that my children will feel as if they didn't get enough attention from us. After the child earns a specific amount of stars (which is done by earning their tickets everyday), they get to go on a one on one date with a parent or grandparents. We added having a friend/relative over to spend the night to that category at the discretion of my son. As the eldest child by a good 5 years added to the fact that we home school, he gets sick of "the babies". Having a child (or children) his age come over is more work for me, so I let him earn it! Whatever works, right?

In step three and four the Extra Chores, Bonus Bucks, Savings, Helping Hands and in step five Family Forum and Quiet Time are introduced. These portions of the program allow the children to be paid for doing things outside of their normal chores. It paves the way for learning to manage money (and who doesn't need THAT lesson these days?). The Helping Hands card comes in handy with our two year old. She is really good at messing up while the other two are cleaning up so we designated those cards for her (for now). It gets her involved with an otherwise over her head concept and the kids encourage her as they clean rather than yell constantly because she's taking things out. I hear "Don't you want a ticket? Come on, put this over there." rather than "STOOOOOP, MOOOOOMMMMM!!!!!" (Because fighting and not attempting to work things out in a civil manner will lose them a ticket). The Family Forum is wonderful because it keeps the enthusiasm up and keeps everyone on the same page. DEFINITELY a must. We haven't gotten to that point and I didn't purchase that board, but I see WHY they make it part of the program!!!

My honest opinions of the program as it has worked for OUR family:

On a scale of 1 to 5 I'd give it a stellar 3.8 with the STRONG possibility of it becoming a 4.8.
This program is definitely moving things to a state of order in my home. It is very well laid out. VERY easy to understand and definitely has great potential to work with virtually any family. You will get out of this system what you put into it. If you're passionate and excited about it, your children will be as well. If you are consistent, then they will see you mean business.

The quality of the materials are good. I have noticed that a few of the cards have gotten bent up, an action that will begin to cost them a ticket if it continues, but they are pretty durable. The boards are great. Decorating them was fun. I let my children pick their colors, but I did the bulk of the decorating. You can see our boards and our wall set up here and here.

We've run into a few road blocks with the program.

#1. Being homeschoolers our days just sort of run together. So to separate the tickets into times of day was some what counter productive. I found that my son would just stop because a certain task was an "afternoon" task. Introducing a time to begin may or may not help with this. I'm still trying to find what works best.

#2. There weren't enough duplicate cards for tasks that are to be done several times a day. For example. Clearing the table and sweeping. We are home ALL day, so this is done anywhere between 3 and 5 times per day! My son always has to be reminded to do this and it irks me. So, we're attempting to remedy that with the privilege pass. We made his target behavior clearing the table and sweeping after meals/snacks without being told. This, so far, hasn't yielded any results, but we'll see. I'm going to have to make a HUGE deal of it when he does so that he is more
apt to want to do it again.

#3. Making sure that I set attainable goals. I did a lot as an eight year old. And I did it right. My mother didn't accept half done work and there were definite consequences for it. I don't know if I've set the bar too high, or if he just needs to get on the ball, but I'm hoping that using this program more consistently will work out the kinks. Which brings me to number four.

#4. Being CONSISTENT! It's a MUST with this program. We are still finding space for this program in our lives hence my saying I expect a good 4.8 rating long term. Also, my husband wasn't as keen on the program as I so we had to get on the same page and make sure we're both staying on top of it. Once we're more consistent, I think it'll reach it's full potential.

Visit their website www.accountablekids.com to read more reviews of this amazing product!

3 comments:

  1. Do you still use this program? How did it work I the long run? Did its rating go up for you? I'm considering getting it for my family.

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    1. Hi Renee! I'm not currently using it, but contemplating starting again now that my children are older and are in public school. It was very hard to break up the day considering we were home ALL day. Also two of my children were so young, it was just too advanced for them. The 2nd to the youngest's board had to be low in order for her to reach it and the baby was constantly knocking them all off. It was a headache. Now that they are all a bit older I want to try again, but fear that without 100% effort from my husband it will only fail again. If both parents are on board it can work.

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