Questions from parents using
the Accountable Kids program.
Q: The pegs keep falling off the board. Do you have any suggestions on how to keep them in?
A:The best way to make sure the pegs are secure is to take the board off the wall, clean out any existing glue and follow the above instructions. An adequate amount of glue needs to get into the very bottom of the hole so the glue is forced into every crack as the peg is twisted. If you decide to leave the boards on the wall, just take care to make sure that an adequate amount of glue is put into the bottom of the hole and spread evenly around before twisting the peg in.
The Tickets were very effective in the beginning, but as my children progressed
in the program we found they did not lose or use them as much. Their
negative behaviors have decreased and they have learned to self monitor their
ticketed activities. Is there another way to use the Tickets?
A: Yes. Tickets are initially used to
reinforce the basic of the Accountable Kids program, but the concept can be
simplified as a child becomes more accountable. Hang Ticket on the board and
explain to your child that as long as the ticket is facing forward ticketed
activities can be enjoyed. The card remains face forward as long as morning,
afternoon, and evening chores are completed. If chores are not completed
or if a negative behavior comes up the ticket can be turned backwards.
The child can not enjoy Ticketed activities until the next time period.
This can simplify the program for older kids and help transition the child from
the board and cards to a day-timer, contracts, and agreements.
Q:I am worried that the cards will get ruined by my son. Should I laminate the cards?
A: We do not recommend laminating the cards. This process is costly, it makes the cards bend slightly so they do not stay on the board, and it is difficult to find the right size hole punch. The cards do have a special protective coating to help them last, but if they become lost or damaged you can purchase an entire replacement set through our website. You can also receive individual cards by calling the main office. Most parents who choose to laminate their cards wish they had kept them in the original condition.
We have been using the Accountable Kid system in our home for the last year. It is working great, but I am still not sure how to use the Privilege Pass. What is the difference between the Privilege Pass and the Tickets?
A: Tickets are earned by completing basic chores and can be lost as a consequence for displaying negative behaviors. The Privilege Pass is earned for displaying a specific positive behavior within a predetermined time frame. The Privilege Pass is a special type of Ticket that is earned once a day and used to enjoy an extra special privilege that a normal ticket does not afford. Typically, the Privilege Pass is used to focus on a behavior that occurs once a day. If you decide to use the Privilege Pass to focus on something that happens throughout the day such as whining, fighting, or arguing, we suggest selecting a small time frame within the day to work on that behavior. You want your child to know when the pass has been earned, so avoid vague parameters when setting up the requirements. The Privilege Pass is a great tool that empowers children to focus on replacing negative behaviors with positive character traits. You may find that you do not use this tool all of the time, but only when you want to focus on something specific.
Q: My wife and I are in disagreement about the reward for the Privilege Pass. I think we should keep the reward fairly simple like television time or playing a game. My wife thinks it should be a bigger incentive like having a friend spend the night or going out to dinner. She says it could require multiple earned Privilege Passes to earn a reward like this, but I believe you make a point in the book that this reward needs to be something you can give every day when the negative behavior is corrected and is not a delayed reward. Besides, I feel a larger reward is not necessary for the Privilege Pass. Can you please advise us?
A:The privilege pass is most effective when the reward is something that can be given each time the positive behavior is displayed. This is especially helpful if the child is under the age of nine or ten. We recommend having the Privilege Pass worth something that can be earned daily, is not related to food, and is not something that costs money. Typically the reward for the Privilege Pass is earned on a daily basis.
If you use the Privilege Pass for teaching your child to stay in bed, she could earn a later bedtime, an extra book, or listening to a song before bed. My sister used it to help motivate her son to be on time each day for school. If he earned the pass in the morning, it was worth 20 minutes of screen time immediately when he came home from school (before homework). In her home Tickets only earned screen time after homework was done, so this was a special privilege. Our family is now using the Privilege Pass for table manners. If our girls earn a Privilege Pass at dinner, they get to light a candle at the next meal. This sounds so simple, but it has been amazingly effective!
If your child is older, a delayed incentive or having multiple days build up to an incentive can be effective, but we advise keeping things simple so you don't feel like you are continuing to give more and more. The most important thing is to talk to your child and ask what he/she wants the Privilege Pass to be worth to keep the motivation high. Keep in mind that the incentive should be something you are willing to give each day.
My son is older and still benefits from using Accountable Kids, but some of the chores seem mundane. How can I remind him to still do the simple basic chores without him feeling like a child?
A: One idea is to use the "Morning" card for multiple simple tasks. On the back of the card write down the tasks you still want your son to do in the morning such as brush teeth, get dressed, brush hair, etc. He will be reminded to do the specific tasks and only have to flip one card. We find that older children are more focused on the extra chores, but be certain to teach that Bonus Bucks are not earned unless the basic chores are also completed.
I want my children to help more during mealtime. Do you have any suggestions?
A: Our family decided to assign a mealtime job to each child for the week. These assignments weren't basic chores or extra chores. They were simply jobs that were required. I took the "Prepare Meal" card, the "Dishes" card and the "Set Table" card and completely cut all the color bars off. The mealtime card hung on top of the “Date Card” and served as a reminder for the week. The favorite job turned out to be "Prepare Meals" because that person was able to plan the menu for the week and had input on what was made each day. My children also loved having one on one time in the kitchen. Each week we would rotate the jobs to give variety. Now, I have help in the kitchen, and my kids appreciate what it takes to create a meal.
Q: I am still finding myself picking up things throughout the day. What can I do so my children will learn to pick up their things?
A: We have two suggestions for this. The first is to create a "Buy Back Bin". Anything you find out of place goes in the bin, and the kids have to do an extra chore to get items out. This is a great way to show children that if a parent does them a favor of picking up, the child owes them a job.
The second idea is to divide the home into sections and assign each child a portion of the home to keep picked up. If the house is looking messy, ask the children to clean up their areas. We rotate the cards each week when we rotate our other jobs. Our rule is, they have to find the person who made the mess and have them clean it up, or they have to put everything away and make the room look nice and neat. It is great to hear my kids asking each other to come put their things away. All I have to say is "It's time to pick up your three rooms." The rest is up to them!
Q: My son isn't motivated by earning Tickets. What can I do so he will complete basic chores?
A: If you child isn't motivated to earn any Tickets, chances are that he is already getting what he wants. There probably isn't a deficit for television privileges, store bought items, playing with friends, etc. Take a close look at what your son wants on a daily basis. Set your program up so he learns that completing basic chores earn basic privileges.
Q: My daughter does not have a desire to do any extra chores. Do you have any recommendations on how to motivate her?
A: Take a close look at all the monetary items you are already providing. If a child is not motivated to do extra chores, it is typically due to one of two things. Either the child is too young to understand the value of money, or the child lacks a real need for money. The second situation is typically due to the fact that the parent is buying or providing what the child needs. This does not mean that the child does not want more, but simply that there isn't a real deficit or desire strong enough to provoke action. Where there is a deficit, there is action to do more! You can also talk to your child about what items she really wants and set a plan in motion to earn the money for the purchase. Sometimes all it takes is creating a vision and a plan.
Q: I want my daughter to learn more about service. Does Accountable Kids have a recommendation for this?
A: Yes! The “Helping Hands” card is a great tool to allow your child to experience service on a daily basis. Cut the card to represent morning, day, or evening. Then teach your child that when she sees the “Helping Hands Card” she should come ask how she can help. Helping hands isn't limited to just once a day. You can remind your kids that if you ask for "help" it is part of the “Helping Hands” reminder. The more your child experiences service in a positive way, the more she will want it to be a part of her life and will seek service opportunities as she gets older.
There are some chores that are daily and some that are weekly. How can I set up the program so my child knows when to complete tasks?
A: The purple bar provides one more way to customize the program to your family's needs. Some parents use the purple bar for basic chores that are weekly and others use the purple bar in conjunction with extra chores. If used for extra chores, we recommend the purple bar represent daily extra chores and the green bar represent weekly extra chores.
Q: What is the best way to create a “Reminder Card” for a task that is not provided in the kit?
A: A fast and easy way to create your own “Reminder Card” is by using one of the three blank cards included in the set. If you need more blank cards, Accountable Kids offers a set of ten blank cards for only $2. Free clip art is readily available online. A source we commonly use is Google Images. You just type in what you are looking for and then paste and cut into your computer. It’s very easy!
Q: What do you do when your child doesn't seem to care when tickets are taken away or has all tickets taken away and continues to misbehave. We have been on stage one for a few months and have not been able to progress to the next stage. We started using a ticket system with her preschool teacher, and she has shown some improvement, but she really doesn't care if she has no tickets. I know she is still young and is just testing us, but I can't seem to find a consequence that will work with her.
A: The Accountable Kids program works best when all four steps are incorporated. Each step introduces new tools to help teach accountability, positive discipline, and life skills. You child does not need to be doing the first step perfectly to move to the next level. The first thing we would advise is to continue introducing the next steps of the program. bring in one new step each week.
As you are implementing the next three steps, we recommend doing two things. First, reevaluate the consequence received if your daughter does not have a ticket to take away. This consequence may change from week to week. You want it to impact your child and be something that is not favorable. It may be time-out in an isolated area or not getting a particular privilege. Typically, when you have all four steps in place you will rarely need to resort to the back-up consequence.
Second, you want to increase the perceived value of the Tickets. This does not mean that you give your child more. You just want your daughter to feel the benefits of earning a Ticket. You can even provide learning opportunities by setting up a ticketed activity and allowing your child to miss out when she has not earned her Ticket. This is often a difficult experience for the parent as well as the child, but it helps reinforce the idea that basic chores must be completed before basic privileges can be enjoyed.
Q: My children fight all the time. How can I get them to stop arguing?
A: There are several ways to help eliminate arguing. Some parents have found it helpful to take a Ticket every time fighting occurs. Children quickly learn that negative behaviors take away the basic privileges they enjoy. It is possible to change behavior, but it is not easy or immediate. Be patient and consistent.
If only one child is causing the problem, parents have found success by having the offending child give a Ticket to his brother or sister. If both children are in the wrong, they both lose a ticket. This helps develop the self control to turn the other cheek and not repay a negative act with a negative action.
You can also use the “Best Behavior” card to acknowledge positive behavior. If you see your children getting along, performing acts of service, or being kind even when someone else is not kind to them, show your child that you appreciate this action with a “Best Behavior” card. If you have one child that is doing what you have asked and another is not, put your time and attention on the behavior you want to continue. Your children will begin to see that they get more attention doing positive behaviors.
Q: I would like to share Accountable Kids with
others. What is the best way to do this?
A: We have designed several incentive programs
that are easy, fun, and profitable. Select the program that works best for you
by visiting our Opportunities Page. We offer
discounts for group orders, rebates for blogging about Accountable Kids, and
coupon codes for instant savings.
Q:I would like to communicate with other parents who are using the Accountable Kids program. Do you have any resources that connect parents?
A: Yes. You can interact with other parents though the Accountable
Kids blog. This is a great place to read stories, be inspired, and laugh a little. We hope to see you there! You can also stay updated through our
Face Book Group. We love to hear from you. Your stories help us continue to grow.
Q: We travel quite a bit. How can we use the Accountable Kids program when we are not at home?
A: Accountable Kids now offers a To Go Kit that is great for traveling on vacations, visiting grandparents, or residing in two households. Many homeschool parents are using the school subject cards with the
To Go Kits to help their children become self-directed.
Q: I would like to
review the Accountable Kids program on my blog. How do I go about doing this?
A: You can receive 50% off your order if you review Accountable Kids and post it to your blog. Visit our review
page to learn more about reviewing Accountable Kids.
Q: My family has reached a bit of a stalemate. I love the program, and it worked well for about a year. Then last summer we slacked off, and it's never been the same since. What is the best way to get started again?
A: We would suggest coming together in a family meeting to recommit to working together as a team. Get your children involved in setting up basic chores, extra chores, rules, and consequences. If your children are not helping out or completing their chores, it may be because there is not really a consequence. Children tend to take the path of least resistance. You may need to readjust the jobs and responsibilities. The Accountable Kids program is designed to grow with your family, so if it is not working, make changes.
Q: My children are not using their Tickets, so they always have plenty of Tickets for privileges. When I take a Ticket for negative behavior they don’t mind because they have a lot of tickets hanging on their board.
A: If a child starts a day with too many tickets, there is no incentive to earn more. You may try having the Tickets expire at midnight so kids start the day motivated. This provides a fresh start each morning. Also, notice if you are requiring tickets for daily activities. It is important for children to earn and use their tickets throughout the day.
Q:I have a question about disciplining with Tickets and the “Best Behavior” card. If we need to discipline and my daughter has already used or lost all of her Tickets, do we take away the “Best Behavior” card (if she has one) or use a discipline like time out?
A: Accountable Kids suggests using a backup discipline rather than taking away a “Best Behavior” card. The fact that your daughter had a negative moment doesn't take away the good deed that she did to earn her “Best Behavior” card. :)
Q: What do I do for an older child who has set chores on specific days of the week? For example, he is to sweep and mop the kitchen on Monday and Friday, dust on Tuesday, and take the garbage out on Thursday.
A: It is easy to design the program so chores are "day specific" without having to rearrange the board every day. When you set up the cards you can specify when you want the task completed by writing the day on the back or front of the card. Teach your children that this system will help remind them when things need to be completed. If the job is not required for that day, you child can simply skip it and turn the card over to the Finish Peg.
Q: The cards keep flying off the board when a door or window is left open. What can I do to keep the cards on the board?
A: Some people have problems with their cards falling off the board when a door is open, the air conditioning is on or if it is in a high traffic area. The simple solution is to put one rubber band around all the pegs.
Q: We started using the Accountable Kids program and some behaviors have gotten worse. Is this normal?
A: Sometimes behaviors will get worse before they get better. Your child may be testing you to see if you will be consistent and follow through with the program. If you child has been allowed to have unlimited privileges without responsibility, they may not see the advantage of the program in the beginning. try and keep things simple and fun! Help your child see that advantages of the program.
Q: I am still having to nag and remind my kids to do all their jobs. What can I do to shift the responsibility to my kids.
A: Remember that the boards and the cards are hands-on tools to help your kids learn what needs to be done each day. This is your child's place to develop initiative by looking at the cards, flipping the cards when they are completed and reporting back to you when they are all done. So, you may still need to remind your kids that it is time to do their morning jobs but avoid listing out each task. Send them to their board to see what needs to be done and then create some excitement for the activity that can be enjoyed once they have completed their group of chores.
Q: My child is constantly losing Tickets for negative behavior so he never has a Ticket to use for privileges. This is causing him to lose interest in doing his chores. What can I do?
A: Using the Accountable Kids program should be fun! If your child is always losing tickets for negative behavior and they may have limited opportunities for using tickets. This causes may children to lose interest Accountable Kids. Make sure that your child is still earning and using Tickets each day. This may require customizing the program for your family. Remember if this is not fun, it will not work! Start with the basics and keep it simple. There is also power in focusing on the positive. Use the Best Behavior card to acknowledge positive behavior and focus on the good. Many parents have more success using the Best Behavior card than overusing using Tickets for negative behavior.
Q: It seems overwhelming to charge a ticket for every activity my kids are doing. How do I simplify the program?
A: Many parents have found that it works best to only ticket a few things like TV, video games, and movies. This keeps it simple for kids and parents. For example, in our home we require that our kids have completed their afternoon chores and earned a Ticket to go play, but they do not need to give us a ticket unless they want to enjoy screen time.
Q: My kids aren't using all their Tickets and have an abundance of Tickets hanging on their board. Because they have so many tickets, they are not motivated to do their chores each day.
A: This happens for a variety of reasons but the key concept is teaching your child the long range goal that when he completes basic chores there is time to enjoy basic privileges. Adjust the program to match your schedule. Our family has found success in Ticketing only a few things like TV, computer and video games, then having all but one Ticket expire at bedtime. This way kids start the day with motivation to complete their morning jobs and I am not spending so much time regulating Tickets. This works for us as long as my kids know that they need to complete their group of chores before playing, even if the activity doesn't require a Ticket.
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