Sunday, February 06, 2011

Not About Richard, Not Really Even About the Boys, But About a Product I Love!

This entry has no new information about how Richard is doing or about how the boys are growing. It is simply a 'plug' for one of my favourite items in my house!

If you want to know how Richard is doing, feel free to check out his blog. He's been well enough to keep it up lately! That tells you that he's doing a little bit well!

My Boys and Their Accountable Kids Chore Charts

Dexter has been very excited about "AJ's chores" for quite some time now.

I LOVE this chore chart/program from Accountable Kids. AJ got his a year ago, and Dexter wants to do chores just like his big brother so badly that I decided to go ahead and get him his own for his 3rd birthday.

He was so excited when the package arrived!

To quote their site, here's the basic run down of what the program is:

"Accountable Kids 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; an ideal program for ADHD natural treatment therapy. 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. The Accountable Kids program includes a book, Quick Start DVD, Progress Board, 50 Reminder Cards, 3 blank Reminder Cards, 10 Tickets, 10 Bonus Bucks, 3 Special Date Cards, 4 Best Behavior Cards, and 2 Privilege Passes, and 2 sticker sheets. The Accountable Kids program provides everything parents need to maximize efforts and bring structure and harmony into the home."

What I love about it most, is how fast it gets us out of the house in the morning without forgetting about any of the 'basics' that need to get completed before we leave the house. How many times do I hear moms talking about the nightmare that is 'getting out the door in the morning'?

You're probably thinking 'chores' for a 3 year old? Isn't that a little crazy? Although there are actual chore items in the package, for the boys, many of the items are normal every day things that just keep us on track. That means less nagging from me. It's not me telling them what to do. It's the chart.

Dexter and AJ's morning chores go like this:
*eat breakfast
*take vitamin
*brush teeth
*get dressed
*hair done
*make bed
*school (for preschool mornings)

Even if I only had the morning, it would be worth it! Everything runs smoothly. Nothing is forgotten. Best of all, it's they who remind me what needs to get done before we leave!

Their mid day chores are:
*eat lunch
*quiet time (nap for Dexter)
*clean up the playroom
*set the table

Their evening chores are:
*eat dinner
*clear the table
*bath time (not every night)
*clean your bedroom
*brush teeth
*floss (heck, I should get a chore chart for myself to remind ME to do that each night)

(Don't think that the thought has not crossed my mind to get one for myself! Things like 'plant care' and 'car care' will tell you that it's good for older kids too!)

The boys get a ticket for each batch of chores that they complete. Those tickets can be redeemed in the evening for a special activity. The AK program would recommend things like tv/video games/things that you'd like to limit and have the child earn. Perhaps as the kids get older, I may venture that way. Currently, I don't want to use tv or video games as a reward,per se, because I don't want them to think those are 'extra special' or 'of value' for any reason. That's not to say that they never use them for those items, but most of the time, the boys redeem them for some special extra activities with Richard or me. Board games are usually the pick of choice. Sometimes they choose drawing time, painting, or double bedtime stories. What I like about that is it's a time that I specifically set aside to do whatever THEY want without any mommy-distractions. Sometimes they choose 'an extra 10 minutes' of a movie or some Wii games with Daddy. Just last night, they choose to use their ticket for playing Rockband and each getting to choose one song.

Now, I'm a teacher, and a crafty one if I must say so myself. I've made a lot of charts. I could have made some kind of chart myself. BUT, it could not compare to this one. Their program is a 5/5 in my books, namely because of it's adaptability. There are lots of features to this program like 'best behaviour' cards that I do use. They are just like the tickets, but can be given out for random acts of kindness, or behaviour, that I deem worthy of some sort of praise. The boys do as their chart tells them, and yes, sometimes they need a gentle reminder to go check their chart to see what's next, but usually, they are excited to take the initiative. Less nagging from me is ALWAYS a good thing. There are near 70 or so cards with chores on them, and some you can make yourself. As a child gets older, you can add more grown-up chores like laundry (which is currently on AJ's 'extra help' list), and taking care of the pets or plants. The program is for 3-14 year olds. There are features for giving an allowance of which I will definitely be taking of advantage as the boys get older. Right now, they're willing to do the chores without complaining just to spend extra special time with Mom and Dad, so I'll keep that going for a while!

What the program recommends is that there are different sets of chores. For instance, there would be the basic chores that everyone is expected to do for free (just for being a functioning member of the family so to speak). I consider those to be what the boys do currently. Then, a separate set of chores that are for earning allowance. I love that idea.

When you purchase the chore chart, it comes with a dvd and book that explain everything really well. Of course, when I ordered Dexy's, I just ordered the chart, not the book/dvd, as I already had those from before.

It is so versatile. Yes, the program is laid out for you step by step, but it also allows for some freedom. You can use the product in a way that fits best with your family's values. There are just so many options available for the chores. The chart really grows with your child and you can personalize the chart as well by painting it or ordering it with your child's name engraved on it!

A BIG thank you to Accountable Kids for their program!

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