Why do we need to have accountable kids? One reason is that we are raising the future leaders of our world. If we look at the mess that America is in right now, we can conclude that one of the big reasons we are where we are is that we have a boatload of citizens (and illegal immigrants) who do not believe they need to be accountable to anything or anyone. You could call it the "entitlement problem". As Christians, we believe that everyone - parents and children alike - are accountable to God for our words, thoughts and deeds. Children are also, as part of their accountability to God, accountable to their parents. For some reason, it is very easy for parents to remind children of that fact. But what many parents forget, or excuse, is that they are accountable to God for the training and disciplining of their children. God put on parents the responsibility to make sure that what their children see, hear, and experience are those things that are good and pleasing to Him - those things that will be used by Him to mold our children into the person that He desires them to be. Too many times in today's society, we see parents making excuses for their children's behavior and taking no responsibility for the behavior themselves. Then they look to the teachers, daycare workers, pastors, and government to solve the problems for them. But we can clearly see in the Bible that it is the parents job to instruct and discipline their children. For example, in 1 Samuel we see God telling Samuel that there will be punishment for Eli's sons because of their wickedness. But their punishment is shared by their father for his lack of discipline of them. "And I declare to him that I am about to punish his house forever, for the iniquity that he knew, because his sons were blaspheming God, and he did not refrain them." 1 Samuel 3:13 Now, to be clear, I am not saying that everything a child does is a parent's fault. But I am saying that when our children behave in a manner that is not acceptable, that it is up to the parents to exact a consequence on them that will prevent them from repeating that behavior.
So that is why I felt we needed to try something different. After several years of having the same responsibilities as far as chores are concerned, I reached the breaking point at our failures. I grew tired of reminding kids of what chores needed to be done (even though they are all listed out for them,) calling them back to the chore when they got distracted, having them take FOREVER to complete the chore, then calling them back when they failed to complete the chore to the standard that befits their age and training at the chore. Also I grew tired of the disrespectful attitudes and responses that were given to me. So after seeing my online friend Linda's review of Accountable Kids, I ruminated for many weeks on it. I finally decided that we needed to give this system a try.
We definitely have our work cut out for us. We've tried many different systems before. But the thing I like about this one is that it puts the monkey on their backs, not mine. All I have to do is check that the chore was done properly and hand out tickets when necessary. And then I need to try really, really, really hard not to remind them to check their boards. I'll address how the system works, and how I tweaked it to fit us, in another post.