Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Most parents underestimate their children's abilities to help in the home. It can be easy to forget that a child who has mastered a complicated computer game can easily manage using the dishwasher! Understanding a child's stage of development and choosing age appropriate jobs can help the entire family work together and maximize resources. It is recommended that parents review chapter three in the Accountable Kids book to determine the child's developmental stage before implementing these suggestions. Leaning and completing these chores can develop motivation, work ethic, life skills, and confidence during critical windows of development. Small children are capable of completing one or two simple extra jobs but as children get older, and more capable, they can handle a larger quantity of jobs, as well as those that are more complex. Ages 2 to 3: Help make bed, pick up toys, help feed pets, put clothes in hamper, wipe up messes, dust, mop small areas, pile books or magazines, lay out clothes for the next day self. Ages 4 to 5: Any of the above plus, make own bed, empty wastebaskets, bring in mail or newspaper, clear and set the table, help in the kitchen, dust, use hand-held vacuum to pick up crumbs, dress self, water flowers, unload utensils from dishwasher, wash plastic dishes at sink, help carry and put away groceries. Ages 6 to 8: Any of the above plus, fold and put away laundry, sweep floors, handle personal hygiene, set and clear table, prepare school lunch, take out trash, weed, rake leaves, keep bedroom tidy, pour own drinks, answer telephone. Ages 9 to 12: Any of the above plus, load dishwasher, vacuum, sweep, mop, cook simple foods, make own snacks, wash table after meals, sew buttons, run own bath, make own breakfast, peel vegetables, cook simple food (such as toast), walk pets, pack own suitcase, clean bathroom, operate washer and dryer. Ages 13 and up: Any of the above plus, unload dishwasher, do all laundry functions, wash windows, wash car, cook meals with supervision, iron clothes, baby-sit younger siblings (with adult in the home), clean out refrigerator, clean stove and oven, make grocery lists, mow lawn, clean kitchen, change bed, make cookies or cake from box mix, plan birthday party, have neighborhood job - such as pet care or yard work, or have a paper route.


  1. Traci,
    Hi! I know you talk to a lot of parents but you talked me through some questions I had two weeks ago about the AK program. We have been doing it for about three weeks now. So far so good....with a few little glitches....for instance...today...my son forgot to ask for his ticket. Do I really have to not give him one for not asking for it? I guess this only reinforces and helps him to follow through to the end tomorrow.

    I'm excited about your blog and will tell others about it. I posted on AK last week and have been telling my friends about it. I think you guys are doing are great thing....thanks for sharing it with others!

  2. There are many factors to consider when you decide if you are going to remind your son about tickets. The goal is to help him develop positive habits and begin to take initiative for starting his chores. There are different ways to accomplish this depending on the age and personality type of your child. Some parents set a specific time for chores to be done. Others leave it more open and wait until the child asks to do something that requires a ticket and then it gives you an opportunity to say, “sure you can ______ but don’t forget to give me a ticket first”. This way you are sending him back to the board to figure out what to do. I set an “opportunity” deadline. For example; after breakfast I go in the front living room and begin my planning for the day. My kids go about finishing their morning jobs and they know that they can come into the front room as soon as they have earned a ticket. My kids love to be the first one in because they get mom all to themselves. The first one in also gets to help with the planning of the day, pick a book for our devotional and on Monday they get to pick the value of the week. As soon as everyone is in the living room we start our devotional. This has worked great for us and helped my kids to take responsibility for their morning chores without reminders.
    Take care,

  3. Let me just start by saying "I LOVE THIS PROGRAM". I wish I had this years ago! My boys are now 10 and 12. We started the AK about one month ago, and we all love it. My kids have a sense of direction in thier day, they know what needs to be done and they get it done - no more nagging from mom! No more, 'what should I do now?" questions! It has given all of us a sense of freedom. I think that I am still in shock at what my boys are capable of, and I mean that in a loving way of course.

    That's not to say that everything went smoothly and perfectly from day one.. LOL, I wish. I battled with some bad attitudes, forgetfulness etc.. but the program is consistent and it helped me to be consistent. I just can't say enough positive things about this program! If I had more $$ I would buy this for everyone one of my friends with children, and gift it to them!

    God Bless,