A friend of mine recently asked her friends’ list if they thought token economies worked. I think they can personally when handled properly and followed through on. It got me thinking about

1. How I need to go ahead and place my order with Accountable Kids, and

2. What is it I want to get out of the program.

I stumbled upon Accountable Kids while babysitting for a friend. She is a book junkie like I am so I often scan her bookcases when I’m in her home making a mental note of what I need to look up and learning a little bit about her as I go along *I’m a firm believer that ones bookshelf is a gateway into who they are, and it’s nice to see what gets my inner circle’s wheels turning*. As I scanned I saw Accountable Kids and figuring I had some time before she would return I plucked it off the shelf and began to read it.

Now we have dabbled in token economies before. First with a chore chart were every chore had a monetary value attached to it. This was mostly to help teach money and financial responsibility *saving for the bigger toy instead of blowing it the minute they got it*. I wasn’t really happy with it, since at the ages the kids are money doesn’t have the kind of value adults give to it and thus doesn’t allow for any sort of discipline measure *at least not in our home anyways*.

We currently have a family chore chart, and we all contribute to the final rewards *family movie nights, dinners out, fun park trips*, but that is more of a way to show how we all contribute to the home and our rewarded for our hard work at the end of the week. It still didn’t address some of the issues I felt were most important *accountability and consequences when one is irresponsible*.

Which is what made me nearly polish off the Accountable Kids book before my friend came home. It addressed the very issues I was trying to address. I enjoyed it’s method of handling discipline issues *I’m not all spanking is evil, but I personally want something different than what The Spouse and I grew up with*.

And most importantly it gives me a model to stick too, I think that has been the biggest problem is having a clear model we can use. What we have done has mostly just been pieced together and frankly not as affective as I would like and I know it is because of this lack of structure.

Something else stood out to me while reading the comments on the post, and it was that one commenter had said this method reminded them of Pavlov’s Dog experiment, which got me thinking on a deeper level about parenting, discipline, etc. Pavlov’s experiment is an act in classical conditioning where he used stimuli to induce a response in a dog. Even in it’s most simplest forms parenting can be seen as “conditioning”, although I prefer to not think of what I am doing as a parent in the same light as a scientist using a dog.

We start this from the time the child learns to roll over. First by moving objects out of their way *they soon recognize they can‘t have these items*, then proclaiming HOT! when they reach for the stove/oven *they soon remember they must not touch these items even if you aren’t around to tell them they are hot*, to potty training *it is called training after all* where we teach a child what to do when their body gives them the signals that it needs to go, it all adds up to producing someone who can navigate through life realizing that there are consequences and rewards *either internal or external* in life.

So it brought me to the conclusion that all parenting is conditioning in some form or fashion. The only thing that changes is the methods we use with our children. For some families it’s token economies, for others it’s grounding, bribing, time-outs, scolding, or corporal punishment.

Each method is an attempt to get the desired behavior that the parents/guardians want. Not all methods offer positive results *for instance bribing is usually done when the child is having a fit in an attempt to stop the behavior, which in a lot of cases just feeds the behavior later on so they can get their way*.

The most important thing about parenting regardless of how you look at it is that you do what you see is best for your child(ren) in a safe, loving, nurturing way. Ultimately, you want them to be accountable, confident, respectful, responsible, loving, and secure in who they are.

There are million and one different ways to do this, trust yourself and you will me amazed at where it can lead.

**For the record Accountable Kids isn’t paying me or giving me their product *I was just THAT impressed with what I read…and when it comes to books/products of this nature it takes A LOT to impress me*.**

Copyright(c) 2010 Rayven Holmes


  1. I have a friend who uses the "Positive Parenting" materials and who is talking about being PP trainers. I can't see that her kids are, in any way, better behaved children than any other children. In fact, rather worse in some ways. That didn't stop me from getting some of the PP materials. If you can get past the "gee, aren't we entertaining and brilliant parents" part of the CDs that I got, I didn't really find anything there that appealed to me.
    That's not to say that it won't help others, perhaps only that I've read extensively! lol
    I'm *still* allowing my daughter to choose the token economy arrangement if she develops it, though! Does that set up a different dynamic, do you think, if the CHILD creates the system instead of the child?! LOL

  1. I don't think it will set up a different dynamic, but it will help teach the child some important lessons. Like management *how will I work everything into this system*, follow through *how will I ensure this system can be stuck with *, critcal thinking *how will this work, will this work, what needs to be changed*, and a chance to really see and understand herself on a deeper level. She will have to address the problems and come to you with a model that will help teach herself self-control.
    Which is a great lesson to learn in her teens since she will be needing it for the rest of her life. She is at the perfect age to do this!

  1. Elizabeth and I have been talking further about this tonight and she has written down some guidelines for her point system. She's MUCH harder on herself than I would But, overall, it's interesting to see the thoughts she has about has been very interesting...

  1. I hope she has some luck with it and at the very least grows more as a person. Maybe she can figure out why she is so hard on herself, and learn just how much she needs to push herself, and when she can back off and just relax.

Post a Comment

Share your thoughts, but be warned if you are here to be hateful no one will see your comments...unless I'm in a foul mood at which point I will let my minions loose on you. Muwhahahahaaa. ;)