I am not saying we did it right, but what we generally tried to practice in our parenting was "accountability sprinkled with grace." The kids were held accountable for what they did and didn’t do, but sometimes the consequences could be erased or forgiven by what we called “grace.”
One example is our 16-year-old son who has a problem with waking up on his own. Some months ago I managed to convince my wife to hold Dylan accountable to wake himself up in time for school. That meant that if he did not, we would not wake him and he would have to deal with the consequences of finding his own way to school and all the disciplinary repercussions school imposed for the offense.
This morning we agreed, that because this week is finals week, we would intervene if necessary so that he would not fail a class in case of oversleeping. We sprinkled “grace” over the situation so that the consequences did not cause too much damage. Fortunately, Dylan is responding well enough to his new responsibility that he was up and showered by 6am with plenty of time to eat and study before school.
Our kids made most of their spending money as financial rewards for good grades. We paid $20 for an A, $15 for a B, nothing for a C, and if they ever received below that, they would owe us money. We felt that life in America financially rewards hard work and we felt it was good to get them used to that concept early. Besides, our kids were athletes so working after school was not a realistic possibility.
As for allowance, we offered the kids modest amounts of money for age-appropriate chores. We expected rooms cleaned and help with the dishes, etc., but mowing lawns, washing windows, and extra work often meant a few extra dollars in their pockets. When they moved into teenage years the money and difficulty increased but so did their share of spending. Almost anything they wanted to do with friends came out of their pockets, so they knew they needed to do extra stuff once in a while.