Responsibility is a big thing. I believe it should be taught young, but not too young. I feel that children should understand what they are responsible for and why they are responsible for those things. I’ve never really worried too much about it until this year. Now that both kids are in school I thought this was the perfect time to introduce some new rules. To my amazement it’s working very well.
I have set up two chore charts in the hallway. Each child has their own. We start on Sunday and end on Saturday evening. The kids are paid on Saturday evening according to how many checks they have. I started off very simple. Now that both kids are in school I thought this was an ideal time to get into a good routine and this chore chart has helped us tremendously. There are simple things on there such as brush teeth, lay out clothes, make lunch, feed dogs, etc. They are very simple tasks, but just enough to get them started.
I decided when I started this that I was not going to give any leeway. That might sound harsh, but I thought if I did in the beginning then they would expect it all the time. So if they go to bed one night and don’t lay out their clothes for the next day then they get an x instead of a check mark. It’s that simple and they know it. If it’s time to brush teeth and they say they don’t want to I don’t force the issue. I simply remind them that they can brush their teeth and get a check or not and get an x. Almost every time they have ended up doing it. They have gotten so into it that they ask each night if they can check off what they did that day. My son will even come in the kitchen at night and feed the dogs and then remind us that he needs his check mark. I think it’s working!
Like I mentioned earlier, we pay them on Saturday evenings. I count up all the checks they have and they are given a certain amount per check mark. They thought it was really neat to earn dollar bills. They both ran to their rooms and put it in their wallets. Now I just have to teach them how to save money and not spend every dollar they get the second they get it. I think that will be harder then getting them to do chores!
Teaching my children responsibility has made a big difference in our home. Kids love being rewarded and they love to be praised. Anyway you can teach a child and incorporate that I think you will almost always have success. I hope we continue on the path we’re on. If we do, it’s going to be a great year! Good luck to everyone else who is attempting something similar in their home.