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The Responsibility Habit:

Start a Chore Chart


No wonder so many people today are irresponsible in their everyday lives. They were never trained to BE responsible. It's pretty hard to carry your end of a load if nobody will tell you where to stand or what to do.


So smart parents will take a long-term view, with a goal of developing a child who's responsible, by starting off with a simple chore chart with your child is small. By the time your child's a teenager, he or she will be routinely doing a number of chores every day and every week, so that the bridge to adulthood has been built on a good foundation of responsibility.


Don't use a chore chart as a punishment. Use it as a reward. If your child has done his or her chores, THEN he or she gets to do something else. You'll be glad you taught the rules of cause and effect, and actions and consequences, early. And heck! It'll be great to have a neater, more orderly household!


Age 2 or 3 is not too young to start. Even though toddlers can't read, you can still post a chart that has a little picture of what it is that you expect that child to do every day, or every week.


A great rule of thumb is to assign one chore per day and per week for every year of your child's age. So a 3-year-old may have three things that he or she does every day that's a "chore," and three things to do each week.


On your refrigerator, bulletin board, or taped to the wall or door of your child's room, you could have a simple chart with the three daily tasks briefly listed, and the three weekly tasks. Make space to put stars or checkmarks. Use an old calendar for this purpose and just put the assignments next to it. Then, at every birthday, add one more daily chore to your child's list, and one more weekly one.


Here's an example:




Ashley's Chores



Every Day: Every Saturday:

Make Bed Put Away Toys


Brush Teeth Empty Wastebaskets


Put Clothes Away Brush Dog


By Susan Darst Williams Heart Lessons 045 2007


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