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Archive for the ‘Kids and Responsibility’ Category

Goal Setting 101

August 29th, 2014 - Category: Kids and Responsibility



Whether it’s a scholarship that’s in your future or just a desire to get a better math grade than last year, the beginning of the school year is a great time to set some goals.

If you want to ensure that your goals get accomplished, follow these simple tips to keep you on track.


Start by making sure your goals are realistic.

Don’t set yourself up for disappointment by setting goals that you aren’t going to be able to accomplish.  Failure can deflate your confidence and affect other goals as well.  Don’t be vague in your goal setting and set a time limit.


Break it down.

Write down the steps it will take to finish your goal.  Keep track of how far you’ve come and how far you still need to go.  If necessary reward yourself at certain increments to keep your momentum going.


Make yourself accountable.

Tell a friend about your goals and check in with them periodically to make sure that you stay on track.  For more fun, make goals together and have a race to the finish.


Think positive.

Positive thinking is an essential factor when it comes to success.  Use positive language and thoughts when referring to your goals and you may be surprised how much farther you can get.


Goal setting is much more than simply saying you want something to happen. Remember to clearly define exactly what you want and make a plan to get there, and your odds of success will be within your reach.


So, what will you decide to accomplish today?




Helping Your Tired Kids Wake-Up

February 19th, 2013 - Category: Kids and Responsibility

Does your child seem to be continually tired?  If so there may be a physical or psychological explanation for their tiredness, but maybe it’s just because they don’t have anything to wake-up for.  Maybe they don’t have any dreams or goals to work toward or achieve.  Maybe they are just going through the motions of life, with nothing to enjoy.  They may not like who they are anymore.

When I was younger, I was in a graduate school program that I hated, but I didn’t feel that I had any other direction to go.  After grudgingly working my way through several months, I began to have difficulty getting up in the morning – even when I’d gone to bed early the night before.  Often I’d sleep until one o’clock in the afternoon, roll out of bed, and drag myself to class at the last minute.  I began over eating and my dress became sloppy as well.  I began to experience chronic tiredness

Interestingly enough, when the program was over, a surge of energy began pouring back into my life.  I enjoyed getting up in the morning again and I looked forward to my day.  I was able to fulfill my responsibilities.  I was excited about life again.

Maybe like me, your child is suffering from chronic tiredness because of a lack of dreams.  Not because of anything physical, maybe it’s just because their life is misaligned or mismanaged.  And their lack of dreams is leaving them nothing to get fired up about.

Discuss with your child the real source of their tiredness: Is it because they have no dreams to pursue?  If so, give them something to live for, something to look forward to, something to wake-up about.

  • Consider enrolling them in a sport or a club.
  • Help them find a friend that they can share special moments with.
  • Encourage them to branch out and try new things.
  • Give them some responsibility.

If your child always seems to be tired, consider helping them find a dream to wake-up for!

Battle of the Chores

January 15th, 2013 - Category: Kids and Responsibility

How many times have you looked around your messy house, only to see your kids watching TV, so you thrown up your hands in frustration and decide to have a family meeting?  How many times have you come away from the meeting with a desire to make a change but it only lasts for about 3 days, and then everyone is back into their old routines again?

It is time to succeed!  It is time to win the Battle of the Chores!  Make this the year where everyone’s ideas about chores are changed.

Many times it’s the parents that need to change their thinking about chores too.  Maybe you resent your parents for making you do chores.  Maybe you want your kids to have a better childhood than you did. Maybe you feel guilty for making one child clean up after another child.  Whatever is holding you back, realize that you are hurting your child more than you are helping them by letting them get out of their chores.

Just like we send our children off to school to prepare them for a job when they are adults, having them help out around the house now, prepares them to maintain a home when they are adults.  Chores are just another life skill.  You are showing them more love by helping them be more responsible around the house.

Start Young

It’s always easier and faster to just do the job yourself, but remember the short term goal is to get the house clean, the long term goal is to teach your child how to work and be responsible.  Start young and you will have less arguing from them as they grow older.

Baby Steps

If it’s too late and bad habits are already formed, take baby steps.  Plan on taking the next year to slowly add more chores and responsibility.  Start this month with having them help with the dinner dishes.  Next month add a bigger Saturday chore.  Several months down the road, they can have several daily chores, and by the end of the year, you can even add several BIG chores in.

Alongside You

When you add chores slowly it gives you the opportunity to help them and show them the standard you would like the chore to be done at.  (And you get to spend some extra time with them!) It takes 21 days of doing something for it to become a habit.  By taking a month before you add more responsibility, it helps them and you develop habits of getting those chores done.

Let Them Choose

You may be thinking that this the craziest thing ever when it comes to kids doing their chores but giving them a choice means that the job is more likely to be done.  You may just be surprised at what they pick.

Cleaning Loves Company

Set up a certain time of the day when chores should be done.  If everyone is cleaning at the same time then it doesn’t make anyone feel like they have to do it all alone.

Use a Reward System

We don’t like to work unless we get rewarded for it and neither do our kids.  When offering a reward, make sure it is something they think is a reward, not just something you like. offers kids the opportunity to choose their own reward.  Points add up and they are able to cash them in for items on  What could be easier?

Make a plan for this year to be different.  Start now by showing your kids how much you love them by making them do chores and be more responsible.

Teaching Kids Responsibility

October 31st, 2012 - Category: Kids and Responsibility

How do you awake a desire in your children to be more responsible?  How do you encourage them to be more diligent?  It can all start by nurturing your own enthusiasm of their independence.

It can be hard to cut those apron strings.  As a parent you want what is best for your children.  To step back and watch them make a mistake or a wrong decision is one of the hardest things to do.  But having an attitude of excitement for the progress and growth of your child will help the process.  Instead of being scared of the mistakes thy may make, appreciate the progress they do make.

To teach kids responsibility, teach them how to do something new by letting them assist you.  You can point out tips and how you expect the job to be done along the way.  List possible actions, outcomes, and consequences of different situations along the way.

Relay to them your personal experiences and how you succeeded or failed.  They need to know you are human too, so when they do fail, they know they can come to you for help and advise.

Ask them questions that will stimulate the thought process of how they can solve certain situations.  Guide them on where they can look for help but don’t make any decisions for them.  They may get frustrated and want you to give them a quick fix.  What can take you minutes, may take them days to figure out, but in the long run, advice will be better than doing it for them when you are teaching kids responsibility.

Remember that its’ O.K. if they decide to do something differently than we would.  It doesn’t make it wrong, just different.  Who knows, they may even prove you wrong!

As they come up with solutions to their problems, their self-esteem and confidence will increase, and they will become more responsible and independent.

At, kids can become more responsible by being self motivated to finish the jobs that are assigned to them.  With parental notices on whether or not certain jobs are done, you can encourage them without being overbearing.

Teaching kids responsibility takes time and isn’t something that happens by accident.  It takes intentional encouragement and patience.  Be excited for their growth, lead and guide them along the way, and then let them fly.

So you want to raise a responsible child …

January 20th, 2012 - Category: Kids and Responsibility

You hear it all the time, “I just want my kids to be responsible.” What does that mean to you? Better yet, what does it mean to your child? Sometimes I wonder if my kids and I speak the same language. Instructions that are perfectly clear to me do not always get the result I was hoping for. Does that ever happen at your house?

Let’s take a closer look at the word “responsible.” It means being answerable or accountable for something within one’s power, such as a list of “chores” to be done. However, in order to be accountable, the child needs to know what exactly what is expected. How many times have you sent a child to clean their room and when you go to inspect it you wonder how they thought it qualified as being clean? We need to be very specific in what we see the end result as being so that our child will know when the chore is completed. Having their chores listed on their online job chart makes being accountable easy. Being able to check off completed chores gives your child a sense of accomplishment.

The best way to help a child understand what they need to do is for the parent to work alongside of their child at first, showing them the way and giving them tips on how to get the job done. It’s like giving them a “lesson” first. That way everyone knows what is expected. Just don’t expect more than is reasonable. Having attainable goals and the prospect of earning a reward will keep your child enthusiastic about doing his or her jobs.

Making the chores age-appropriate is also important. This is where you will find My Job Charthelpful. With the use of the icons even young children can be assigned simple chores. It’s wise not to overwhelm or over-schedule children of any age.

If you are new to My Job Chart or even if you have been utilizing our system for some time, you will find useful tips on how to best set up and maintain a workable program for your child on the main site and in previous posts on this blog, particularly in “Making the Most of My Job Chart.”

Now, let’s try tweaking that word, “responsible.” You can also think of it as “response – able.” Able to respond; most parents want to raise children that are caring, compassionate, helpful, innovative and dependable. If a child can learn to see what is needed (someone needs help, a mess needs to be cleaned up, etc.) and respond to it without being asked, they are becoming “response – able.” When they realize they’ve made a mistake and their first reaction is to apologize and try to make amends, they are becoming “response – able.” These traits are learned as children observe their parents behave in this manner and as they have opportunities to do the same. Having a system in place where kids are accountable on a regular basis for completing tasks will go far in helping them to become responsible now and in the years to come.

Your Children Crave Responsibility – Give It to Them

July 12th, 2011 - Category: Kids and Responsibility

Have you ever tried to take a week off? Not on vacation, but just staying at home, doing nothing all day long? It’s kind of nice for a day or two, right? But before long, you start to notice little things:

  • The shelves haven’t been dusted in a few weeks
  • That towel rack in the bathroom is coming loose
  • There’s a growing pile of clothes that need to be mended
  • There’s a broken sprinkler that’s affecting the water pressure

Before you know it, your week off is now a honey-do vacation. You, of your own free will, have just given yourself chores. And how do you feel when the chores are done and you return to work? Fantastic!

The natural instinct of fixing and cleaning that you have is something your children are just starting to develop. They don’t want to sit around either. And although they may whine and make a fuss about doing their chores on a regular basis, they want to feel a sense of accomplishment and responsibility.

Let me give you some examples where I’ve witnessed this lately:

-3 young, homeschooled children had the day off because both their parents had to work. Rather than spend their time playing video games the kids all researched topics that they could teach one another.

-After helping her mother in the garden, a little girl asked if she could plant a garden of her own.

-After their father built a new playhouse, two young kids went to work sweeping the floor and carefully arranging their toys.

Your children crave responsibility. They want to do things that are useful and appreciated. And you can cultivate that characteristic. Give them a chance to be responsible.

If your child informs you that the towel rack in the bathroom is loose – tell him to fix it. If your young child is hungry, encourage her to fix a snack and make enough for all the others in the house. If one of your kids steps on a sharp object in their bedroom, hand them the vacuum.

No, this is not the traditional way of doing chores. But not all chores have to be assigned. In fact, if you’re waiting for all the chores to get done so you have a clean house, you’ll always be waiting for something. Giving your children more responsibility and teaching them to act when something needs doing will develop great characteristics and help you as parents maintain a well-run home.

Should You Reward a Job Half Done?

February 23rd, 2011 - Category: Kids and Responsibility

Let’s face it…as children, most of us tried to get away with doing a minimum amount of work. And to some degree that tendency sticks with us through adulthood. So is it difficult to understand your children when they don’t perform in their chores as well as we would like?

If you’re like most families, then you’ve certainly dealt with children who want to do less than a perfect job. Instead they attempt to hide toys under their bed or in the closets. They might wipe counters with water and neglect to use a cleaning agent. Or perhaps they pull the most obvious weeds and leave those hidden weeds to be handled by someone else later.

So the question of the day is…should you reward a job half done or partially done? Will “partial” work teach your children responsibility and make a worthy contribution to your household? We’d suggest its okay to do so. But perhaps you’ll consider these stipulations:

The reward should be far less appealing than a job well done. Let’s say that a typical reward for a completed job is worth 30 points in the online job chart. Rather than giving 15 points for a job half done, offer 7 or 8 instead. Let your child know that part of responsibility is seeing something finished to the end.

The child should have the chance to complete the job fully. Every child has tough days once in awhile. A decision to do half a job today may well be regretted tomorrow. Especially once the child realizes how many points or the reward they may lose out on. Seeing the consequences may teach a child penance and renew their sense of responsibility.

Continued irresponsibility should be discouraged with natural consequences. If your child is in the habit of half-completing their responsibilities, reward them less and less. If a partially completed job would usually gain 8 points, drop them to 6 the next time the child fails to complete the same chore. If done again, 4 points should be sufficient.

More than anything, you want your children to learn responsibility. But showing some sympathy when your child’s natural tendency is not to work may even be beneficial to your child. Just be sure you lead them toward making more responsible choices in the future.