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I don’t do laundry.

I take that back.  I don’t do my boys’ laundry.   They do their own laundry.

They also make their lunch, clean their rooms, vacuum, take out the trash, mop the floors, sweep the porch, run store errands, rake leaves, bake and dust.

Because I cannot do it all.

I admit it.  I can’t do it all.  My hands are full with working from home, writing for several websites, home schooling the boys and running the household.   My youngest son is autistic and requires lots of attention.

So I had to learn to let go and teach my boys responsibility.   It’s their home too, you know?

The first thing I had to do was let go of perfectionism.  I had to settle for “that’s good enough.”

Maybe the boys don’t quite get all the corners like I would – that’s okay.

Second, I had to take the time to show them how to perform each chore, not do it for them.

I did my part by setting up a chore chart, prominently displayed on the refrigerator.  We switch out tasks weekly so one person doesn’t get stuck with cleaning the bathroom every week.  Do you need a free chore chart?  Click here to download a free chore chart template.

The chores are done after Bible study and before the start of the school day.   As far as cooking goes, the boys make their own breakfast and lunch.  I keep lots of soups, oatmeal, sandwich fixings and fruit around so they can make their meals with little fuss.  Another trick is to keep boxed cake mix handy.  That way, when they want dessert and I don’t have time to whip up something fancy, they get in the kitchen and bake a cake themselves!

Our home school is not just about textbooks and the three R’s.  We have included a fourth R – responsibility.

4 Responses to “Teaching Kids Responsibility”

  1. Kathy D.

    Love the fourth R: Responsibility!! I'm always surprised when people think it's terrible we have chore lists for the boys. I'll just be using your "fourth R" to point out what goes on in our house :)


  2. Sherri

    Love this concept. I have been slowly moving in this direction but, I still have trouble with the ownership part. Did you have to follow behind the boys and keep walking them through the process.
    Love the picture of your boys baking. The kitchen looks spotless. Had to chuckle, my kitchen does not look anything like this when my boys get through with it. Thank you for yourgood ideas.

  3. Regina

    I had to take the time to show them how to do it. It took a couple of times but after that, they were on their own. As long as they do their chores to the best of their ability, I am happy.

    The boys clean the kitchen after baking and believe me, that one was a chore! But they finally understand they cannot bake anything without cleaning up. The call of cake is stronger than anything! LOL

    Good luck to you and thank you for your comments.

  4. Pam Sheridan-Donica

    HURRAY for the 4th “R”! What a great incorporation of turning children into responsible, considerate adults and citizens. Thanks for what you do! Unfortunately, the public sector does not emphasize a true amount of responsibility. Sad to say.


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