A typical morning in my house:
Wake kids up, tell them to get dressed, feed them breakfast, remind them to get dressed, find everything they need for school and shove it in their backpacks, threaten to take them to school naked if they don’t get dressed immediately, send them to brush their teeth, make sure they actually brush for more than five seconds, spend 10 minutes looking for shoes, trip over pajamas that have been left on the floor, tell kids to get in the car at least three times before they actually do it, run back in the house to grab a forgotten lunchbox, water bottle, or shoe, race down the street to make it to the bus stop on time.
Obviously this gets old fast!
Something I have been trying to do as my kids get older is transfer the responsibility for everyday tasks from me to them. I want them to play a part in knowing what my expectations are for them, and meeting those expectations without reminders. And let’s be honest, if I have to trip over dirty socks and pajamas for the next 14 years, or spend lots of money at the dentist filling cavities for delinquent toothbrushers, I might lose my mind.
So I created a “Daily Responsibilities” chart for each of them.
These responsibilities charts are different from a chore chart. We have one of those too!
In our house, when we talk about chores we are talking about a job that you do to earn money.
We do not give our kids an allowance, we pay them for their work. At their age we want them to learn that work and money go together. When they do a job, we pay them. The more jobs they do, the more money they get paid. We keep our chore chart on the refrigerator, and then kids put their initial under the corresponding chore. Once the chart starts to get full I hold a “pay day” and settle up with them.
Responsibilities, on the other hand, are things that I expect my kids to do without reward or payment.
Those are the things I wanted to help them keep track of. Wanting to get this done quickly, I first turned to Pinterest. There are lots of free printable charts out there, but I couldn’t find one that fit my needs and used the word responsibilities instead of chores. So I decided to roll up my sleeves and make my own.
My kids range in age from 4 to 7, so I knew that I couldn’t use the same chart for all of them. I sat down and thought about what I want my kids to do every day, and where I spend the most time reminding. Then I made a list of responsibilities for each kid. My two youngest are not reading yet, so I knew that I would have to add some pictures to their charts as well. Once I made the basic outline I let each kid pick their own color scheme. Really, I wanted them to think the charts were cool and be motivated to use them.
I sent the files to be printed and laminated, and I love how they came out! I taped them to the kids’ doors, and they use them every day with a dry erase marker. Now, instead of reminding until I’m blue in the face, I just ask the kids to go check their chart. It’s amazing!
For more free printable chore and responsibility charts, check out our Pinterest board.