We, the parents, have been thinking a lot about responsibility recently. Our kids lead a pretty cushy life and neither of us want them to end up spoiled or never knowing how great it feels when you do a hard job and you do it well. I noticed over the Christmas break that Owen, and to some extent Isabelle, were content to spend hours in front of the TV, often choosing that over going outside to play, or even playing board games...this was a shocker for us and I sadly realized that I have let this happen...I, the parent, am responsible. Making the kids responsible for things around the house has never been our strong suit...they both put their clothes in the hamper...sometimes, they hang up their coats and put away their boots after playing outside...sometimes, Owen puts his dishes in the dishwasher after meals...rarely, they clean up their own toys...sometimes. It has not been something that we have focused on, but all that is behind us. A while ago I talked about New Year's Resolutions and one of mine is to focus on raising the kids the way we want to...not just going with the flow and letting things happen...to be purposeful and deliberate in our parenting choices. For me, that means - more outside - less inside...more creative play - less tv/video games...more board games and card games - less "mama is busy, we'll do that later"...more earning tv / video time - less hours spent mindlessly watching.
So, in that vein, I have created a Chore Chart for Owen. He is 5 years old and has 5 things to do in the morning before school, 5 things to do after school and 5 things to do before bed at night, also there is a Daily Extra - one for each day of the week. I presented this idea to Owen last night and it was met with excietment, this is a good thing. He read through the list and was thrilled to be responsible for getting the mail and packing his own snack. He was less than thrilled about cleaning the toilet (plugged his nose and made a funny face) but we talked about how mommy always has to clean up his 'dribbles' and how this will be a good way for him to learn to do it himself.
We started today with 5 checkmarks before I left for work this am - good start! We will check in in a week or so and update you on our progress.