Little Girl is every bit of 3.5 now, which means that it’s time for more responsibility. Enter: the responsibility chart.
So, I’m one of those “mean moms” who requires chores and responsibilities now. I figure that I wouldn’t be doing her any favors by sugar-coating reality. Life is work. You are part of life, so you work.
That doesn’t mean that chores are a drag. Little Girl is actually at a great age where she still loves to help, adores independence, and thinks that stickers are awesome. The three add up to a trifecta of happiness. I draw pictures for her every week (the responsibilities are, as yet, always the same). She likes to spend time coloring them in, and frequently asks me to make her “more charts” (which really means more pictures with Sharpie for her to color).
The point of starting this at age three, in my mind, is to get her in the habit of doing these things every day and have them be a part of life. She won’t always be so eager, but at least when she’s 8 and whining about it she won’t have memories of the “good old days” before she had to do chores.
I’m actually really pleased with how things are turning out. She can load and unload the dishwasher by herself (I put away the things that are stored up high). She can load and unload the washer and dryer by herself, and sort clothes by owner. She can feed the dog and get dressed without assistance (though the outfits she comes up with are interesting at times). Piano is going very well (she gets another practice chart with pictures that I help her through each day). Overall, I feel that my goal of having an independent human being is on its way to achievement, and I get a little help around the house. Win/win!