Start as early as possible, but it is never too late to teach children to take responsibility. Teach them to make their beds while they are young enough to think it is fun. Give them a radio, alarm clock, or phone when they start to school and teach them how to use it to wake themselves up to get ready on time for school.

Make a list of chores by the days of the week. Mark some “Because You Are Family” and tell them these are required. Then mark some “Above and Beyond” and put a small amount of money next to these (i.e., 25¢, 50¢, or $1.00 based on their difficulty) and let them begin to learn that work can result in pay. You will be surprised how fast they will catch on to this.

To teach children responsibility, do not always “bail them out,” and that includes making excuses for their actions. They need to learn early-on that what they do and DO NOT do has consequences but remember always to respond to them in a loving way.

— Marilyn, Texas

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