I believe that kids of any age can have responsibilities. And Miles has had some for quite some time. He was the one who started it, before I even thought it possible, he began to help me sort recycling. And then there was cleaning up his toys & throwing wrappers in the garbage.... But it wasn't until January that he was given a list of daily responsibilities and a weekly reward for completing them.
Throughout the day Miles earns Happy Faces and when Sunday evening rolls around & he has a completed week with very few missed happy faces, then he can pick an activity to do (He usually picks walking to the store to get a Slurpee, even in the cold weather.). Tonight, before bedtime, we changed his list of responsibilities to include some new ones that he hasn't had before. I find that before bedtime is a great time to talk about his achievements of the day (Miles, you did a great job wiping down the table today!). He said he was excited to earn his Happy Faces tomorrow.... funny kid.
The board we bought is from Melissa & Doug and has many different "responsibilities" you can choose from. It is suitable for any age because they range from "Keeping Your Hands To Yourself" to "Unloading the Dishwasher" ( Personally, I can't wait for that one!).
Here is his list of responsibilities for the week. We took out "Clear The Table" (which he will still do, but the focus will move onto something new) and added "Make Bed" (which I will teach him to do this week) (And yes, that will mean I will have to let go of the high bed-making standards I have).
I just thought I should blog about this because it makes me proud to see my children doing things for themselves and for our family. I like knowing that I am raising children who will someday be self-sufficient (because there really are so many who are not). And contrary to some moms beliefs, I don't think that they can be 'too young' for chores, you just need to find the right ones. I try not to think of these chores as punishment but rather accomplishments, and you are never too young for that. Plus I hope that by starting young, the concept of contributing to things around the house will become natural to them.