Friday, August 22, 2008

With age comes responsibility

In eighth grade there was a phrase posted on the bulletin board at the front of our classroom: "With age comes responsibility." As the oldest kids in the school, we were high on our power and eager to rule the roost, so I think our teacher decided to remind us that our privileges didn't come without a price. We did have an example to set for those lowly grades below us, after all.

I like this lesson, and I'm trying to remember it as I parent. I'm not equating Kindergarten with eighth grade, but Clare takes so much pride in having responsibilities that this week seemed as good as any to establish an official system. (Plus, I found the very cute above chart at Target.) Some of her current tasks include "take care of the pets," "get dressed" (by which we mean quickly and without being asked), "set the table," and my personal favorite, "no whining." Hilariously, when Clare read that one she immediately burst into tears, so she didn't get a flower that day. But since then she's gotten the point, and she loves putting up the magnet markers each time she finishes a job. I suppose one of these days I'll have to advance to giving her an allowance - with more jobs, mind you - but for now it's refreshing to see her take ownership of herself and things around the house and find enough reward in that.