Preparing today's students for tomorrow's world in a caring learning environment

Parent Tips on Responsibility

1. Allow for opportunities to model responsibility and accountability

(e.g. “I know that it can take more time to get this area picked up. We always clean up our own stuff” or “This was my fault and I take responsibility for this. Next time I will…”).

2. Allow for opportunities for your child to contribute

(e.g. “Thank you for helping set the table. We work together as a family to share the workload.”)

3. Understand that no child in his/her right mind wants to do ‘chores’

(e.g. “I understand that this may not seem fun, but let’s see what we can get accomplished with a job well done”)

4. Allow children ‘do it myself’ opportunities and ‘help’ even if it seems more work for you

(e.g. make his/her own bed, fold towels, dust around the house)

5. Provide routines and structures

(e.g. bedtime rituals, getting ready in the morning)

6. Problem-solve with your child in a difficult situation

(e.g. Try not to rush in to ‘bail’ your child out of a difficult situation, support your child in handling the problem himself - offering an apology, making amends or supporting them to pay for damaged goods)

Considerations for Age Appropriate Responsibilities

What might be age appropriate responsibilities for school-aged children? As a frame of reference for parents, we have compiled ideas of how responsibility may look for your own child and your family circumstances. Please know that it is important to support your child in gaining independence and developing a point of control vs. just giving them a ‘to-do list’. These areas promote children’s independence to want to take charge and increase his/her motivation to take responsibility for himself.

Possible Responsibilities of children ages 3-5:

  • Their own clothes (within appropriate season, safety and decency)
  • How much to eat
  • Who to play with and when
  • Who is allowed in his/her room
  • What book to read
  • Getting food into their mouths

Possible Responsibilities of children ages 6-9:

  • How to wear their hair (within appropriate grooming standards)
  • Clearing their place from the table/setting the table
  • Simple chores around the house
  • How to spend allowance
  • Completing homework
  • Getting their school backpack the night before
  • What sport or activity to participate in
  • Preparing simple food for themselves (snacks & lunch)

Possible Responsibilities of children ages 10-12:

  • Packing their own lunch
  • Walking with a friend from one point to another in the neighborhood with parent permission
  • Assisting with laundry tasks, dishes and other household chores

(Adapted from