Responsibilities, Privileges, and Consequences

Several years ago I created this 2-page document to help me keep my kids on track. I find it hard to stay on top of a person, telling them what to do all the time, reminding etc. It drives me mental. I do not like to be the person to cause grief or strain, which really gets in the way of doing what a parent needs to do. I often turn to lists, charts, posters, etc to help defer the work and pain.

In the doc, I try to be fun or silly, but real and honest. I wanted it to be more than a list of instructions and more of a guide for life.


My Responsibilities as a Good Person

Morning Responsibilities

  1. Wake up & start thinking about happy things as fast as possible!
    Maybe think about your friends, or something that you’re going to do, or about love…
  2. Make Your Bed
    Remember way back in the day, when you didn’t know how to do that?
  3. Get Dressed
    Socks go with shoes (think, bacteria!)
    Think about how grown up you are now, OMG!
  4. Brush/Style Your Hair
    Think about how happy your hair is to sitting on top of a happy, smiling and pretty/handsome face!
  5. Make & Eat Breakfast
    Maybe make breakfast for someone else too!
    Think about how it feels when someone helps you.
    Think about how happy your belly is to have food all up inside it!
  6. Wash Breakfast Dishes
    Think about how happy the dishes are to be clean!
  7. Brush Teeth
    They need to last you for at least 80 years!
  8. Organize AND Load Your Backpack
    Organizing is you giving yourself some respect.
    Think about how much better your day will be when you have everything that you need (lunch, books, gym clothes), packed.

At School Responsibilities

  1. Focus on Schoolwork
    Strengthen the noodly brain-meats!
    If you practice well, you will DO well.
    Remember way back when you first started school and you couldn’t read? Well, you can NOW!
  2. Be respectful to people
    People like respectful people.

After School Responsibilities

  1. Neatly Put Away Outerwear
    Thank you!
  2. Unpack Backpacks & Clean
    Keeping it organized is a “happy!”
    Fight back against the invading bacteria by washing your lunch bag with soap!
  3. Complete All Your Homework
    If either you or the school didn’t get the job done in class, finish it now.
  4. Eat Dinner
    Helping to make dinner is practice for real life, when there is no one to do it for you.
    Eating it (if it’s healthy) makes you stronger!
  5. Clean up the Dinner Mess
    OMG this is such an anti-fun thing to do! More helping hands makes it faster and more fun!
    More practice for when you’re grown too.
  6. Put Away ______
    Sometimes, when you’re not looking, things jump out of place! If you ever see something that needs to be put away, cleaned up or is otherwise where it should not be… Correct it, please.
  7. Shower on Shower Night
    YUK! The evil bacteria never stops trying to use us as a place to live! You can’t give up either!
  8. Do Something Smart and/or Fun
    You’re a kid. Kids Learn and Play. You should try it sometime, you might like it!
    Quite often these two things happen at the same time. Try to notice when.
  9. Jammies, Teeth and Hair
    One needs to be put on, one needs to be brushed and the other needs to be cleaned. Figure it out, before bed!

Privileges & Consequences

Parents reward a child’s good behaviour with privileges, and they also consquence poor behaviour by taking those privileges away.

When you grow up LIFE does this to you, so if you do not learn good behaviour as a child, what will your life be like as a grown up?

Privileges

  1. Computer time
  2. Video Games
  3. T.V. Shows
  4. Movies
  5. Treats
  6. Friend Visits
  7. Outings

Consequences

  1. Lose a Privilege
    What can be given, can be taken away
  2. Time Outs
    Like Jail, but for kids!
  3. Early to Bed
    Time to sit and think.
  4. Extra Chores
    Sometime you have to work your way out of trouble.

I Am a Good Person

  1. I Am a Girl/Boy, a Great One!
  2. I respect Human Rights:
    I will not cause harm;
    I will not cause loss.
  3. I am a Leader:
    I do the right thing because it is Right.
    I will be nice to you, so please be nice to me
  4. Being nice makes me a beautiful person.
    I do my own thinking
    I care what you think about me,
    but it does not change who I am
  5. I am not afraid to ask questions
    Questions lead to answers,
    Answers lead to knowledge,
    Knowledge opens doors.
  6. I work smart, but I may make mistakes
    Each mistake is a lesson,
    Each lesson makes me smarter.
  7. I share what I learn
    Just ask me
  8. I share my things
    Please return them to me just as I lent them to you
  9. I respect myself
    Respect for myself guides my morals; respect for others guides my manners.

How to Use it

  1. Download the PDF.
  2. Print it.
  3. Read it without the kid(s) present.
    • This is your chance to digest the document and decide whether or not it suits your home/kids.
  4. Introduce them to it – slowly.
    • Talk about the ideas within it at various times over a few days to prime their brains.
      Each family is different, some of these ideas may be new to yours, or might not be your style.
  5. Post it on the Wall.
    • When you feel like they’re able to understand the ideas you can put the sheets on a common wall in plain sight.
    • Show them where it is and go over it with them.
      Hey guys, remember we were talking about ____? We put these two pages on the wall to help us stay focused. I am going to let you take control over your responsibilities so just come here when you need a reminder. If I feel that you need a reminder, then I will use this too.
    • Let them ask questions and if they want to complain about something, let them. Your response to negativity is to validate their feelings because from a child’s perspective these sheets aren’t a bag of candy – they will complain.
      “I can see that this makes you feel ____. We’re going to give this a chance and I am very pleased with you for being willing to try it with me.”
  6. Refer to it at key moments to help them stay on track.
    • In the beginning, when they can see you, go to the Morning Responsibilities list and point to #1. Read it out loud to yourself, then turn to your child and say something like,
      My happy thought was _____, what was yours?
      And then immediately suggest something that you know they’re happy about.
    • This is 1-part reminder, 1-part modelling, and 1-part programming.
    • Repeat this strategy (if it’s working) as needed, and encourage them to come read/do the next one.
  7. Don’t judge their progress.
    • Make sure that when you ask about their progress (aka: reminding them) you’re not being judgmental.
    • The message you want to convey is that you’ve placed this on the wall so that they can start taking control over their choices and become independent.
    • You’re encouraging their autonomy with this guide, rather than being a helicopter parent.
    • It takes times for humans to change their habits and behaviours, and children are actually better at it than adults are. Give them the time and space, and continue being the model.

Download the PDF

Download only once – it is a 2-page file.

My Responsibilities as a Good Person Privileges & Consequences

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