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September 5, 2014

Sliding Scales

Image: Flickr/Eric Leslie

Image: Flickr/Eric Leslie

“It is amazing how quickly the kids learn to drive a car, yet are unable to understand the lawnmower, snow-blower, or vacuum cleaner.” (Ben Bergor)

It is amazing how kids can create an entire PowerPoint presentation about their Christmas list — complete with music and everything, they can figure out how to change the ringtone on your phone and reprogram the remote for the downstairs TV, but they’ll spend an entire Saturday complaining about how impossible it is to vacuum the living room!

Then again, most parents would rather reorganize their “guilty pleasures disco hits” playlist than clean a toilet, too. Still, life stinks sometimes (see what I did there?), and that toilet isn’t going to clean itself.

Think about kids and chores in terms of a sliding scale. On one side there is freedom; on the other side is responsibility. As our children grow, they should be given more of each, in proportion to one another. If they’re giving too much freedom with no responsibility, they become spoiled. If given too much responsibility with no freedom, they become rebels in waiting.

Slide those scales a little this weekend, and see what happens.

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