How to encourage both helpfulness and responsibility, continued

I recently shared a dilemma I'm having in my family: the subtle-but-disturbing tension between teaching kids to be helpful with teaching them responsibility.

I've eagerly watched the comments, wondering if you feel that same tension, and what (if anything) you've done about it. As I knew would happen, several thoughtful responses have come in.

Margaret Weiss, aka The Child Whisperer, wrote an entire blog post in response, and shared it on the Parent Hacks Facebook page.

You must read this amazing post. It's so thoughtfully-written, so logical, and yet so respectful of different approaches. I've read it three times and I'm still digesting.

in many households, the chores are either being compensated (bargained, negotiated) or turn into a power struggle between kids: kids like the way things have been until this point and parents who see the need for change but are reluctant to proceed for various (well-intended) reasons.

i would like to offer some guidelines on that from purely practical point – and argue both sides for those in favor of democracy.


If you haven't already, I invite you to read How do you teach helpfulness while promoting responsibility? and continue the conversation in the comments there. I'm so curious about what you have to say!