How much and what kind of responsibilities should kids have at home as they grow up? This is something that I struggle with as a parent. I want to find the perfect balance for Audrey, at every age, that she is learning to be responsible and allowing her to be a kid at the same time.

I struggle with giving her chores. First of all, I don’t like the word chores. Chores, to me, has such a negative connotation. I like to think of it as how people live- we don’t leave our things all over the floor, we put dirty dishes in the dishwasher, we put dirty clothes in the laundry so they are ready to be washed. It’s not a chore, its how you live.

I struggle with making the bed. Should she have to do it every day? I don’t make my bed every day. Some mornings are busy and I’m happy to get her out of the house dressed with her teeth brushed. Some days we will not see the bed again until bedtime.

I struggle with toys being picked up. She is pretty good about picking up after herself. But every time- no. Some evenings I pick up her toys. Should I be more strict? I don’t know.

I think one of the reasons I don’t feel I need to be more strict is because she offers to help with other things. When I do dishes, she volunteers to help wash or dry. She’ll grab a rag to dust when I dust. She is the one that usually notices the dog nose prints on the windows and wants to wash them. This evening when I told her I was going to get dinner ready after I finished the laundry, I came down to find she made the table “fancy” for dinner. She pulled out the table cloth and place mats (that we never use), put everything in place, and even made us name tags for out places.

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I feel like I am raising a responsible 5 year old and allowing her to be a kid at the same time. But why am I always questioning myself?

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