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Ask Charlene Hertzberg Your Own Question

Charlene Hertzberg
Charlene Hertzberg, Child care provider, parent, teache
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 44
Experience:  22 years of experience working with children, formerly worked as a parental advisor
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Talk to a 6 year old about responsibility

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Talk to a 6 year old about responsibility?

You want to discuss how to be responsible with a 6 year old, is that correct?

Is the child a boy or girl?

What is it you would like the child to be responsible for?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

No. How to get my 6 year old girl to understand and to take on responsibility.

She leaves things, like a reading assignment book in her desk at school so we have been unable to complete it over the weekend. She also tends to leave her shoes & jacket or anything else in her hand in the middle of the floor where she was walking thru. And not all in the same place but scattered throught her journey thru the house.

Is this better detail and do you want more?


Thank you for your inquiry.


Usually the best place to start in a situation like this, is to sit down with your daughter and let her know that we all have responsibilities. Give her specific examples of your responsibilities, and ask her to imagine what it would be like if you didn't do your responsibilities. Then let her know that she has responsibilities too, list some of the ones that she does okay (taking herself to the bathroom when she needs to go, brushing her hair, whatever things you see that she does take responsibility for) and also the things that you feel she is not taking responsibility for ( you don't need to distinguish between the two yet, just list them). Ask her what responsibilities she thinks she has been doing well at, and what she thinks she needs to work on. If you disagree, give her your feedback too.

Then, make a chart with some of the most important responsibilities she has, try to put some on that she is already succeeding at, but mostly it should be things she needs to work on. Each day at the end of the day (or when she finishes the responsibility if it is a one time activity) mark off or put a sticker next to each responsibility she did a good job of taking care of. If you want you can offer a reward for a certain number of stickers at the end of the week, or you could just use it as a list for her and let the fact that she can check them off be her reward.

As much as possible, encourage her to take the full responsibility for remembering to do them. You might put categories like:

- Take care of my belongings and put them away where they belong

- complete my homework (if she didn't bring her book home and can't complete it, then she can not mark this off, if bringing books is a real issue, you may want to seperate them out and have that listed as two seperate categories.


If you have any further questions about this or need more clarification, please feel free to ask. If my answer has helped, please remember to push the green accept button.




Charlene Hertzberg and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
ok, so make a list of her responsibilities and then make a chart together and a reward system, from stickers for the day to a barbie for the month or for 20 times in a month. But a system we can both do and agree on together. I have a similar system for her behavior issues at school that we started 3 weeks ago. (new semester) After advice from the teacher I have adjusted it to make it easier to obtain her 6 week goal. The goal went from 6 weeks of good behavior (daily reward=sticker on page from school) she gets a chamileon. Also every week she has 5 good days she gets to go to a "cutie store" (i.e. Sweet & Sassy, etc) for a small item. Now the reward is for every good week we buy something for the chamileon (i.e. the tank, trees, accessories to finally the chamileon) over 4 weeks. She has one good week in the books, so to speak. These changes were just incorporated this weekend. I never have had a chart for home but I guess we can start that too. The only question now is can you have too many charts? We have other issues we are working on that maybe we can come back to you on. I am a single Dad with 60% custody and may be getting more. Thanks.

You can have too many charts, but having one reward system for behavior and one for responsibilities should not be too much. If you incorporate more things, you might consider adjusting them on to the same chart. Try to make your responsbility categories broad enough that you won't need ot havea lot of things on it. You could even just have a list of her responsibilities (as long as there aren't too many) and then put "took care of my responsibilities" on her behavior chart as one of the items on the chart.


The most important part is to help her "buy into" it, by both helping her see that everyone has responsibilities and why they are important, and by allowing her to have some say in what she thinks her responsibilities are.

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