How to Have Self Reliant Kids Who Work, Don’t Whine, and Are Not Entitled Brats

Summer is a great time to work on getting more strict with having your kids help with family chores. Usually, schoolwork is out of the way or is a much lighter load, so you can focus on having kids learn how to cook, do laundry, and clean, consistently, every day. I love the above video from Merrilee Boyack to inspire us that way. She casts an amazing vision of what chores/life skills to expect your child to do at each age, from  3 years to 14. You can skip to about the 20 minute mark to see the checklist, if you want to see it right away and hear her insightful comments about how she used this list to raise her four boys. Be sure to get her book, pictured below, to get all the details. You can get a paper copy of the checklist here. Tape it to the inside of your kitchen cupboard to remind you of what to expect and teach each kid as they grow. I like her idea of using the life skill milestones to get corresponding tools for birthday gifts. I also love that she says to talk about the upcoming skills to get your kids excited.


Here’s another video below, an interview with Merrilee. Her method really works, if her children are any evidence. Her son, Connor Boyack, the author of the Tuttle Twins books, is one of the most independent minded people I know. Here’s what I wrote about his series of books for kids based on classics on liberty. Hooray for kids who work hard and hooray for all of us parents who choose to “make” our kids work! Hard working people make the world go round!


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