Age Appropriate Responsibilities for 4 year old

I finally got around to making a Responsibility Chart for my four year old. It’s not because I’m a “Type A” mom either. My daughter asked for one! The motivation? She desperately wants a pet. It is all I have heard about for the last six to eight weeks. Daily.

I’m delaying as long as possible. Thinking of every excuse I can offer her that will buy me time. For every reason I provide, she is creative in offering a solution.

I say, “They cost a lot of money.” She says, “I will work like you and earn money.” I say, “Pets are a big responsibility.” She says, “Teach me what I have to do.” It’s impressive… to hear her sound so grown up.

My biggest concern is that her pleading promises to love it forever and take care of it will last about a week once we get one. I know that I must be in a place where I really want a pet just in case my theory holds true.

The Responsibility Chart was created after daily questions of “What can I do to earn money?” Without a Responsibility Chart to keep her focused she was really starting to sound like a hustler. I think she offered to sell me my own car keys at one point.

I went to the craft store to see what kinds of pre-made Responsibility Charts I could find. The nice wooden ones with magnets were about $25. Though this was a convenient option, I reviewed the magnets and didn’t see a whole lot of tasks that were age appropriate or relevant to our household. Therefore, I decided to do a little research and create my own.

The Responsibility Chart has only been in use for four days, but so far it has been an amazing addition to our household. It has narrowed the focus to a few manageable tasks that reflect the priorities of our household. My daughter is so motivated to earn stars.

How we use it is: Each of the stars is worth one point. There is an opportunity for her to earn 98 stars in one week. 70 of the stars are from routine tasks. The additional 28 stars can be earned if her daddy or I notice her doing something special. Sort of an “I was caught being good” bonus. At the end of each week the stars will be tallied and converted to cash earnings.

1-21 stars = .25 cents

22-49 stars = $1.00

50-70 stars = $3.00

70-98 stars = $5.00

Like I said, we’ve only been using this for four days now and so far it’s going well. My eventual goal is to laminate it and use a dry erase marker so I don’t have to keep printing pages every week. I’ve included a free printable: Responsibility Chart Age 4. It is the one we are using. Feel free to steal ideas from it or modify to fit your own household priorities.

May your child never try to sell you your own car keys once they have a better understanding of how to earn money in other respectable ways.


A. Lockhart




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