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July 8, 2012


Independence is knowing when "good" is good enough 

What it is


To accurately assess the quality of one's efforts.

Why it's Important

Independence requires that we establish our own standards of performance and conduct and then have the ability to objectively determine how well we’ve hit our mark. 

The Problem

Human nature makes us lazy; we’re biologically wired to conserve energy. Bothersome chores get done poorly.

  • Vague Standards
  • Meaningless Task

Ugh!  It gets mighty frustrating having to point out the missed details in a sloppy chore, over and over again.

 The Tip

Delegate w/o Details

Allow your kids to practice setting standards and assessing efforts without assuming they need your help. 

“Never tell people how to do things.  Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.”    General Patton

Step 1

Identify 3ish frequent chores with 5 steps.  Example: Clearing the table after dinner.

  1. Clear everything from table
  2. Thoroughly wipe table
  3. Thoroughly wipe chairs
  4. Thoroughly sweep under table and chairs
  5. Replace chairs

Step 2


Ask your kids to accept responsibility for a chore.  Offer chores by name w/o details, i.e., Clear Dinner Table, Take Garbage Out, Tidy Family Room . . .

Step 3


With confidence in your child, ask her if she has a question about what’s expected.  Answer only the questions asked.

Step 4

Hold your tongue

The first night you may find crumbs on the floor.  Yippie!  It’s your opportunity to help him understand how to establish standards and self-evaluate.  Point out the crumbs and ask for them to be swept.

Step 5

Turn it over

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