How Do I Teach My Kids Responsibility

Remember the Disney movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs?  Snow White discovers the cottage of seven dwarfs where she sings like a chickadee and the forest animals help her clean. My favorite phrase of the song reminds me of single mothers:

There’s so much to do, come on get smart, tune up and start, just whistle while you work.

As a single mom, you can’t do everything.  You’re the cook, the cleaner, the taxi driver and more.  Perhaps it’s time to introduce those household “forest animals” to the value of chores. It’s good for you, but best for them.

When Jason and Sara were three and four, I created a work chart. I realized early-on the value of a routine and assigning family

Kids and the Single Mom give advice on how to handle rough situations. HERE!

duties. It created a sense of safety.  It helped them rely on their surroundings, when otherwise our household at times felt rather upside down.  Sound familiar?

Yet, there were other benefits of joining-in around the house that served them well as adults and now new parents. Tucked inside the duties of folding clothes, sweeping the floor and cleaning out drawers were a myriad life lessons, undeveloped skills and character building treasures.  Just look at their usefulness.

  • Chores build self-esteem. Completing a job and doing it well creates a feeling of accomplishment.
  • Chores generate a sense of family value: belonging, purpose and significance.
  • Chores instill the importance of completing what one starts.
  • Chores establish order, harmony and organization.
  • Chores introduce the concept of teamwork.
  • Chores prepare children for the real world.
  • Chores grant the opportunity to give back and feel like contributors.
  • Chores develop integrity: steadfastness, accountability, doing your best.
  • Chores teach biblical principles:

Philippians 2:14 – Do everything without grumbling and complaining. 

Corinthians 9:6 – God loves a cheerful giver.

  • And best of all, chores empower the mother. After all, isn’t life more pleasant around the house when there’s less nagging and a framework in which to live together?

So go ahead and join the Snow White song:  Put on a grin and start right in.  And don’t forget the old saying, “Children who do too little have moms who did too much.”


Pam-KanalyPam Kanaly, popular author of The Single Mom and Her Roller-coaster Emotions and nominated by the Governor of Oklahoma for “Mother of Achievement Award – 2015 ” – remains one of America’s leading advocates for single mothers. As founder of the single mothers’ conferences – Survive ‘N’ Thrive, Pam exudes with a God-given passion in seeing single moms know their value in Christ. She is the co-founder of the national organization Arise Ministries, having co-hosted her own national television talk show and having been featured on the 700 Club and other programs. For more info, visit


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The Life of a Single Mom is a national, faith-based, nonprofit that exists to see that no single mom walks alone. To date, we have worked with more than 1,500 churches & community groups to start or improve a single mom’s support group in cities throughout the U.S. and beyond. We have a large array of books, curriculum, training materials, and online instructional videos to support ministry leaders who lead single moms. Our single mom programs focus on empowering single moms to grow spiritually, emotionally, financially, and parentally through a number of projects including: Single Mom University, Single Moms Across America, the National TLSM Single Moms Conference, and a variety of programs throughout the U.S. For more information, visit