The First Days

It's time to carry out a Major Responsibility Campaign in your home. Give your child a really important job, and trust her to do it. If she's younger, it might be making her responsible for growing a little lima bean garden (or something else that she likes). Start by giving her a packet of seeds, and get her started in the planting process. Then trust her to water them every day until they grow to a height that's ready to transplant into your yard.Watch her face light up when her plants sprout, and the beans are ready to eat.

For an older kid, find a project that requires skill building, dedication, and perseverance—perhaps making a family Web site, researching and planning a family vacation, adopting an abandoned dog or cat from the animal shelter and taking care of it, or earning enough money to buy a cell phone or other electronic gadget of his choice.

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