In her book 365 Way to Raise Great Kids, Sheila Ellison recommends using chores as a way to teach children respect of belongings and to create an attitude of helpfulness in children. She explains, "Each day the list of things to be done to keep the household functioning is endless. An attitude of helpfulness creates a feeling of togetherness within the family as everyone works toward common goals."
Here are some of Ms. Ellison's activities to help teach children to respect valuables and earn an attitude of helpfulness:
Rather than telling the children each day what chores you would like them to do, make a chore chart. The chart should have the days of the week across the top of the paper, and the chores to be done down the side. On each day, put the first initial of the person's name who will be doing that chore. This is a good way to make sure that chores are equally distributed. It also puts the responsibility on the child to look at the chart and make sure they have done their jobs. You may want to have a check-off system at the end of each day to make sure all the chores were done.
A fun way to make children feel they are choosing their chores is to put up a "Help Wanted" bulletin board in the house. Write advertisements for the jobs you need done: "Looking for someone strong to help me move some books," "If you have a green thumb, answer this ad for weed pulling," "Window washer needed, apply to nanny." You can either write the amount to be paid for each job wanted advertisement or you could require each child to answer a certain number of ads each week.