Respect, Responsibility, Right Choices DIY Chore & Behavior System with Free Printables!

Respect, Responsibility, Right Choices DIY Chore & Behavior System with Free Printables!

Respect, Responsibility, Right Choices DIY Chore & Behavior System with Free Printables!If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you’ve been seeing me post some sneak peeks of this system but today I’m revealing the whole thing! It’s not that our kids haven’t been expected to do anything but with having 3 kids in 3 ½ years, my main goal up until recently was keeping everyone alive and fed without losing my mind. Getting dressed was often optional. So while there have been daily things the kids know are expected of them (most of the things on the Daily Chores list), until now, we’ve never had a formal system. But I am running myself ragged trying to do everything on my own and the kids are getting to the ages (2 ½, 4 ½ and about to turn 6) where they see commercials and want a lot of things. Since it turns out that, just like my parents said, money really doesn’t grow on trees, they’re going to have to earn them.

If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders. -A. Van Buren


  • The main family rules I “borrowed” from my son’s Kindergarten classroom: Respect, Responsibility, and Right Choices. Not only are they basic and simple, they pretty much cover all the bases of “being a good person” and I like the connection between school and home.
  • Behavior sticks are stop light colors. Failure to follow the basic rules (Respect, Responsibility, Right Choices) will result in loss of sticks. If you lose all your sticks in one day, you have to pay Mom and Dad a ticket(s). The kids will be able to earn sticks back by doing extra chores in lieu of earning tickets. We will probably only use the behavior sticks while the kids are young, but right now they seem to work really well for us.
  • Daily Chores are things they have to do just because they are a part of the family and we all have to chip in. No tickets will be earned for those basic chores.
  • Extras will earn them tickets which are equivalent to 25¢ each and will be cashed out each time they hit $5 worth.

CREATING THE BOARD. Other than the clipboards, I didn’t spend any money on this project by getting creative and using things I already had on hand.

  • I used the front rail of the baby crib we are using as a day bed in the playroom to create the main part of the system. I painted it blue with DIY Chalk Paint (I eye-balled ½ cup paint and stirred in ⅓ cup water and ⅓ cup Plaster of Paris). Since it had pre-drilled holes it was super easy to drill into the wall with long screws.

Respect, Responsibility, Right Choices DIY Chore & Behavior System with Free Printables!

  • The “To Do” and name plates were craft wood I painted black and applied vinyl to with my Silhouette Cameo. I glued them to the crib frame with wood glue. You can find the “To Do” cuttable file here.
  • The “S” hooks that hold the ticket boxes are shower hooks from Target.
  • The ticket boxes I cut with my Silhouette Cameo using the main part of this cuttable file shape and Silhouette Chipboard.
  • The behavior straws are just striped paper straws from Target. I painted the top of the yellow ones since I didn’t have yellow on hand.

Respect, Responsibility, Right Choices DIY Chore & Behavior System with Free Printables!

  • You can buy the large roll of yellow tickets here. I used a garage bike hook screwed into the wall to hold the ticket roll. For anyone reading this thinking I’m super organized, please note that I’ve owned this roll of tickets well over a year with good-intentions of doing something like this…and it’s just now actually happening. This project has literally taken years for me to get around to. My oldest is about to turn 6. #keepinitreal
  • I used the clipboards so that I can easily change the lists, quotes, bible verses, etc. as the kids grow and we add more age-appropriate responsibilities.
  • My oldest is starting first grade next week, so for the Word of the Day printable, I’m using this First Grade reading Key to pull words from.
  • For extra homework, I simply Google free printable worksheets for the kids to practice handwriting, spelling, math, etc. There are so many great sites that offer free educational worksheets. You can find the fall ones below here.

Respect, Responsibility, Right Choices DIY Chore & Behavior System with Free Printables!

PRINTABLES. Just click the link to download and print. They are all size 5×7 which fit nicely on the 6×9 clipboards. These are all PDF. If you’d like to try to edit the lists to fit your family, you can convert the PDF to Word to edit it for free here. These are for personal use only, please.

Respect, Responsibility, Right Choices DIY Chore & Behavior System with Free Printables!


In addition to simply needing more help and wanting the kids to learn to be responsible, I recently read the book “Drop the Worry Ball” by Dr. Alex Russell. My husband’s aunt and uncle are raising two amazing kids and we told them we admire their parenting skills so much. They told us how much they love this book and how well it’s worked to end homework battles and such. The basic concept is that parents need to “drop the worry ball” so kids can pick it up and learn to worry for themselves, which helps them be proactive and make good choices. Dr. Russell advocates that we should let kids fail in “non-catastrophic” ways so that they have the chance to learn from their failure and make a better choice the next time. (He admits this can go against our natural instinct but gives tips on how to do this throughout the book). None of this “every kid gets a trophy” nonsense.

Respect, Responsibility, Right Choices DIY Chore & Behavior System with Free Printables!

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book (which I highly recommend reading in its entirety):

One of the trickiest parts of parenting is learning how to guide and protect your children yet leave them to their own devices enough that they develop their own ways of coping with the big, bad world. We have to do both. We must be active in our children’s lives, at various times teaching them directly, controlling their freedoms, or advocating for them. At the same time, we need to do the opposite: We need to be park-bench sitters in our children’s lives: interested and available, but relatively inactive, giving them their freedom and letting them learn on their own, making mistakes along the way. Fortunately, we don’t need to be perfect parents (perish the thought!), just good enough. (p. 24-25)

We should aim to be emotionally present, interested and ready to help, but let them make choices about what to do on the monkey bars so that when they fall and it hurts, they can become anxious about it–instead of relying on us to do it for them…Unfortunately, kids won’t pick up that worry ball unless and until parents put it down. (p. 26-27)

When it hurts, she learns. It’s as simple as that. The only thing that can interfere with it is parental meddling. So though we obviously don’t want our kids to know it, we should actually cheer to non-catastrophic, painful failure. (p. 28)

Just sit on the bench and sip your latte. This will be hard to do and sometimes you will feel like a bad parent. But you will be doing the right thing for your kids and ensuring they succeed on the jungle gym of life (p. 32)

He even gets into parenting kids with ADD/ADHD, why a “trophy for every kid” creates a sense of entitlement and how this style of parenting can be challenging in the “common core” and “no child left behind” styles of education. He tells you how to deal with these things (and more) so you create responsible kids who do not have a sense of entitlement. It’s not our job to assume personal responsibility for our kid’s academic efforts (or lack thereof). It’s our job to teach them how to do it themselves. It’s worth noting that a lot of this applies more to kids ages 6 and up, as you obviously don’t want to let your 2-year-old fall off the monkey bars. ;)

Respect, Responsibility, Right Choices DIY Chore & Behavior System with Free Printables!

Respect, Responsibility, Right Choices DIY Chore & Behavior System with Free Printables!

Update: A few of you asked about the wall décor in the above picture:

  • The “Life is Simple” Quote I bought at Target a while back.
  • The 3D Cherry Blossom Wall Art is a Silhouette Design Team project I did and you can find the tutorial here.
  • The colorful pendant banner was a pre-made plain paper banner I bought at Hobby Lobby and simply painted.
  • The chevron dress was formerly a baby changer and I used fabric for the chevron design. The tutorial is here. Then I simply added a vinyl chalkboard label so there is a drawer for each kid.

Respect, Responsibility, Right Choices DIY Chore & Behavior System with Free Printables!

Respect, Responsibility, Right Choices DIY Chore & Behavior System with Free Printables!

Wish us luck being consistent with the program and I hope this inspires anyone looking to implement a similar system!

Update: We’re a week into using this system and it’s crazy how much it’s changed our daily routine and the attitudes around the house. I have more help than I can handle (even without being asked now too…they’re volunteering to help with all kinds of chores…even things that don’t earn tickets! What?!), less yelling from all of us, and the house is much cleaner. I don’t know what took me so long to do this! Now instead of sheer chaos it’s more like organized chaos. ;)

Lest anyone think it’s all sunshine and rainbows in the Warnaar household, let me assure you it’s not. I was totally that mom in Target today, pushing the giant cart, with a crazy-screaming-tantrum-throwing-2-year-old and whisper yelling at all of them that “There will be no donuts after this if you all don’t just be quiet and let mommy shop so we once again have toilet paper and milk!!”

As always, please feel free to email or message me with any questions!

Linking up on Tatertots and Jello Link Party Palooza


DIY Easter Buckets {with real grass!}

DIY Personalized Easter Buckets {with Real Grass}

DIY Easter Buckets {with real grass!}

I realize I’m a little too late for the real grass part tutorial for you grow it in time for this Easter (sorry!), but you can “Pin” it to do next year! And you can grow some in mini pots to use as decorative grass for a window or mantel, which I’m also doing! Not to mention, I used organic wheatgrass, so if you really want to, you could run it through a juicer and drink it. :) (Not my plan but you totally can).

DIY Easter Buckets {with real grass!}

I found the cute buckets and little black pots at Target and ordered Todd’s Seeds organic wheatgrass, from Amazon. I followed these instructions on the Todd’s Seeds website (<–open link for details on how to sprout and plants your seeds!), with minor modifications since I grew it in buckets/pots instead of a tray (see pictorial below…I used paper towels on top in place of the newspaper suggested in the instructions).

My kindergartener has been learning about the lifecycle of a seed at school so it was great timing for growing our own grass. This stuff grows FAST! I started sprouting in water it on April 2 which took two days. I planted on April 3 and by April 7 it was growing! By the 14th it looked like it does in the main pictures of this post, so it’s roughly a 2 week process.

DIY Easter Buckets {with real grass!}

Then I downloaded this cute bunny from the Silhouette store. I didn’t use the tail and I added my kid’s names in the design and then cut on vinyl using my Silhouette CAMEO. I used transfer paper to put it on the buckets. Then I just rolled pipe cleaners and hot glued them on the pail.

DIY Easter Buckets {with real grass!}

DIY Easter Buckets {with real grass!}

DIY Easter Buckets {with real grass!}

Happy crafting!

Linking up on Tatertots and Jello Link Party Palooza



Potty-training with the Cottonelle Clean Care Routine (Plus, a Bathroom Rules Printable and 10 Tips from “Been There, Done That” Parents)

“This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Cottonelle but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #CtnlCareRoutine”

Potty-training with the Cottonelle Clean Care Routine (Plus, a Bathroom Rules Printable and 10 Tips from "Been There, Done That" Parents) #CtnlCareRoutine


Potty-training is not for the faint of heart but it’s a bit easier this time around thanks to the Cottonelle Clean Care Routine (we are starting round 3!). My oldest loves how soft the Cottonelle Ultra Care toilet paper is and hasn’t needed any help in the bathroom for a while now, but my 4 year old never wipes her booty quite well enough. And have you ever noticed how toilet paper sticks to littler bums? We are LOVING the Cottonelle Cleansing Cloths. They make for nice clean booties and they are flushable. Perfect for my 4 year to get that cute booty clean on her own and for us to help our almost 2 year old do the same.

Cottonelle Clean Care Routine #ctnlCareRoutine

When you visit Walmart in the month of February and purchase both the Cottonelle Ultra Toilet Paper and the moist Cottonelle Cleansing Cloths you will receive a  $5 Vudu credit (in store offer only).  Vudu is like RedBox and offers HD movies. To receive the offer  you need to do as follows:

  • Take a picture of the receipt showing that you purchased both items

  • text or email your picture to

  • You will receive a text or email back with a code valid for a $5 movie credit

  • You can get more information by going to


This little booty is just too cute not to be nice and clean! :) The cleansing wipes are a great way to transition from baby wipes and easier for kids to use on their own. We are just teaching them to “pat” dry with the toilet paper after wiping with the cleansing cloths first.

Potty-training with the Cottonelle Clean Care Routine (Plus, a Bathroom Rules Printable and 10 Tips from Been There, Done That Parents) #CtnlCareRoutine

Potty-training with the Cottonelle Clean Care Routine (Plus, a Bathroom Rules Printable and 10 Tips from Been There, Done That Parents) #CtnlCareRoutine

Below is a free “Bathroom Rules” printable I designed to keep in this main floor bathroom (and to share with you, of course!). Simply click on the image below to download and print your own (personal use only, please).

Bathroom Rules Printable

And finally, I asked for a little advice on my social media channels and I compiled 10 Tips From “Been There, Done That” Parents that are great no matter what potty-training method you choose:

Save up for leather couches before kids. It’s so much easier to clean pee off leather than fabric! -Me

Accidents are going to happen. It’s part of the child’s learning process. Be prepared for them and be compassionate when they happen. I know mine can be easier said than done. I found that having a script/routine where I said the same thing every time helped me. Kids pick up very quickly on our tone/frustration/annoyance. Staying positive helps everyone feel better and get to the goal faster. -Stacey A.

Understand what motivates your child. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all way to teach them. Some are motivated by games, others by the comfort of panties/undies, some the sheer accomplishment of it, and others by the cleanness of it. Know what they like and go with that. -Melody W.

With some children, attaching a tangible reward may increase some children’s anxiety/sense of defeat if they have accident and fail to get reward. Also, it can cause an increased “tug of war” between the child and parents. Every child is different, but rewards can be ineffective or backfire. -Lauren W.

Do it when THEY are ready, not when you are simply tired of diapers. Not all children are ready at the same time & that’s fine! -Melissa P.

Take the potty chair everywhere with you, keep it in the car when you’re at the park for easy “potty breaks” in the seat they are most familiar and comfortable with. (When you go grocery shopping, have them go before you enter the store and then again right after….etc). -Christie C.

My tip: doesn’t matter what the heck you try, they won’t go till they are ready. LOL — I seriously tried everything and was so frustrated, I finally just said forget it. One day my son walks in and says “I need to go potty” and I swear he never looked back, even held it at night. I just had to wait till he was ready I guess. -Lisa H.

Do it when your child is ready, pressuring too early backfires and a potty in the car is a must! One other thing potty prizes don’t always work  in my experience. Verbal praise worked better than prizes. -Julie M.

When on the go: Carry spare clothes in ziplock freezer bags in the case of an accident so you can seal up the wet clothes and toss them in your purse until you get home. -Yvonne S.

Don’t sweat it if they’re not ready at the same time you are! We feel pressured because of books, peers, etc. but ultimately they do it when they’re ready. Trying to force the issue causes too much stress. This obviously doesn’t apply if they are about to start big school or if they are old enough to drive… :) -Vicki P.

Happy Potty Training! :)

Linking up on Link Party Palooza


Free Valentine's Day Card Printables: Just print, cut and add a sucker!

Free Printable Valentine’s Day Cards

Free Valentine's Day Card Printables: Just print, cut and add a sucker!
Both of my girls (ages almost 2 and 4) are having a Valentine’s Day party at school (my son is in Kindergarten and they haven’t really done parties this year so I’m actually not sure if he needs Valentine’s yet!), so I decided to use a monkey I had designed in Graphic Design school and use it as part of a Valentine’s Day card design. Just print on white card stock, cut (I use an older model of this X-acto Trimmer), sign, and tape a sucker on the back (we love these Yummy Earth Organic Suckers). With three kids five and under, I never leave the house without suckers. They do wonders to stop tears in public! :)

Printable Monkey Valentines

Just click the image below to download and print your own!

Free Printable Monkey Valentine's-Just add a sucker!Happy crafting!

Linking up on Link Party Palooza

Huggies Little Swimmers

Slip ‘N Slide Summer Fun {and Huggies Little Swimmers Coupon} #HuggiesSwimmers #PMedia

blogsponsorpostDisclosure: This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Huggies, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #HuggiesSwimmers

Huggies Little Swimmers

If you’ve been a reader a while you know that we’re a military family and our last base assignment was in the middle of nowhere…there was no Target. How sad is that? :) Now that we’re in a city again, I can be found at Target 2-3 times a week (Shh! Don’t tell my husband).

My two bigger kids (ages 3 & 4) go to Mother’s Day Out two days a week but they had last week off which means we all quickly got antsy to do something fun outside of the house. Since the weather finally warmed up (a lot) it was time to bring out the water toys! So we hit up Target to pick up some Huggies Little Swimmers and some new sunblock so we could beat the heat out on the Slip ‘N Slide.

Huggies Little Swimmers

Can we just take a moment and talk about these semi-sized carts? They are a GODSEND to moms like me with 3 kids under 5. Yes, I totally take out every corner I turn, but I can fit my kids and my shopping goods in it. All stores should have these available. Just sayin’.

If I had a dollar for every time someone said “Are they all yours?!” or “Wow, you sure have your hands full!” when I shop with all three, I’d probably be rich enough to buy everyone with little ones a pack of Huggies Little Swimmers. For real.

Huggies Little Swimmers

My 3 year old is actually thisclose to being potty-trained but she loves Winnie the Pooh and Nemo (the characters on the Little Swimmers) so she insisted on wearing one too.

Little Swimmers

The “baby” is now 15 months and she had a ball playing in the water! With three kids that all require help when it comes to getting dressed/undressed, I love that the Huggies Little Swimmers mean easy clean-up when there’s a stinky kind of accident. The easy open sides are so much easier than trying to pull a wet diaper off. Not too mention all the local pools and splash parks require them so we always keep a pack on hand.

If you’re new here, we recently added to the crazy but adopting a puppy named Jax (in addition to the dog we already had). So yeah…he’s definitely crazy so he fits into the family perfectly. Upon returning inside, we discovered this…


Luckily, we found him before he actually destroyed any diapers!

As you might guess, with 3 kids so small, diapers have been a very large part of the last almost 5 years. We’ve been devoted fans of Huggies Little Swimmers for all 5 of those years. On a side note, their Overnites Diapers are the only diapers that kept my heavy-wetters dry at night…and I tried them all. Their Goodnites pads were also on our must-have list of potty training essentials (because who wants to change pee-soaked sheets in the middle of the night)?

As if you needed a reason to hit up Target, here’s a coupon for $1.50 off a pack of Huggies Little Swimmers. Just click the image below to go to the printable version. (Don’t print this pic since it doesn’t have the barcode.)

Target Huggies Coupon

Happy shopping and swimming!