How do you teach responsibility?

Turn back the clock to the Christmas of 1975 for a tip.

Gary Dahl, an advertising executive in Los Gatos, California came up with the brilliant Pet Rock.

The first Pet Rocks were ordinary gray pebbles bought at a builder’s supply store and marketed as if they were live pets. The fad lasted only about six months, ending with the Christmas season of 1975; but in its short run, the Pet Rock made Dahl a millionaire.

Dahl established ‘Rock Bottom Productions,’ a company that sold the rocks for $3.95 each. The pebbles, imported from Rosarito Beach in Baja, California, were swaddled in excelsior and nestled in a small cardboard box, similar to a pet carrier.

As for responsibility, a Pet Rock Training Manual, with instructions on how to properly raise and care for one’s newfound pet (notably lacking instructions for feeding), was included. The instruction manual contained several commands that could be taught to the new pet. While ‘sit’ and ‘stay’ were pretty easy, ‘roll over’ usually required extra help from the trainer. ‘Come’ was found to be impossible to teach reliably.

That was the Christmas many of learned responsibility when given a Pet Rock to care for.

Pictured above, the colorful Pet Rocks, not lacking personality, are the brain child of Coco Bean. Would you be interested in the care and well being of them?

Today, if you wish to teach responsibility beyond the care of a Pet Rock, the Magnetic Responsibility Chart is most popular.

There are 134 wood magnetic pieces, depicting chores, behaviors and rewards. Kids love choosing their own magnetic stickers and there is ample room for multiple children to participate.