Instead of birthdays, kids should level up!
Throughout the year, to encourage kids to have responsibility, to help out around the home, and such, set up a system for your child to learn Experience Points. Doing a chore around the house, making a good choice, doing well in school, whatever it may be. With each experience, reward them these EXP. and have a large set of rewards for them to choose from for their leveling up day (birthday). As the child gets older, you can weigh the EXP against their age, meaning small chores like taking out the trash might be worth a lot of EXP to a 2-3 year old, but less to a 10 year old. Challenge your kids! It will make them grow and turn out awesome.
Also use rating system to mark their mastery of skills. Such as cooking. Have them be able to unlock that as an option once you are confident they are old enough to handle it, starting out with simple things like sandwiches, and working up to "high level" food. As they acclimate to doing these things, they will be worth less skill points (just like weighing the EXP against their age).
You can also add loot, or gold, or whatever you want to the rewards. Loot could be something like a toy that they want, or if you want to teach them financial responsibility, have "gold" for allowance. I personally like the idea of having like fake gold coins that they can cash in for toys or treats or maybe actual money later on. Let me show you some ideas~!
For example, I'd say start this idea as soon as you can with your kid. Start them young if you can. Start by coming up with ideas each year on your child's birthday of maybe 2 or 3 BIG rewards based on how much EXP they earn throughout the year. You'll have to measure out how much they should aim for per year, but a good example (for an older child) might be:
- 10,000 EXP = a party at a local kids fun zone. (whatever that may be)
- 100,000 EXP = a day at a local theme park
- 1,000,000 EXP = a trip to Disneyland (if your kid is doing well enough to earn a million EXP a year, they deserve something big.
For a younger child you might do something a bit simpler
- 1,000 EXP = a home birthday party (every kid should at least get some celebration)
- 5,000 EXP = a trip to something local and fun (like a planetarium)
- 10,000 EXP = a day at a local theme park.
Gauge things how you see fit.
The "gold" or allowance could be saved up for their birthday or cashed in throughout the year. If they have earned 100 gold by the end of the year, and earned the Disney trip from above, maybe that would mean you give them $100 for spending at Disney. Or they have $100 to spend throughout the year. You can decide how you want that to work.
Does your kid have a big school test? Make it worth a lot! Has your kid been slacking? Give them a quest to get them back in the swing of things. Make it fun! Have them need to complete certain chores to get items they need for a "boss fight." (you can come up with that that would be for your kid). Make a big to-do ceremony over achievements or something. Encourage hobbies with skill points and titles: does your kid like music, writing, or such? Skill points would earn them their way to being a master bard!
Yeah it may sound over the top, but life should be celebrated more! Make it an adventure, a live RPG if you will. Let's have some fun with passing it on to the next generation