It’s challenging to determine what chores to allocate to your teen. Getting your adolescent to perform the duties you prescribe might be even more difficult. Household chores teach responsibility to young people and can help your child learn to be a productive citizen. It’s all part of the process of maturation.
Your adolescent will eventually live alone or with a roommate, buddy, or lover. Chores will teach them skills that will benefit them throughout their adult life. Take a look at this information about a list of chores for teenagers.
Chores to Teach Teenagers to Value their Personal Spaces
Teenagers need to learn the value of their personal spaces and items. This includes their private spaces, like bedrooms or private lounges, and their bathrooms. It also includes their beds, desks, closets, and any other personal belongings.
Teach your teen how to maintain a tidy personal space. This might include keeping their room tidy and ensuring their things are orderly when they’re in the house’s shared spaces.
It would be best if you gave duties to your teen that will teach them the value of taking care of their belongings.
Making their bed
When teenagers make their bed every morning, it establishes a routine and allows them to start their day off the same way every day. This allows for their day to be well-structured simply by following a set routine every morning.
Organizing their closets
We all know that teenagers’ closets are notoriously messy, but studies show that taking time to organize your closet once a week, and maintain this order, actually increases your productivity. The same applies to your teen.
Picking Clothes Up off their Floor
This chore goes hand in hand with teens needing to organize their closets. It’s no help to organize a closet if there are still clothes lying around the room. It would be best if you encouraged your teen to pick their clothes up off the floor, separate the clean clothes from the dirty clothes, and organize them accordingly.
Sweeping or Vacuuming their Room
This one is pretty obvious. Dust, allergens, and bacteria collect on dirty surfaces. Teenagers should be encouraged to sweep and vacuum their rooms to maintain hygiene.
Washing their Bedding
Without regular cleaning, bacteria and dirt build-up on bedsheets. It is therefore imperative that your teenager puts their sheets in the wash every week or two.
Organizing their Space to Suit their Needs
If your teenager reads a lot, they’re sure to have a bookcase. If your teen is musically talented, they will have instruments lying around, which can get damaged if they’re left randomly strewn across the room. So whatever your teen’s special interests are, you should adjust this organization chore to suit their interests or needs.
Removing Dirty Dishes from their Room
It’s infuriating to load the dishwasher or do dishes and then step into your teenager’s room and see a mound of dirty dishes. Your teenager should either be told not to take dishes into their room or else bring them out as soon as they’re finished eating or drinking.
Keeping their Bathroom Hygienic
This chore includes cleaning the toilet, sinks, and baths. Your teenager needs to take responsibility for keeping their bathroom clean. Emptying bathroom bins is also something that every teenager should do.
Clearing their Work Desks
Most teenagers have a desk or space to do homework. They can’t be productive if these spaces aren’t kept clean and tidy. They should clear their desks every day once their work has been completed.
Chores to Teach Teenagers Responsibility
While all chores teach responsibility, a chore list that involves assuming responsibility for other people’s needs, pets, or plants allows your teenager to take charge.
Chores that teach teenagers responsibility will show your teen that you trust them enough to allow someone or something to depend on them for care or survival.
This is a big step in your teenager’s life, as it will mean that they have to think about more than just their own wants and needs and accept any consequences that may arise from letting those who depend on them down.
Babysitting Younger Siblings
Allowing your teenager to take over babysitting duty when you want to go out is completely okay! As long as your teenager has proven to be responsible enough to do this, they should be given this chore every so often. This will let them know that you trust them enough to give them such a big task.
Grooming their pet
Pets need love too! So if your teenager owns an animal that can be washed and groomed, they should be responsible for this. If the animal is a family pet, younger siblings can help out on this one.
Feeding the household pet
Let’s be honest; it’s a well-known fact that many teenagers are not masters at thinking about the needs of others. Giving them the task of feeding the household pet means that they now have to consider someone or something other than themselves. This teaches them responsibility and empathy.
Walking their pet
In today’s day and age, many teenagers choose to laze around in their rooms rather than going out for a walk or jog. You should encourage them to walk the household dog or cat (Yes, cats can be leash trained too!). This forces them to be active while considering the needs of the family pet.
Cleaning pet litter
Like feeding and walking the pet, picking up dog poop, or cleaning cat litter is an inevitable part of owning an animal. Teenagers and their younger siblings should take turns cleaning up after the pets in the house.
Taking care of plants is a great way to teach teenagers responsibility for other living things without too much risk, especially if you don’t have a dog or cat for them to care for. Watering plants is a quick and easy chore for your teen to do a few times a week.
Most plants require pruning, like clipping dead leaves off and preventing root rot. Teenagers are able to do this without much effort, and it’s a great chore to add on when they have the task of watering the plants.
Placing fertilizer on the grass
Fertilizing the grass is important for healthy plant and grass growth. Having your teen do this fortnightly is another simple task to give them to allow them to develop a responsible personality.
Chores to Teach Teenagers How to be Productive Citizens
Teenagers need to have a sense of community and belonging to thrive during their difficult adolescent years. To achieve this, they need to foster a sense of community responsibility and good citizenship.
Chores like the ones listed below will prepare your teen for living alone, with a roommate, or when they have their own family.
Include duties that require care for shared places in the home to help establish a feeling of community responsibility.
Cleaning the Kitchen
The kitchen is a shared space, meaning your teen shouldn’t have to clean the whole kitchen independently. Rather, you can give them one or two of these tasks to complete per week to ensure they contribute to the cleanliness of shared spaces.
- Cleaning the refrigerator
- Cleaning the bathroom sinks, mirrors, and toilets
- Cleaning the kitchen counters
- Cooking dinner or other meals
- Loading and emptying the dishwasher or washing dishes
Dusting, Vacuuming and Mopping the House
Once again, your teen does not have to complete all of these chores. They should only clean up after themselves or help other family members to tidy up communal living spaces.
- Dusting the communal spaces such as lounges, kitchens, offices, and shelves
- Vacuuming living room, hallways, and bedrooms
- Mopping the floors
- Tidying up the living room
- Sweeping the kitchen, bathroom, and porch areas
- Shampooing the living room carpets
Organizing Communal Spaces
Organization is an important part of maintaining structure and order in the house. Your teenager and their younger siblings may help out around the house by doing small chores such as:
- Organizing bookshelves
- Organizing household drawers
- Organizing the pantry
- Organizing the garage
- Organizing items for recycling
Once the house has been cleaned, all family members should try their best to keep it as neat and tidy as possible by doing small chores and cleaning up after themselves. Some tasks to give your teen include:
- Wiping down surfaces
- Varnishing wooden items
- Taking the trash out to the street
- Steam cleaning the furniture
- Washing and drying laundry
- Washing windows
How to Adjust Chores to Suit Different Seasons
You can assign chores according to the season, as well as switch up which chores are assigned to which child. This way, you maintain a structure while avoiding mundanity. This will help to keep teenagers actively involved in their chores.
Chores for Spring and Summer
More opportunities to accomplish outside chores may arise when the weather is warmer. Summer vacation is also an excellent time to allocate additional responsibilities. Here are some suggestions for summer and spring task lists:
Cleaning Outdoor Furniture
Suppose your teenager uses outdoor furniture during the months of spring and summer. In that case, especially when they have friends over, it should be their responsibility to clean up after themselves and their friends. This means that when they have friends over again, the space will be clean and neat.
Gathering Unwanted Items for a Yard Sale
Yard sales are great for teaching teenagers the ins and outs of making money. They can gather unwanted items from around the house and advertise them at a yard sale. Your teenager will especially enjoy this “chore” because they’ll get to make some money while they work.
Getting Outdoor Items Out of Storage
Things like pool noodles, inflatable pool floats, outdoor furniture, garden décor, etc., need to be taken out of storage and cleaned to get them ready for use during the warmer months. Your teenager can do this in preparation for having friends or family over to enjoy the warm weather.
Helping with Landscaping Projects
If your family is full of green thumbs, and you enjoy gardening and landscaping, try and get your teenager to help out in the garden. Not only does it count as a chore, but it’s also something that the whole family can do together.
Mowing the Lawn
Mowing the lawn is an important part of gardening. If your teenager knows how to work with the lawnmower properly, then mowing the lawn is a great chore to add to the summer and spring chore list.
Vacuuming and Washing the Car
While this chore isn’t specific to summer or spring, it’s still a good chore to give to your teenager. If your teenager has their own car, they should be responsible for cleaning and upkeep of the vehicle. This fosters responsibility and independence.
Weeding the Garden
Another task for younger teenagers who might not be capable of operating the lawnmower safely is weeding the garden. This is a great chore to give to younger teens who have older siblings, as they can weed the garden before the lawn is mowed.
Cleaning the Swimming Pool
Let’s be honest; there’s nothing worse than a dirty pool. For the most part, your kids will be the ones who use the pool the most during warmer months. So it only makes sense that your teenager should clean the pool when it gets too dirty.
Driving Younger Siblings to See Friends
If your teenager is a capable and responsible driver, who has their permit, allowing them to give their siblings a ride to their friends or to the public pool is a great way of fostering independence.
Chores for the Fall
During the months of fall, there is a lot more yard work to be done, with falling leaves clouding the yard and driveway. This means that there are chores that you can allocate to your teenager in the fall, which are specific to the season.
Blowing Leaves off the Driveway
Fall brings about driveways that are cluttered with leaves. Your teenager more than likely needs lifts from you or drives on their own, so the driveway needs to be leaf-free.
Packing Away Weather-Sensitive Outdoor Decorations
Now that the seasons have changed, you may want to move some of your more expensive garden décors inside to protect it from the elements. This chore is a great once-off task to give to your teenager.
Helping to Clean Leaves out of the Gutters
Getting your teenager to clean the leaves from out the gutters will save the whole family a lot of time and problems down the line. Depending on how quickly your gutters become cluttered, your teenager can do this once every week or two.
Raking the Lawn
Most families don’t want leaves taking over every inch of grass in sight, so you can ask your teenager to rake the lawn every now and then to ensure that your yard stays neat and tidy.
Move Summer Pot Plants Inside
Certain plants are weather-sensitive and need specific amounts of water, sunlight or shade to thrive. Get your teenager to move all necessary pot plants inside to protect them from the elements.
Pruning Dead Branches off Trees
Many trees will wither away, or at the very least, have some dead branches. Asking your teenager to remove these dead branches will help the trees in your yard to flourish once the seasons change.
Chores for the Winter
During the colder months, the snow and rain mean that there are new chores to allocate to your teenager, to replace those that would’ve been given to them during summer or spring.
Shoveling Snow out of the Driveway
It’s near to impossible to pull your car out of the driveway when it’s covered in a thick layer of snow or ice. Allocate the task of clearing the driveway to your teen to make sure that when you or your teenager needs to drive somewhere, the driveway is snow-free.
Cleaning Snow off the Cars
As with the chore mentioned before this, asking your teenager to clean the snow and ice off the cars will save the whole family a lot of hassle when you need to get somewhere like school or to the grocery store.
Take Down Holiday Decorations
Taking down holiday decorations can be a tedious task. Your teenager can collaborate with the rest of the family to remove and pack away all the decorations from Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
Clean Outdoor Furniture
Outdoor furniture may get covered with snow or dirt, so it’s important to get your kids to either pack it away or clean it off, depending on the type of furniture and its weather-resistance properties.
Chores to Prepare Older Teenagers for College
College is a major life adjustment for most young adults. When teenagers are raised in an environment where their chores and responsibilities prepare them for this adjustment, they will be better equipped to be independent young adults.
Most teenagers want to be independent once they hit the age of 15 or 16. It would help if you didn’t fight against this, as it is a completely normal part of any adolescent’s life.
Checking the Pantry for Spoiled Food
This chore will teach your teenager how to think ahead and take stock of what food is available and what food needs to be replaced. Being able to do this chore will prepare your teen for when they need to do this for themselves.
Planning Meals for the Family
Allow your teenager to cook or plan meals for the family once or twice a week. Give them a set grocery list, as when they’re in college, they will have to use the food that they have before purchasing new groceries.
Drawing Up a Budget for their Allowance
Now that your child is a teenager, their allowance should be spent on whatever they desire. However, no one wants to deal with a teenager constantly begging for money. Ask them to draw up a budget on how they plan to spend their allowance to avoid future arguments over financial mishaps.
Shopping for Household Groceries with a Budget
Give your teen the task of going grocery shopping with a fixed budget. This will allow them to learn the value of money, teach them responsibility and give them an opportunity to gain some independence.
Why Should Teenagers have Chores?
Chores are a great method to teach your teen about becoming an adult. Chores can assist older children and teenagers in developing healthy habits at a young age. Juggling schooling deadlines, housekeeping, and social life teaches kids to prioritize and manage their time, which are valuable skills to carry in the workplace.
There are many proven benefits to assigning chores to teenagers. These include:
- Chores teach teenagers important life skills.
- Chores foster a sense of independence.
- Chores emphasize the importance of responsibility.
- Chores create a sense of structure in the schedule of a busy teen.
- Chores reinforce a sense of respect in the house.
- Chores contribute to a strong work ethic.
- Chores show teenagers how important time-management skills are in the real world.
Consider offering your adolescent an allowance for accomplishing certain tasks or linking duties to certain privileges to incorporate money-management skills into chores. This will incentivize them to keep up to date with their chores and allow them to take on extra chores for extra allowance money.
Chores may also be completed to earn certain privileges, like a later curfew, the opportunity to go out with a group of friends, or using the family car to drive somewhere.
Getting your teenager to do chores can be difficult, but drawing up a schedule can help with this. There are many chores that you can give to your teenager that even the busiest of teens can make time for.
Chores are important for teaching teenagers responsibility, independence, and empathy for others. Chores also emphasize the importance of time-management skills, especially when teenagers need to juggle school, sport, cultural activities, and chores.
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia: Chores and Kids: How Much Should You Expect?
Verywell Family: Getting Teenagers to Do Chores Without Nagging
FineGardening: 8 Fall Chores That Can’t Wait