Simple tasks and chores for teenagers teach them responsibility. Here are some household tasks for your young adults.
While we might think of chores for teenagers as an opportunity to bond and for our precious adolescent tyrants to learn responsibility, the truth is, getting your teens to do chores has never been fun. It might even be equated to pulling teeth.
But as parents, we must impart these vital yet seldom appreciated lessons to our kids at a young age. Simple chores like washing the dishes, tidying up their room, folding their clothes, and helping with meal prep are the foundations for important life skills that will serve them well in the future.
Even if they don’t see it now (and believe me, they don’t), it’s up to you to stay the course and help them develop good habits as they become young adults. With that in mind, here are some age-appropriate chores for your teens.
Simple Chores for Your Teenagers
I feel like I should warn you: gone are the days where we do things simply because Mom or Dad said so.
Today, because we understand a bit more about healthy parent-child relationships, it’s important to have an “adult” conversation with your kids about why you want them to behave a certain way or do something.
You need to tell these young adults why seemingly mundane household tasks such as vacuuming the living room or making their bed each morning are actually preparing them for adulthood and responsibility.
Once you have had that talk with them, you can start printing out that all-important chore chart. Feel free to pile on the tasks as you see fit (I know I do); after all, it’s all about teaching them life lessons, yes? (It’s also a little about getting some of those tasks off your own plate, but let’s not tell them that part!).
They say cleanliness is next to godliness. Cleanliness is one of those tasks that should definitely make it onto your teenager’s “daily chores list.” I am talking about:
- Washing the car
- Wiping down windows
Again, I should warn you that general cleanliness is one of those chores your teenager will want to avoid doing as much as possible. This is particularly true if you have a son. How often do you find yourself yelling at the top of your lungs for them to tidy up their room?
Now imagine telling that person they should help clean and tidy up the entire house nearly daily.
Pulling teeth, I said!
Anyway, there are ways you can help motivate them to do as you ask. To begin with, I would:
- Do it together: Show them how you like your living room dusted, vacuumed, and mopped the first few times, then let them take a run at it themselves.
- Pay them: I know, I know…this is a slippery slope, but when dealing with domestic tyrants like teenagers, sometimes you must resort to bribery. You can pay them money by increasing their allowance or rewarding them through favors. They always want to go to the mall with their friends or play video games way past bedtime. Trade these in for completed cleaning tasks.
- Showing appreciation: I know that teenagers can be mean and aloof sometimes, but trust me when I say, deep down inside, they are still your baby, the one that used to love it when you praised and appreciated them for doing the most mundane tasks such as wiping their nose with their handkerchief instead of their hands. A little praise and appreciation will go a long way, even though they will act like they don’t care for it.
Kitchen Duties for Your Teenagers
Setting and clearing the table is good, but you can push them further. Have them help you cook. Who knows, you might spark the passion that leads them to become world-renowned chefs later in life.
Cooking, in particular, is a wonderful skill for a young adult. Not only because you are helping them learn how to feed themselves (in a healthy manner), but teaching them how to grill a mean steak just as well as they make a salad should also be on the list.
Also, cooking teaches them patience and how to do things systematically. This is particularly true when dealing with complicated recipes that require precision.
Other than cooking, you can create a roster for the kids to do other simple tasks or household chores in and around the kitchen:
- Help you make a grocery list
- Organize and put the leftovers away
- Wipe down the sink, counters, and even cupboards (organize them too)
- Sweep or clean the kitchen floor after cooking
- Learn how to separate food scraps if you have a compost
Laundry Duties for Your Teenagers
Quick question: Do you want to be the kind of mom that does her kids’ laundry forever?
I know I don’t!
Yes, it’s a good excuse to see them, but if they must come over under the pretext of doing laundry, then let them come over because there is an awesome washing machine they can use, not because they don’t know how to do the laundry themselves.
Teach them how to:
- Use the washer to clean dirty clothes
- Iron and fold their own clothes
- Separate the colors
- Read and follow the washing instructions
Outdoor Chores for Teenagers
Yard work might seem like hard work, but it’s what tough and responsible adults are made of nationwide.
- Mowing the lawn
- Cleaning the gutters
- Tending to the kitchen garden (if you have one, LUCKY YOU!)
The more the older kids learn how to handle these bigger chores, the more they (or, should I say, you) can delegate the smaller chores to their younger siblings and keep the process running.
Remember, you can add extra chores to anyone’s list, provided you aren’t playing favorites. If it becomes too contentious, just rotate these chores among the kids.
It will be difficult at first, but once you put proper, transparent, and fair systems in place, teenagers’ seemingly mundane chores might become something they cherish. Or, at the very least, do it on auto-pilot while they mumble about how much you are ruining their lives under their breath.