Chores List for Older Kids and Teens

Ideas List for Household Chores That Parents Can Use

Assign your teen age-appropriate chores.
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It can be hard to know what chores to give your teen. It can be even harder to get your teen to actually do the chores you assign. 

But performing household chores teaches your teen responsibility. It can also help him become a good citizen. 

Remember, that you're raising a teen who will likely go on to live with a roommate or romantic partner someday. And you don't want your child to be a slob that no one can stand to live with.

 

Assign Chores and Motivate Your Teen to Do Them

Teens are capable of doing practically any chore that adults can do. But, they need direction and guidance as they learn how to do household chores appropriately. 

Guidance shouldn't be about nagging, however. Instead, it should involve showing your teen how to do a specific chore and then monitoring your teen's progress.

If your teen isn't cleaning the bathroom in a sanitary manner, or if his lawn mowing technique leaves a lot to be desired, consider it a teachable moment. Show your teen the appropriate way to do things and make your expectations clear. 

Use chores as a way to teach your teen about adult life. Pay your teen an allowance for doing certain chores or link chores to specific privileges. Make it clear that hard work leads to rewards, just like hard work at a future job will lead to a pay check.

Give your teen a list of chores. Then, leave it up to him to decide when to get it done.

If he doesn't do the work by Friday (or the end of the day), don't give him any money.

Or, use Grandma's Rule of Discipline. Tell him he can spend time with friends as soon as his chores are done. If he's motivated to see his friends, he'll work hard to get his chores done fast.

Household Chores

Give your teen a variety of chores.

You might consider having siblings swap duties from month to month or week to week just to make sure everyone has practice doing each chore. Here are some regular chores you might choose from:

  • Vacuum living room, hallways, bedrooms, and stairs
  • Sweep kitchen and bathroom floors
  • Dust living room, bedrooms, and office space
  • Dust ceiling fans
  • Wipe off the washer and dryer
  • Vacuum the furniture
  • Straighten the living room
  • Lint brush furniture
  • Wipe baseboards
  • Clean doorknobs and light switches
  • Water plants
  • Organize drawers 
  • Organize bedroom closet
  • Take care of items for recycling 
  • Take the trash out to the street for pick up
  • Empty the trash from various rooms
  • Cook dinner (leave instructions)
  • Make lunch for siblings
  • Pick up a few grocery items from the store
  • Wash and dry laundry
  • Fold a load of laundry
  • Match socks
  • Clean the kitchen counters
  • Wash the front of the cupboards
  • Empty the dishwasher
  • Clean the bathroom sink, mirror and toilet
  • Shake out area rugs
  • Wash dishes
  • Feed the pet
  • Walk the pet or clean litter
  • Wash the pet or pet’s things
  • Clean windows 
  • Clean refrigerator shelves and door; inside and out
  • Clean out the old food in the refrigerator
  • Clean the toaster, unplug and dump the crumbs
  • Mop floors
  • Replace light bulbs
  • Organize the food in the pantry
  • Sanitize surfaces
  • Clean fingerprints off screens, like TV and laptops
  • Brush the pets outside to reduce shedding indoors
  • Iron clothes
  • Organize the garage
  • Wash the walls
  • Organize bookshelves

Spring/Summer Chores 

Warmer weather may mean more opportunities to do outdoor chores. And summer vacation is a great time to assign more chores. Here are some summer chore ideas: 

  • Mow the lawn
  • Trim the lawn
  • Trim the bushes
  • Help with landscaping projects, like spreading mulch or building a rock wall
  • Weed the garden
  • Wash the car
  • Vacuum the car
  • Clean outdoor furniture
  • Get outdoor items out of storage and ready for use
  • Watch siblings during summer break
  • Gather unwanted items to donate or sell in a yard sale
  • Wash outdoor items, like boats, ATVs, campers, or other outdoor items

Fall Chores

During the fall months, you may need certain outdoor chores done, especially yard work. Here are some fall chores you may want to assign to teens:

  • Rake the lawn 
  • Blow the leaves off the driveway
  • Help clean the gutters
  • Clean out the garden
  • Clean outdoor items and help store them for winter

Winter Chores 

If you live in a cold climate, there's a good chance you'll need help with snow removal. Here are some winter chores you might assign to your teen:

  • Shovel snow
  • Clean snow off of the car

Work with your teen on identifying a regular chore schedule. Give your teen daily chores, as well as bigger chores to do on the weekends or during school vacations. 

Use chores as a way to help your teen become more responsible, but make sure your teen doesn't take on too many chores. Find a healthy balance that will give your child plenty of time to do homework and have some fun, while also teaching valuable life skills

Sources

HealthyChildren.org: Chores and Responsibility.

Household chores extend your lifeNew Scientist. 2017;235(3145):20.

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