Chores for teenagers serve as one of the best introductions to teaching responsibility. If you think it’s the perfect time to teach your teens important life skills, then this list of household chores will help you find the best age-appropriate chores for your teen.
Practically any household chore can be done by most teens and the teenage years are the perfect time to start giving your child more responsibility in the household.
While most teens are motivated by earning their own money, the best place to start is with chores at home. And the best chore ideas are the ones that teen teens useful skills for their future.
The Benefits of Household Chores For Teenagers
Children start to learn valuable life skills at home. This begins from a very young age and becomes even more important during those developmental teenage years.
Chores are beneficial at every age – even for toddlers! It’s just a matter of having the right chores by age to suit your child.
Having your teen do household chores is beneficial in preparing them for the real world. After all, Mum and Dad won’t be there to wash their undies when they are grown adults (we hope)!
It’s also expected that older family members contribute more to the household tasks than younger siblings, with each member of the family contributing.
Here are some of the benefits of giving your teenager chores:
- Independence: Teen chores shape them to become self-reliant and independent, which are necessary for adulthood.
- Time Management: Being responsible for set chores each week teaches your teen to manage their time better and to ensure they are prioritising the things that need to get done.
- Learning Life Skills: Learning how to do essential household tasks are skills they will need when they move away from home, helping them to know the basics of maintaining a household of their own.
- Teamwork: Having set tasks each week goes towards the shared responsibility of maintaining a home and working together as a family to do this helps your teen learn the value of teamwork, communication and cooperation.
- Developing Work Ethic: Even simple household chores such as washing the dishes can evoke a sense of pride when a job is done well. This skill helps to build a strong work ethic for future employment.
- Improved Self-Esteem: Accomplishing set chores raises confidence and self-esteem. Completing tasks without supervision or reminders also helps them to feel a sense of ownership over their environment and time.
The Ultimate Household Chore List For Teenagers
Now that we know the benefits of giving your older kids chores, the most important thing is determining age-appropriate chores for your teens and tweens.
Here’s a list of chores for teens divided into four sections – daily, weekly, deep cleaning (seasonal) and outdoor chore ideas for teens:
Daily Chores For Teenagers
This daily chores list for teens can be used to find household jobs that can be completed on a daily basis (or several times a week).
If you have two or three teens at home, they can plan a routine where there’s a chore rotation, which is especially suited to sharing the load of daily chores.
- Make bed
- Washing dishes
- Cooking dinner
- Taking out trash
- Pet care (This can be feeding family pets & cleaning up after them)
- Set the dinner table
- Wipe kitchen counters
- Do laundry
- Iron clothes
- Sweep and vacuum the floor
- Stack the dishwasher
- Empty the dishwasher
- Walking the family dog
- Collect mail
- Wipe down the kitchen sink
- Keep their bedroom clean
- Pack school lunch boxes
Weekly Chore Ideas For Teens
Weekly chores are perfect for teens as they don’t require daily commitment and have a little more flexibility with getting them done throughout the week.
- Wash the car
- Clean the shower
- Clean the toilets
- Sort recycling
- Dust and wipe surfaces
- Clean room
- Put away grocery shopping
- Babysitting younger siblings
- Sort and fold laundry
- Iron clothes
Deep Cleaning Chores For Teens
It’s great to do some general deep cleaning before a new season starts. Spring cleaning anyone?
This is also a good time for the whole family to help out around the house and for your teens to earn some extra cash if you’re offering up the chance for them to earn money with the help they provide.
For instance, try incorporating summer chores for teens to prepare your home for the hot weather. It can also help keep them busy during the extended summer break so they don’t spend the entire time on their devices!
- Decluttering clothes & belongs
- Cleaning and reorganising the garage
- Scrubbing the driveaway
- Cleaning refrigerator
- Defrost the freezer
- Clean baseboards
- Take out old toys to be donated
- Wipe appliances
- Move furniture to wipe the covered surface
- Wash trash cans
- Basement clean
- Clean the dryer lint trap and dryer exhaust hose
- Take bathroom rugs for laundry
- Wipe and scrub bathroom surfaces
- Dust lampshades
- Clean windows
- Tidy the garden shed
- Wipe down light switches and fixtures
- Wipe down sports equipment
- Clean drains
- Pressure clean outdoor spaces
- Vacuum the family car
Outdoor Chore List For Teens
The porch and backyard have their own outdoor chores list, since there are plenty of areas outside of your home that need cleaning and maintenance.
Your teen is at a great age to take on many of the outdoor tasks that younger kids might not yet have the experience for.
- Mow the lawn
- Weed the garden
- Water plants
- Clean outdoor furniture
- Clean gutters
- Rake leaves
- Planting flowers and seeds
- Mulching the garden
- Clean the pool
- Trim hedges
- Retouch house and fence paint
- Shovel snow
- Sweep porch
- Vegetable garden care
Should I Pay My Teen For Chores?
Let’s put ourselves in our teen’s shoes for a moment – what is the best motivator for getting chores done? It’s earning money!
While not every teen will be money-motivated, this is often the case.
Even as adults, we don’t go to work for the love of it. We go there and put in our best efforts because there’s money to earn!
So unless your teenager has a paid job already, pocket money for chores is going to motivate kids of all ages!
Plus it works as a form of positive reinforcement. Your teen might even offer to do extra household jobs when they are saving up for something important.
The Barefoot Investor Scott Pape recommends paying pocket money consistently and in exchange for completed chores – not just for the sake of it and to make sure this habit doesn’t fizzle out.
The key here is to make expectations clear right from the start (even before they are in their teen years).
You can do this in a few ways:
- Set a money value for each specific chore and pay when that chore is completed
- Have a set amount each week that gets paid once all those tasks are completed
- A hybrid approach where they have set jobs that must be completed each day/week but with the option to earn extra money if they want to do more
Part-Time Job Vs. Household Chores
The age at which your teenagers can get their own part-time job differs depending on where you live, however, this conversation often comes up as they near that stage.
Which is a better option for your teen? This all comes down to the individual.
If you have a teenager who has a lot of extracurricular activities or one who is struggling with school and needs extra time to focus on their studies, sticking with household chore duties might be the better approach.
For other teens, a part-time job is a fantastic way to teach them extra responsibility and skills.
If they are adamant about getting a part-time job, you can always trial this for a period to see how it goes.
If their workload negatively affects their academic performance, have them reduce hours or focus back on their house chores instead.
Teens who work outside of the home are best suited to simple tasks at home to ensure they are still sharing the load, but this might mean fewer chores than when they weren’t working.
Tips For Motivating Teenagers To Do Their Chores
Getting all the tasks done each week is hardly fun. For our kids and ourselves, so you may need to try a few motivators to help keep them focused on getting things done (without the nagging from you).
- Pocket money: There are fewer motivators that work as well as earning money! Especially if they are saving up for something special like a big purchase or an event.
- Get them involved: Having input into the best chores for them is going to give them a sense of ownership over these tasks and hopefully increase the chances of them getting it done.
- Chore chart: A chore chart might sound like something better suited to younger siblings, but sometimes your big kids enjoy a visual representation of what needs to be done too!
- Chore contract: A chore contract is a formal plan between parent and child about their expectations for what needs to be done around the house. It also specifies rewards and consequences to help improve the chances of chore completion.
- Chore Apps: We live in a digital age and assigning tasks for the whole family may work well with the use of a chore app. It helps keep track of what has and hasn’t been done and gives reminders, so you don’t have to!
- Be Flexible: Unless it’s urgent, allow your teens to finish chores at their own pace. Try to avoid nagging and pressuring them because this usually gets you the opposite result!
- Show them how to make it fun: Cleaning that’s fun? No way! Well, it can be fun. Teach them ways you make your cleaning tasks more enjoyable or try some of these cleaning games as a family when everyone is feeling low on motivation.
Consequences For Teenager Not Doing Chores
Any parent of a teen (or a spirited child) knows that sometimes you clash and sometimes asking them to do something only gets the opposite outcome.
As parents, you need to establish a system where there are consequences for failing to complete agreed-upon tasks.
Just like there would be consequences for not completing school work or just not turning up to work as an adult.
The type of consequences you set will depend on your individual household and your teenager. It may also depend on if this is a sporadic situation or an ongoing one.
For ongoing issues, a chore contract can often be a very helpful way of setting those boundaries and clearly defined consequences.
Here are a few options to consider if you need consequences for not completing their chores list:
- No pocket money
- No gaming
- Not being able to attend an event until chores done
- Limited screen time
- No Internet Privileges at Night
- Allowance decrease
- No phone credit
- Earlier curfew
If some of their actual tasks include things like washing the laundry, having no clean clothes can be a consequence in itself (although the rest of the family suffers from that one too).
Teen chores educate the younger generation about responsibility and societal contribution. These valuable life skills for adulthood start at home with the family. The goal is to teach teens the many benefits of helping around the house and learning early financial independence.