Got a teen who needs to pull his weight at home? Teens are too old to need a chore list, but here are 7 chores your teen should be doing without being reminded!
When your kids were small you encouraged them to help out with the day to day chores. Maybe you printed out a little chore chart and rewarded them with stickers when they completed their chores.
But what about teens? Teens are too old for a chore list and sticker charts. They are getting closer and closer to adulthood- where they won’t have mom standing over them, nagging them to “Clean your room!”
Your teens need life skills that they can take with them when they move out on their own. Here are 7 chores your teens should be doing, on their own, without reminding.
7 Chores Your Teens Should Be Doing (Without Reminding!)
Whether you have an up-and-coming teen or your current teen isn’t doing all he should around the house, these 7 chores are the bare minimum they should be doing on their own. Without mom nagging them!
By the time your child is a teen he should doing, or at least able to do, his own laundry.
There should be no, “MOM! Why aren’t my work clothes clean?!?”. If he needs his work clothes clean, he needs to make sure they get washed.
This is more than the life skill of learning to use the washer and dryer correctly, but a lesson on responsibility. Your teen needs to learn to be responsible for his own clothes and making sure they are clean when he needs them.
Cleaning the Bathroom
Is it just mine or do your teens make a mess in the bathroom? (Okay…ALL my kids from toddlers to teen make a mess, but the teens should know better!)
By the time they are teenagers, your teens should be taking on the bathroom chore for themselves.
Picking up wet towels. Wiping toothpaste spit. Cleaning hair out of the drain.
Keeping their supplies neat and orderly on the counter or in the cabinet.
This chore can get a little tricky if you all share a bathroom, but if you are lucky enough to have a “kids” bathroom or if your teen has their own, they should definitely be doing this chore on their own.
Making the Bed
I have a confession. I don’t make my bed. And neither do my kids. BUT I do know that is an important part of most people’s morning routines.
So if you live in a bed-making household, don’t be making your teen’s bed for him!
This is something they’ve grown up around, it’s time to let him take the reigns and make his own bed.
Picking Up Their Room
Cleaning their own room is something all kids should be responsible for really early on in their lives. And as they get older and older, your involvement in the room cleaning chore should dwindle to non-existent.
If you have a disorganized teen, it may take some reminding still, but this chore is one for teens to handle on their own.
Related Reading: 5 Ways to Get Kids to Pick Up Their Stuff!
Doing the Dishes
I have 4 teen boys (well, one is almost a teen) and they take care of the kitchen after dinner every night. Between the 4 of them, they take care of wiping the counter, clearing and cleaning the table, and doing all the dishes.
And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Doing the dishes isn’t anyone’s favorite chore, but it’s an important one for teens to learn to do and do well.
This chore not only gives them a cleaning skill, but also teaches them to be helpful. I make dinner and to say thank you, they clean it up.
In my case it also doubles as teaching my modern boys that chores like washing dishes is for every member of the family.
Vacuum and Sweeping Living Spaces
We all live in the house. We all clean the house. I feel like this is such an important chore and life skill for teens to realize.
You teach them nothing by picking up after them and cleaning around them. They need to learn to take care of their living spaces when no one is around to tell them to do it.
In our house my kids are in charge of sweeping or vacuuming the entire downstairs every night before they can have their screen time. Even my 4 year old and 8 year olds take part in this chore. My teens have been doing it so long that I don’t have to tell them anymore. They just know if needs to be done and they keep the younger siblings working.
I hope that my teens take this chore into their own future homes, and always clean up at the end of the day.
Throwing Away Their Trash
Teen brains aren’t fully developed. They don’t always think through their actions and they get distracted easily. But they are capable of picking up and throwing their own trash away.
Teens should be responsible for taking the trash out in their rooms and their own bathrooms.
And it’s also beneficial to train them to bag up the kitchen trash when they notice it is full instead of stuffing more in and waiting for mom or day to take it out.
Need More? Here’s a Bigger Chore List for Teens:
Babysitting a sibling: Depending on your teen’s level of responsibility, watching a sibling for short periods is the perfect chore!
Feeding pets: Cats, dogs, ferrets, fish, goats- feeding all the family pets is a great lesson in responsibility
Cleaning litter boxes or pet cages: My boys are totally responsible for their ferret litter box and cage.
Making their own breakfast or lunch: Breakfast and lunch are both simple meals that teens are capable of making on their own. Even if you don’t trust them with the stove.
Making a meal for a sibling: My 16 year old pours his youngest brothers cereal every morning. Caring for other is an important skill and chore for teens.
Change their own sheets: This goes along with the laundry chore above. If they want clean sheets, they need to clean them!
Washing windows: Part of training teens is to make them aware of doing chores as they notice them. If they notice windows with smudges- clean them!
Mowing the lawn: My kids have been mowing since they were 13. It’s usually a much sought after chore for young teens, especially if they get to drive a riding mower.
Weed eating: Weed eating is better for older teens, but still a chore they can easily take on themselves.
Washing the car: Washing the outside, and the inside of the car is the perfect chore for teens. We even pay for a full detail!
Weeding the garden: Just like we all use the house, we all clean the house rule. We all eat from the garden, we all weed the garden. It’s a family chore that all the kids take part in.