Chores for teenagers teach that responsibility, discipline, and hard work pay off. Choosing the chores you would like your teenager to do may not be easy, especially if you've been doing everything for them up to this point. You'll want to take into account what they are good at, their personality, the current season, and what their schedule is like. Check out these helpful lists and printables to get your teen on a solid chore schedule.
Chores List for Teenagers
You can have your teenager do just about anything you know they can handle. Don't overwhelm them by giving them too much to do at first. So how many chores should a teenager have? Start your pre-teen off with one or two chores a week. Then increase the number of chores once they're ready and willing to accept more, and as they age. Browse the following list of household chores for teens to choose which ones you would like your teenager to start working on:
- Clean bedroom
- Do laundry
- Clean bathroom
- Unload and load dishwasher or do dishes in the sink
- Prepare lunch or dinner
- Set the dinner table or clear it
- Sweep, vacuum, or mop floors
- Dust each room
- Clean out fridge
- Take out trash and recycling
- Wipe counters and tables
- Shred papers
- Clean household electronic device screens, remotes, computers and keyboards
Seasonal Teen Chore List
Depending on where you live, there might also be seasonal chores your teen can help with. Don't underestimate what adolescents are capable of doing. If your daughter is mechanically inclined or your son is great with landscaping, focus on those areas for chores.
- Shovel snow
- Rake leaves
- Mow lawn, pull weeds, and other yard work
- Clean vehicles (inside and out)
- Take the car for routine maintenance
- Clean out garage
- Put away or take out seasonal items
- Clean gutters
- Wash windows and screens
- Clean rugs outside
- Painting (fences, decks)
- Put up and take down holiday decorations
- Power washing (deck, siding)
- Garden help (planting, harvesting)
- Cleaning the pool (vacuuming, skimming top)
Deep Cleaning Chores
You could also have your teen work on those hidden, hard-to-reach, or otherwise neglected areas that need a deep clean once in a while. If they've completed their regular chores and are looking to earn some more cash (or you just need to keep them busy), deep cleaning is a great solution.
- Vacuum under couch cushions
- Shampoo carpets
- Deep clean mattresses
- Clean walls
- Remove hair from drains
- Clean out closet and find clothes to donate
- Clean under beds and couches
- Disinfect light switches, handles, and door knobs
- Clean kitchen cabinets
- Clean the oven/stove
- Take down curtains and wash them
- Clean ceiling fans
- Organize pantry
Unique Chores for Teens
Here are a few more unique tasks to assign to your teen. These might not be applicable to every teen, but they can be fun tasks to change up the regular household chores.
- House renovation chores: safe tasks like removing wallpaper, painting, ripping up carpet, etc.
- Pick up trash in the neighborhood
- Return bottles and cans (if your state pays for can and bottle recycling)
- Help neighbors with outdoor tasks
- Feed, exercise, or groom pets
- Clean fish tank
- Care for and assist siblings
- Run errands and pick up needed items
Printable Teen Chore Resources
Once you decide on the chores your adolescent is responsible for, getting them down in writing can help make them a reality. If there are a lot of chores to be done each week, you may want to make a teen chore chart. You can print out a chart or calendar and add in the chores for each day, or you can get poster board to make a chart to check off each task after completion. Click on the document to download, customize, and print. Check out the Adobe Guide if you run into any problems accessing the printables.
Free Printable Chore List for Teens
A printable chore list puts your teen's responsibilities into writing and on display to help keep them accountable. This free teen chore list includes sections for each task, when your teen plans to complete the task, when the chore is complete, and a section for notes about why it didn't get done or other concerns.
Printable Chore Contract for Teens
A simple, printable contract can help you and your teen define exactly what the expectations are surrounding their chores. Having this information in writing acts as a contract that outlines their responsibilties and the overall agreement between you and your teen.
Motivating Your Teen to Do Chores
Giving your teenager a sense of pride knowing they have exceeded your expectations and made you proud is essential to motivating them. This is why it's good to start with only one or two chores; it gives them a chance to excel. When they succeed, they'll be more motivated.
Compensating With Money
The biggest motivator for teenagers is money. Give your teen a specific amount of money for each chore completed throughout the week. This turns out to be their first job and teaches them that if they do what you expect, you will continue to offer rewards and chances to earn more money.
Compensating With Privileges
If money is tight or you don't believe that you should have to pay your teen for doing household duties, you can give your teenager another reward that fits into your budget. You can promise something they really want if all chores get done for a week or a month. Be careful not to set the rewards too far apart, because your teen may lose focus and motivation.
Helping Your Teen With Chores
At first, help your teenager with doing the chores if needed. Once they understand the idea, allow room to complete chores independently with some supervision. If your teen has everything under control, you can then let them do the chores completely alone. However, let your kid know if they ever need help, you are available.
Adjusting Your Teenager's Chore Schedule
Since many teens have busy schedules with extracurricular activities, it may be necessary to cut out some chores so they don't become overwhelmed. You don't want to scale back too much though, because then you lose the benefits of the chores getting done. Instead, assess how your teen is doing to decide if you should adjust their chores.
Dealing With Incomplete Chores
If your teen is having trouble completing chores or does them later than you need them done, discuss the situation to decide if more time is needed to complete the tasks or if certain tasks need to be cut out. Of course, if you take away chores, the logical thing is to cut back on pay. However, it's up to you, as the parent, to choose to do that or just decrease their allowance slightly. It's important that your teen knows that less work means less pay since that is what is expected in the work world.
You Are Your Teen's First Boss
When giving your teenager chores, you are giving them a job. You are their first boss, so you make the call on how stringent you are on how and when duties are fulfilled. You are still the parent and know your teen better than an employer will. Be sure to take that into account when you make decisions about what your teenager does and what to do when they don't follow through. Finding ways to "manage" their chore duties will help, whether it's a chart or a special list of chores for teens to help them stay on task.