Teens and Chores: Answers to Important Questions
Chores can be a hot topic for parents of teens. Many wonder if teens should have chores and just what they should include. Others wonder if teens should receive an allowance in exchange for chores or not. Then there’s the fact that assigning chores often leads to frustration on the part of parents who end up nagging to get them done. Trying to decide for your family? Here are some things to consider:
Why should your teens do chores?
Your teens may balk at doing chores, arguing that they don’t want to do chores, shouldn’t have to do certain chores, or shouldn’t be required to follow your schedule for accomplishing assigned tasks. This is normal for their stage of development, but that doesn’t mean you should give in. Besides helping your home stay clean and tidy, chores can help with the following:
- Teaching responsibility, time management, and organizational skills
- Teaching that your home is a type of community, and all community members have a duty to pitch in
- Preparing your teen for living on his own one day
- Boosting independence and self-confidence
- Providing a way for your teen to show caring and respect for her home and her family members
Which chores should I assign to my teen?
A teen is usually mature enough to do a variety of chores. Here are some common assignments:
- Your teen can sort, wash, and fold not only his own laundry but also the household laundry. He can even take responsibility for putting the laundry items away.
- Your teen can take responsibility for putting the trash and recycle outside
- Your teen can help with planning, cooking and serving meals; setting the table; clearing dishes after dinner; and washing dishes by hand or loading the dishwasher (and unloading it later). Likewise a teen can help with shopping and budgeting.
- Your teen can, and should, clean her own room, but you may also assign chores that involve maintaining spaces that the whole household uses, such as cleaning the kitchen or bathroom, vacuuming and sweeping various parts of the house, and dusting and straightening.
- Your teen can help with the maintenance of outdoor spacesl, including doing chores like yard work and car washing.
Should I remind my teen to do chores?
One of the things that frustrates parents the most is having to remind teens to do their chores. No parent likes doing this. However, it is practically a given that you will have to do so. If you resign yourself to doing so, you will generally experience less frustration and ensure that the chores get done on time. While teens may understand that they have to do chores, they may not take the pride in your home that you do. As such, they may not consider doing chores top priority. If you really do not want to issue reminders, consider putting your teen in charge of monitoring chores and issuing weekly reminders to everyone in your home. This way, he pays attention to the list, reminds himself weekly and doesn’t feel nagged.