Family Chore Chart for Teens – Why Every Parent Needs One
What’s your greatest need currently with the raising of kids, toddlers or teens? For many parents, it’s simply getting to everything on the to do list. So, perhaps you’re asking your teens to help out around the house? Do this with a proper system like a family chore chart and you’ll have more benefits than you expected.
So, you’re adding your teenager to the house chore schedule because you’re tired of taking out the trash by yourself? Actually, you’re doing everybody a favor by delegating some tasks.
Is it Worth the Battle?
In reality, household chores serve many functions in your teenager’s life. They may have a bad attitude while doing some of it, but try to look past it and don’t stop including them in the house maintenance routine. Not only do chores help create a healthy family environment, but they’re also essential for your child’s development. This makes it vital to have a family chore chart that includes your teenagers’ names too.
The benefits are vast and many researchers will confirm the value of household chores. For starters, it gives them a sense of structure, and helps them with routine and self-organization. And, through chores you can instill in them a number of other invaluable life-lessons. Enough reason to ignore their pleas for more TV and fewer chores, right?
Here’s all you need to know to create an effective family chore chart and stay motivated when someone gets moody about his or her job list.
Family Chore Chart for Teens: Benefits for Parents and Kids
Create a Responsibility-mindset
The most obvious facet of doing chores is that you’re giving your teens a sense of responsibility. Taking care of a dog, or ensuring that the kitchen is clean and hygienic, challenges your child to look beyond themselves. What they do impacts those they love, so they can’t just ignore the task.
It can change their perspective when they have someone or something else depend on them.
Here’s the ripple effect of delegating tasks that affect others. You show that you trust them. Having you believe in them can boost their confidence and encourage them to attempt more in other aspects of their lives.
For example, when you trust a teenager to do the weekly grocery shopping, they may realize they’re good at organizing and that they’re detail oriented. They’re discovering new talents! Now, the next time a group school project requires those strengths, they won’t doubt themselves as much.
Through volunteering for more, they may achieve more and enjoy learning the value they can add to a group. This will be important one day when they enter the job market and have their own families.
You even have an opportunity to teach your kids about safety. Along with giving your child tasks to do, you ensure that they’re able to do them safely, without injuring themselves or others.
For instance, when using a ladder to wash windows, you would teach basic ladder safety. Or, if they had to use ammonia to clean products, you could teach them to do so where there’s good ventilation, and to use gloves. Also teach them how to use equipment such as lawnmowers and vacuum cleaners and even what to do in case of an accident or spill of dangerous chemicals.
Once again, the impact will reach further than you think. You’re helping them cope with tasks NOW, but you’re also preparing them to leave your nest one day. When they’re ready to move out of their parents’ house, they’ll be ready, with less anxiety and a more positive experience overall.
Develop Respect for Belongings
Of course, you want your ‘things’ to last long. By delegating chores you’re teaching your children to care for belongings too, so they don’t ruin yours. Throughout their lives they’ll apply those same habits, also showing respect for others’ stuff. And the outcomes can be more important than you think:
- Some people simply don’t care about messing on the carpets or wasting the stationery. So, respecting an employer’s merchandise or premises can make them a more favored employee compared to others.
- In your home and their own homes one day, there will be less need of furniture replacement. That’s good news for budgets all around.
You’re teaching them about financial stewardship in an indirect way. And all of this, just because of a family chore chart!
Teach Community Responsibility
Don’t be afraid to take chores outside the home too. If you have a passion to help the elderly, or volunteering at the dog shelter, do it and make them part of those experiences. Add it to the chore chart to get their commitment and show the importance of these tasks. This reminds teens—who often get wrapped up in their own lives—that others also matter.
Even just giving them chores that affect the family, instead of only themselves, can start this process. For instance, ask them to clean the general areas like the kitchen or mow the lawn, not only tidying their bedrooms. Need a drain unclogged? Push them to their limits—sometimes—so they understand they’re part of a bigger whole where they carry a certain responsibility.
Instill a Good Work Ethic
Now, when should your teenagers work? Rather give them tasks at all times of the week, not just when they have free time. They need to complete their chores in between socializing and other responsibilities, like homework or sports.
You’ll teach your teen a good work ethic if you give them regular, daily chores, as well as tasks for weekends and vacations. The necessity of working and doing rather than sitting around is beneficial for mental and physical health, and gives them coping strategies for life.
You obviously don’t want to overwhelm them, or give them more than you do. But a healthy balance of chores, work and play will help them grow into balanced, responsible adults.
Common Challenges and Solutions with Teens and Chores
Getting your teens to do their chores will of course be part of the process. Some will ‘forget’, others will show bad attitudes and certain youngsters will think up a multitude of excuses. The following can help as part of your strategy:
- Have a family meeting to discuss the family chore chart. Allow them to say how they think they can best assist, how much time they think they have available and also which chores they prefer. By including them in the planning, you’ll get better buy in.
- Clearly state what you expect with each chore, so you avoid unnecessary conflict about something that’s not done correctly.
- Create a chart or chore calendar everyone can view and follow, so there’s no excuse for not doing a job. You can put a chore wheel on the fridge, but technology can be even more effective. Using a chore tracker app like Enzo will send reminders so no one forgets. Also, you can track your kids’ chores even if you’re not at home, and add a task if you urgently need help with something. Showing them how you depend on them to be team players will once again help with their confidence and sense of responsibility.
- It’s not always ideal to have a rewards system, because kids shouldn’t get used to being paid for the most basic of tasks. But you can reward them for tasks they do over and above their usual set of chores. It’s a great motivator and they learn that you may get further in life if you go the extra mile.
- Try to add a fun element to tasks. Depending on your teens’ interests you can play music while everyone performs their tasks, or race each other in completing tasks. Teens can be stubborn, but perhaps their love of music or desire to win helps you get the work done faster.
What are Age Appropriate Tasks for Teens?
Remember, children can start helping with tasks from as early as 2-years old. Of course, you’ll customize the job list to their abilities. But any of the following can be on a teen’s list on the family chore chart:
- Feed the pets and ensure they have clean water on a daily basis—they must be conscious of carrying responsibility continuously
- Water the plants and start a garden to maintain and help the family pursue sustainable practices, with a smaller carbon footprint
- Keep rooms tidy, from making their beds to picking up clutter
- Learn about hygienic living and self-care by washing their clothes and ironing it
- Support the family’s lifestyle by sweeping the kitchen floor and wiping down the kitchen counters
- Help maintain an organized house by decluttering the garage each spring or cleaning the fridge over weekends
- Mow the lawn, taking over the task from parents, to show your trust in their abilities
Just a few examples to get you started and understand the impact it will have.
So, don’t give in. Push through and make the younger generation part of how you run the house. You’ll enjoy sharing some responsibility of course. But you’re also doing your kids a favor by teaching them the right values.
And with an app like Enzo it becomes super easy to manage. You never know—adding some tech to the family chore chart may even make it more alluring.
If you have any tips for other parents, or on how to use Enzo for family setups, please share in the comments section.