Teens and chores…the age old struggle. With a plan and a patient attitude, parents can use chores as a way to give children valuable life skills. Daily chores become stepping stones that span from the teenage years to the self-sufficiency of adulthood. In the future your children will appreciate having good habits and vital life skills.
Vital Skills for Teens to Acquire
- Cooking: Can they scramble an egg? Make a spaghetti meal? How about bake chocolate chip cookies? Provide opportunities for your teens to participate in meal preparation. Involve your teen in menu planning, show them how to use a recipe, take them shopping for ingredients, and then let them fix the meal. Nothing motivates a teen more than good food to eat and having a say in the meal selections. Start with simple meals and build from there. Your teen will thank you later because they will be healthier and better at keeping to a food budget.
- Cleaning: All teens should be able to tackle the kitchen and the bathroom and make it sparkle. Can your teen clean the shower? How about mop the floor? Do they make your kitchen sink shine? Start with a short task list for each room, demonstrating how to accomplish each job. Don’t assume they know how to perform a cleaning chore but provide patient instruction and then follow-up with praise.
- Laundry: Does your teen have a laundry routine? The washing machine can be a confusing and intimidating appliance. Parents need to provide step-by-step instruction, perhaps even writing the steps down on paper and posting it in the laundry room. Show teens how to sort laundry by color and fabric, select water temperature and load size, how to measure detergent, and then how to dry each load. The added benefits to keeping a laundry routine? Getting ready for school is smoother and their bedrooms are kept tidier
- Simple Household Repair: Are your teens confident with basic household tools? Introduce them to a variety of simple house repair skills as the opportunity arises. Hammering a nail, tightening a screw, replacing a smoke detector battery, or replacing a furnace filter are all simple ways to build life skills in teens. As they become more responsible, increase the difficulty. Routine car maintenance is another area parents can train their children with knowledge that will make their child safer and help them save money in the future.
Keeping these ideas in mind as you go through the teen years may not eliminate the struggle over chores, but it can help you reach your ultimate goal of raising self-sufficient adults. The results are worth the effort.
What household chores are your teens responsible for?