Monday April 8, 2019
Are you toiling away on house chores and projects while your teen is glued to the couch on their phone? Are you miffed that you still clean their rooms and do their laundry? It’s time to kiss those days goodbye! Getting your teen to contribute to the household is GOOD for them and for you. They’ll learn about accountability and necessary life skills while YOU enjoy some much-needed help around the house. Besides, why else did you have kids if not for the free labor? 😜
Start ‘Em Early!
Establish chore routines when children are young so they grow up with age-appropriate responsibilities. Kids love helping out Mom and Dad when they’re little, so keep the momentum going by consistently holding them accountable for chores as they get older. They’ll never know what it’s like not having chores to do! But if you’re coming to this later in the game, that’s ok! Read on for more tips.
Assign Regular Chores
Waking up your teen with, “Time to mow the lawn!” first thing on a Saturday morning is not a recipe for success. No one appreciates a surprise to-do list, so try writing up a weekly one of tasks that must be done regularly, from picking up their room and taking out the trash to cleaning their bathroom and emptying the dishwasher. Putting it in writing reduces the chance they’ll resist and complain (eye rolling not included).
A little control goes a long way. Allow some flexibility as far as when specific duties need to be completed. Giving your teen control over their own schedule helps teach them necessary time management skills they’ll carry on to their young adult years. If you want them to clean their bathroom, let them know you want it done by the end of the week; it’s up to them to decide what day to do it given their school, sports, and/or activities schedule.
Set a Good Example
Show them how to do the chore(s) the first couple of times. Maybe it’s as simple as learning how to do something the proper way. Don’t assume they know how to effectively clean a bathroom, especially the way you want it cleaned. Give them some tips and tricks, or a checklist of tasks that must be completed for each chore. We like these checklist cards HERE. Knowledge is power, and that goes for chores, too!
Establish Consequences and Follow Through
Accountability is key! Their future boss won’t appreciate uncompleted projects and neither should you! Make it known the specific consequences they’ll face if their weekly chores aren’t completed, like no xBox or car use, etc. Whatever they most enjoy vanishes from their life if they’re not helping out around the house. Usually this only takes once or twice before they get the picture.
Establishing a regular chore list and allowing them to fit their responsibilities into their schedule means no more nagging is required! Trust that they will do what’s expected of them, knowing that they’ll have consequences to face if they don’t. Deep breath, doesn’t that feel freeing?
Reward them for a job well done! After a few weeks of consistently completing their chores on time, surprise them with something they’ll enjoy, like a pack of movie tickets with their friends, an iTunes gift card, or some money. Don’t make it a regular thing so it doesn’t become expected, but a show of appreciation for all their hard work will definitely go a long way!
Cheers to a responsible teen and well-kept home!