What are good chores for tweens?
Wanting to teach your child to be self-sufficient in later years is natural for most moms, so what are some good chores to give tweens who are still learning?
My children are now teenagers, 13 & 17, but they have been doing chores quite some time. At 6 I expected their rooms to be picked up, by the time they turned 8 they started doing their own laundry, increasing their responsibilities little by litte. For the last few years they clean the living / dining room, do their laundry, clean their bathroom, keep the media room clean, cook small meals and snacks, do the dishes, and whatever else needs to get done. When my children go off to college, I will not have to worry about them dragging 3 moths of laundry and eating only ramen noodles and fast food as they are fully capable of fending for themselves.
Part of a parent's job is to help your child become well adjusted, productive adults. I certainly hope I've done my job.
My son is 11 & he does the laundry for me. I showed him how & now he enjoys it. I have to fold & put them away, but he loads/unloads the washer & dryer.
My "almost 12" year old is in our chore rotation and is learning to do everything on the list. We have 6 different chores in our house 3 are daily and 3 are weekly. We rotate every quarter so they can get use to it and learn to get "real" good at them. My son has done dishes (though this takes 2x longer then with the older two) taken care of the garbage and recycling, cleaned up after the cats, vacuumed the floor etc. They are all responsible for having their clothes ready for laundry day and he puts his clothing away. I think they can do just about anything that the parent is willing to take the time to teach them and then be patient while they learn to do it well.
I started having my boyfriend's 11 year old starting unloading the dishwasher at 9. At this time her grandmother informed other people we were making her do too much. Now at 11, she loads and unloads the dishwasher and does all her own laundry (wash, dry, fold and put away). She also helps us on the weekend sweep, mop and vacuum all floors. She cleans the "house bathroom" and has to clean out the litter box every couple days.
I have a 11, 10,8 & 4yr old who love chores. The 3 oldest take turns doing certain chores. They are assigned a chore for a week, since there are only 3 major chores. Then I give them a week off, but they still ask to help during their week off. I have recently started an allowance. The youngest helps his sisters out and he even gets a money. Neighbors have even jumped in and pay them to take out trash. They'll make up little bags for my son and give him his own money. I have them take turns on those as well. Daddy thinks they have too much responsibility, but his own momma told him to hush, cause they gotta learn some how.
I have them help according to our schedules. Morning chores include feeding the dog, making sure their room is in order (bed made, etc.) before we leave, and helping with breakfast. If they have sports/activities in the evening we stress that their homework is first. If they have time to watch TV then they may help with dinner and clean up. I also have them wash a load of their uniforms mid-week to ensure they have clothes for the next day. Once a week on our day off we have them help with whatever needs to get done and we do chores as a family (vacuum, dust, yardwork, laundry, etc.). Since kids mature at different ages and sometimes have hectic schedules with sports, homework and such it is important to keep that in mind when giving them more responsibility. My kids ages 10 and 11 are responsible for their own space and have always been responsible for making their bed and keeping their room clean. For other chores, I started by having them help me with chores to teach them how to do it well. Unfortunately for us moms, repetition is the only way to help them learn. We all clean as a family once a week and we all clean up after ourselves during the week to keep things organized. This helps to not make chores overwhelming on one person.
We have a chore chart with everybody's individual chores, and their weekly chores as well. We have the normal stuff of cleaning up their toys, picking up clothes, making beds, etc. But we also have a kitchen chore that they are responsible for doing the whole week. These include setting the table, unloading/loading the dishwasher, kitchen clean up, and dinner helper. And then we have our weekend chores. My kids (2 boys and 2 girls, ages 12, 10, 8, and 6) like being able to see what is on their list, and crossing off what they have done that day. We also include homework as one of their chores.
My 12 year old daughter is a great helper in the kitchen with loading the dishwasher and putting dishes away. I have given her various chores at different ages and she now knows how to do all the basic household chores. I think one small chore each day and one bigger one each week teaches children to pick up on a regular basis, so the family doesn't end up overwhelmed with a huge mess at the end of the week, or whenever you FEEL like doing it. Having chores also shows them that to lend a helping hand gets any job finished quicker and that leaves more time for fun together!
Something I found that works well for my childern (14 & 12) was to treat their chores like "jobs". I rented them both a local PO Box (they are responsible for keeping up w/ the key). I started savings accounts in their name. They earn a "paycheck" for the jobs they do around the house, I mail them the check. They get so excited to go to the PO to pick up their checks and see what they have earned, then we go to the bank and they choose to deposit or cash the checks. They love to see their savings grow and learn how hard work pays off. The added bounus of the PO Box is picking up their B-day cards from relatives and enjoying summer pen pal letters from classmates. Once they are a little older they can take over their savings account and paying rent on the PO box. Hopefully just starting w/ the chores, to money, to added responsiblity will help them learn to be self-sufficient adults.
I have teenagers ranging from sixteen to thirteen definetly having them help me when they were Tweens has made them pretty self sufficient! Especially in the kitchen I would have themhelp prep our meals! It even gets picking eaters to eat!:)
My 13 year old takes out the garbage, recycling, helps w dinner and dishes, and helps w laundry. At this time, it's not mandatory since the kids get so much homework, i don't make chores a priority. Homework and her after school sports are right now. She does what she can and is very good about filling the dishwasher and cleaning up after her self.
Kids get too much homework so I don't make chores a priority. She knows how to do it and does when she is not overloaded!
My daughter will be 11 on the 30th of this month and she has been doing household chores since she was 9. From washing dishes, to cleaning the kitchen to the bathroom and keeping her room clean. She has a 3 yr old sisters who also has things that she has to do from cleaning her room to picking up her toys and putting them in the basement where her toys belong. I have daughters and they will learn to be self sufficient because I know I'm not going to always be around and my girls WILL learn to do things for themselves and if I'm not around, my 11 yr old will teach her sister all the things she needs to know. I teach my girls how to be productive members of society, but I also teach them how to take care of themselves the way ladies should. Don't be dirty and trifling. You are a young lady and I demand you conduct yourselves like that.
I have to applaud all you moms out there! Amazing job to you all!!! I have two beautiful step-daughters and I am completely blessed by who they are inside and out, we have an amazing bond and relationship... BUT, we have a larger problem and that is their mother who they live with the majority of the time. She is very wealthy and they have a maid/nanny at their home everyday to do EVERYTHING for them. They have never had a chore in their life until I married their father and we've been struggling for over 5 years with the chore issue. Needless to say, chores are not understood in our home despite the fact that they have been in place for over 5 years! I started them out with the simple task of making their bed and keeping their room tidy. I am a bit of a perfectionist but I have NEVER expected them to make their beds the way I do!!! All I ask is that they make their very BEST effort and I always tell them to imagine that the Queen of England is coming for tea and wouldn't it be nice if she complimented you on your beautifully tidy room! This is meant only to get them to laugh a little, have some fun with their chores and to understand that we pride ourselves with being self-sufficient young women who can take care of the simplest of duties. Not too much, I think. After all, I was raised that way! Anyhow, their "best" effort is piling everything on the middle of their beds and pulling their comforter over it all leaving a huge ball of who-knows-what on their beds - hardly making a bed. I have taught them the proper way multiple times and am always there to go over it again with them if they are struggling. Their father and I "check out" their chores every day we have them and decide whether there needs to be a bit more effort or whether they did a fantastic job... most of the time, all we have to do is look at them and ask, "Is this your best effort?". They know. I have always said that I am happy to go over it again with them, but they never take me up on the offer. The girls are 10 and 13 and I am extremely concerned that they can't even make a bed! Ask them to do anything else around the house and it's like I'm speaking to them in a foreign tongue! It has taken them 5 years to understand that we do not get up from the dinner table unless excused, that we ALWAYS have our napkin in our lap and USE IT, that we DO NOT eat with our hands, that we DO NOT speak with our mouths full and that when finished with any meal, after asking to be excused, we bus our own dishes to the kitchen and clean up our own messes. Five years it has taken for that to sink in!!! We are strict to a point, but we do not yell and we never say we are disappointed. It is disheartening to us because we try diligently to work with them and teach them and show them that the world does not revolve around them but that we ALL, together with effort and hard work, help make the world go round. They are good girls but they are so unable to take care of themselves... it's scary! They say they will just hire a maid to do everything for them in college! Or get their roommate to do it for them. Uggggghhhhhh! Any tips? They expect allowance for their chores too... I can't seem to get them to understand that making your bed and tidying your room, remembering to put dirty clothes in the laundry basket and not just leave them where you took them off are just part of living in a functioning family and that real chores are in addition to your regular, daily "things to do". Any advice or help anyone can offer would be greatly appreciated. They understand but they just don't find it important enough to make cleaning up after themselves a priority. Oh, and discipline does not work either!!! We've tried everything but want to be consistent in how we handle this subject. Thank you in advance for any advice anyone can give!!! I've done chore charts too and they are ignored after a week, despite reminders and discipline. I feel like I am losing the battle in my own home!
I have a 12, 11, 9yr old and a new born. My girls have been doing chores since they were very little. I started out with them making their toddler beds and picking up their toys. Making it into a game and singing songs as they did it. Children are usually happy to help do things. Now my girls do everything. They do laundry(wash, dry, fold, and put away), dishes, sweep, mop, take out trash and cook full meals with supervision. I don't let them cook if i'm not home. They are all doing very well in school and have a full schedule of after school activities. They don't like doing the chores but it is basically cleaning up after themselves. They will need to know how to do everything when the move out and become independent young women. I help them with anything if needed. But I'm proud to know that if anything were to happen to me, whoever takes care of them wouldn't have much to teach them. Parents jobs are to teach the children to become self sufficient, independent, and good citizens. I think the hardest part about being a parent is staying consistent.
when my daughter was 2 or even younger actually, she would see me doing laundry and she would want to ''help'' so we made it a game, since im in a wheelchair she is a big help for me, my washer and dryer are not in a situation where i can do it myself, without help.. now she is 7 years old and can do laundry on her own (with little instruction from me) and now that my son is 2 years old, he wants to help out too so i have 2 great helpers.. start em young and it will stick with them forever..
dishes,laundry,sweeping one or two rooms, taking out the trash,cleaning thier room, light dusting,pick up outside yard (trash). small chores that will be easy to achieve.
My nine year old son is responsible for taking out the rubbish and recycling each afternoon . My 12 year old daughter empties and loads the dishwasher, washes the school uniforms each after and puts them in the dryer. Both are responsible for making their own school lunches and putting away their own clothes and unsucessfully keeping their own bedrooms tidy. They also extra tasks randomly if i need a little help such as tidying the rumpus room, vaccuming, clearing the table, wiping over their bathroom sink or tidying their bookshelf. both have a lot of homework and do what they can sometimes under protest.
Having children who enjoy and do chores without complaint depends a lot on your own POV on doing housework. If you are loath to do the housework so will your kids. I hated housework but I found cool tools, good music and the right attitude make a big difference. My son is eleven, he makes his bed and often helps his sister, 6, and brother, 3 make their beds. He takes the trash out as needed, helps his sister and brother put their toys away, puts dishes away, clears and wipes the table and puts his laundry away. Most the time without complaint, knowing that what he does allows me to do other stuff and helps make the house run more smoothly. His brother and sister also look forward to doing more as they get older because they see the rewards their brother gets from monetarily to praise.
I gave my 3 kids chores a few years ago but it was such a headache nagging them to do it that after a short while I abandoned it. However reading this has encouraged me to have another go, especially as they all get pocket money but really do nothing to earn it, although admittedly my 16 year old does babysit quite a bit and occasionally makes dinner. The other two are 11 and 7 so they are more than capable of doing a few things, Putting clean laudry away sounds a good one as i loathe doihg that, and perhaps feeding the cat and taking the recycling out. Will start today! :)
Trying to find chores that the child finds pleasant are the best chores. I let my son choose what he likes to do and that is to sort laundry, wash it and dry it, and load it in a basket and bring it upstairs (I fold). He also cuts the grass pretty well. He vacuums and empties the canister and he likes to feed the fish in the aquarium. I tried to get him to mop but he does a sloppy job and doesn't like it so he doesn't do that job anymore.
My 12 year old son does the garbage, the recycle, unloads the dishwasher, cleans the toilets and brings me his laundry. My 16 year old daughter doesn't do anything unless I force her.
my kids 7-15 wash pots and pans, feed and water animals daily, clean animal cages, walk the dog, empty the dishwasher, water the plants, clean and vacuum their own rooms, and do their own laundry including bedding.
They of course don't do it all at once. The bare minimum expected is pet maintenance, dishwasher, rooms and laundry. Dishwasher as needed, animals daily, rooms daily (usually) spruce up, laundry weekly and vacuum weekly to biweekly (same with bedding).
They are fairly responsible and I believe the transition into adult responsibilities will be much easier since they will have been doing it for so long. Good habits to form! Hope it helps (and yes we still have a lot of time for fun!)
The chores I give my 12 year old to do is empty the trash in the bathroom, her room, put away the food from the market..keep her dirty clothes in her dirty bin.
I have four kids...yes its a full time job! I was always overwhelmed and felt like I wasn't doing a good job at anything. I researched cleaning recommendations for frequencies and then came up with a plan using index cards. My friends loved it and I made them for them and eventually began selling them online. You can check it out at www.springcleanyearround.blogspot.com
It saved my life!! It has recommendations for chores children can do at their age too.
I'm finding this unbelievable that a lot of you are "requiring" your children under 14 to do their own laundry! i totally agree that kids need to taught these things but I feel that even 16 is too young to properly do a load of laundry. My kids (boys 13 and 7 girl 11) each clean their rooms and help with trash. My daughter is responsible for the cat litter and helps with dusting but that seems like more then enough responsibility for kids their age. I am just astounded at what some of you are making a childs responsibility. My view is let them be kids! They grow up too fast already without adding adult type chores.
I have a 13 year old and a 10 year old. My 13 yr old daughter has been doing chores since age 2, when she then made sure her room stayed tidy. By age 5 she was ironing her own clothes and starting to wash dishes. By age 7 she was doing dishes, ironing, cleaning her room, bathroom, kitchen and living room, vacuuming, sweeping and moping. By age 10 laundry was also amongst the things she was able to do along with cooking. My 10 year old son was not so fast to move along but he has been cleaning his own room since age 2 or 3, ironing and dishes since age 7 and now he cooks and cleans the entire house and packs his lunches for school. I don't let him do laundry yet but he is responsible for folding and putting away of his clothes.
I started teaching my children how to help around the house as soon as they could reason. My youngest is now 8 and he knows how to clean everything in the bathroom (even though he can't reach to do the shower walls.) I have 6 children and they all know how to do their laundry and fold it, how to keep their room clean, how to mow the yard and take care of the outside animals. My 4 oldest (16 to 11) can also follow a recipe and make supper and/or dessert. Starting early is a key i think. And when they have responsibilities it also makes them a bigger part of the family. My goal is that each of my children will be able to run their "house" when they leave and go on to college or wherever. I want them to know how to plan a meal and shop for it, and how to take care of car and home. They also know how to get up to an alarm (one of my favorite things.) :-)
Guess I didn't say how we do it....we have 2 different chore wheels. One is for daily things, like setting the table, doing the dishes and feeding the animals. This one is moved every week (I have them in pairs.) The big wheel is for weekly chores, such as cleaning the bathrooms, emptying all the trashes, wiping down mirrors, etc. (it also has a small inside section to designate who has which 'zone' for quick pickups.) This one is moved every 2 weeks. When we started I made sure to teach each child whatever chore they had. And of course, we follow up on weekends as we do them.
I have 3 daughters, 12, 9 and 7. They all share in laundry (the 7 yr old just takes them out the dryer), plus they fold and put away. They clean the kitchen together and vac the living room and hall way. I still clean the bathroom myself but every Saturday, they all mop the whole house. It's so cute, they each have their own mops. Also, my 7 yr old loves to dust and she calls the duster "fluffy"...lol
I have a 9-year old and an 11-year-old. They both clean their rooms, fold and put away their clean laundry and care for their pets. My 11 year old also mows the back lawn on Saturdays and my 9-year-old sets the table every night. I try to rotate their job to something new every six months or so, so that they learn a lot of things and have enough time to get pretty good at them.
I have three children, two daughters ages 11 and 12 and one son age 6. I have a check list on a white board in our classroom( I home school) with 6 daily chores on it that must be completed each day after our lessons. The list includes gathering the trash, laundry and dishes from around the house, picking up the different rooms and putting them in order, wiping down the surfaces and sweeping/dust mopping the house. They all participate and they are usually finished with the entire house in around 30 minutes. They each have after dinner chores as well. The oldest does the after dinner dishes, the middle one cleans the room that the two girls share and the 6 yr old picks up all of the shoes that we keep in our "shoe corner" and puts them back in the basket that they go in. I know that it sounds like a lot but with a family of 5 and three pets the house gets messy fast. I used to just do the cleaning myself but in doing so, I watched my kids get more and more lazy and show no respect at all for their belongings or their home. Now that they have chores to do daily that do not change, they take much better care of their stuff, they do a much better job cleaning and not being messy and they are more respectful in general. My girls also now how to load and unload the washer and dryer and do so on occasion when asked, my 6 yr old knows how to take the trash to the garbage bin in the driveway and they are learning how to sew and cook/bake....I understand letting children play and be kids and mine do play everyday, but I can't see allowing them to grow up with no kind of responsibility. I feel like it would be irresponsible of me to send them into the world unprepared.
My kids don't do a lot compared to many but I do expect help when I ask (usually stacking the dishwasher / emptying, helping peg out laundry in the summer, sweeping leaves at this time of year mostly). They do some cooking, especially the 12 year old, and are expected to take their clean laundry upstairs and put it away, also the normal room tidying .... if they do not tidy up our cleaner is under strict instructions not to touch their rooms, so a 10 minute tidy turns into them having to vaccum, change sheets etc. I know lucky kids not to have to do it but the elder has motor coordination problems so finds duvet changing very hard. Also they do get sent to the local shop, handy when you realise something has run out.
My almost 12yo does some of the laundry, dishes (including loading the dishwasher), she is responsible for her room (which she of course should be by now...), and she helps watch her sister at times (I work nights and there is a gap AM and PM from the tie I leave and dh gets home, and vice versa). She also enjoys cooking and baking and is getting pretty good at following recipes. Ocassionally she takes the garbage out, and takes the dogs out at times too. I try to work together with my girls when I can, but I work full time, as does dh,and I'm in college fulltime, so it gets kinda hectic at times. She does get an allowance, and has a cell phone for payment for helping babysit her sister.
My 12 year-old is in charge of the kitchen (top to bottom), her bathroom, the guinea pig cage, the garbage, her room and her laundry. She also vacuums, sweeps and mops. As far as I'm concerned, she's plenty able to handle all the tasks we take on as adults. Her 9 year-old sister does all the same things.
Both my girls are helpers but my 12 yo with ADD tends to be a little lazy. they are both good cooks for simple things like pasta, mac and cheese, eggs, bacon etc. My 11 yo cleans up the dogs mess every other day and the other walks the dogs. They both know how to do laundry. I usually do it since I can't always keep an eye on them. Because I'm a single mom they have learned that we can all learn to change lightbulbs, fix simple things around the house, work in the yard, etc. they also help unload the dishwasher, wash the dishes and put things away. I find the older they get the harder it is for them to keep their rooms clean. I think all kids can learn responsibility. I agree with others that homework and soccer can sometimes get in the way of chores. we find if we all work together it gets done faster and we have more time for play.
He can dust and vaccuum, and wash inside windows and mirrors.
Our 10 year old son takes out the trash. All of our children help with the dishes, even the 7 year old. Since we don't have a dishwasher this is a big thing in our house. All of my girls know how to do the laundry but my 9 and 7 year old tend to be more dependable than my 11 year old. My 11 year old is very dependable with cooking as long as she is supervised. I really think that when it comes to chores every pre-teen should be able to do them all but that doesn't mean that they should do them all. Just because my 11 year old can wash clothing and clean the bathroom doesn't mean that I would have her do these on a regular bases because of her ADHD she needs supervision. On the other hand I can have my 9 year old clean the bathroom by herself and she does a really nice job because she tends to be thorough.
I decided quite awhile ago that teaching kids to do chores is very important. I read in several places like the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic and the New Yorker that there are slews of young adults out there that successfully made it through prestigious colleges, but have no clue how to go about the business of daily living. All of their childhoods were focused on getting them into those good colleges, so they weren't taught to do laundry, cook, or otherwise take care of a household, car and bank account. They've actually formed classes to teach each other to do these things they should have learned how to do growing up!
My 15 year old does far less than he should. He mows the lawn and loads and unloads the dishwasher and carries things when I ask him. He should be taking out the trash and compost, and helping his dad do things like clean out the gutters, weed, trim bushes, clean out/wash the car, and in the winter do more in the house. He just asked me to teach him to cook using French techniques today. He used to keep his room clean, and for a year it's been a disaster. He also started cleaning it like crazy this week.
My 12-year-old is supposed to do the laundry but doesn't do it often. I switch off laundry and dishes between the two. She will sometimes cook, vacuum, and clean the bathrooms. Sometimes. She likes to mow the lawn and garden. She does keep her room very clean and has for the last couple of years. Before that it was a disaster.
Both of the older two help me shop and know how to comparison shop.
My 6-year-old does the silverware and dusts. She loves to help and will sometimes wash windows, baseboards, walls or cabinets. Again, sometimes.
My son is 11 yrs old and his job is the dishes. He washes them and puts them away and he puts his own clothes away too. He is a great helper. My 3yrs old daughter helps me by getting the dirty clothes in the basket.