How do you get your teen to do their chores?

We'd all love our children to happily volunteer to help around the house and do their chores. But with many kids, especially teens, that is not the case. What tips do you have for getting a teen to consistently do their chores?

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18  Answers

236 440

You have to find their hot buttons. With my kids, it's taking away electronics and time with their friends. Oh, and a good one I just saw today from a friend is they don't get the Wireless password of the day until they get their chores done! Just leave a Post-it with the listed chores on the router!

8 41

One piece of advice I received on motivating kids to do chores has worked like a charm. If the child neglects to do their chore, do it for them while at school. Then, when they get home let them know that since you had to spend your time doing their chore, they get to do yours. My oldest son didn't realize how much I do during the day until he had to do all of my chores for neglecting to do his one simple chore for the umpteenth time. This changed his tune.

28 26

I try to give my kids an incentive to get their chores done, whether it be time on the computer or the Wii or time to spend with their friends, etc... With 9 kids, you can imagine how messy our house can be, but if they all help out it makes the chores get done faster & gives them all more time to do what they want to do.

We have a saying in our home, "Needs before wants"... the chores NEED to be done BEFORE you can do what you WANT. It really is that simple.

Kids need something to motivate them... giving them something to look forward to, helps. :0)

Shauna Nilsson
Layton, Utah

1,355 3

I am very blessed. I just ask my daughter, 13, to help with something or I just tell her something needs to be done and she does it. It is just the two of us and we are both equally as messy so we work together and get things done. She doesn't get an allowance but if she goes to the movies or the mall, I do give her $20 spending money. If she wants clothes that she doesn't need, then I will let her work off the amount I paid for her extras. We also house/pet sit for people when they go out of town. She helps walking dogs, scooping the yuck, etc. When I get paid, so does she. We are a team, we know we can count on each other. The rest just kind of falls into place.

3 44

Good question. I asked my daughter how I can get her to help me more and she said all I have to do is ask. We work together to get things done around here. I just have to guide, guide, guide.

2 24

My girls look forward to their pocket money every Friday. They know if they don't do their chores all week they don't get paid! Probably bit mean but it keeps them enthusiastic.

0 0

I remind my girls that the condition of the house is a reflection of how we live.
If they want to have friends over then chores MUST be done first.

0 20

In our home I pay for their cell phones. I have two children one I each. My daughter us older at 15 and my son is 14. My daughter has a part time job at thu time as well. Our understanding is that in order for them to keep their cell phones they must do a variety of chores. Their rooms and their laundry is entirely their responsibilities. Monday's and Thursday's are the household chores days. U don't ask them to do chore on a weekend not daily. So if the vacumming dusting and mopping is not done on Monday. Whom ever did not do their chores looses their cell phone. Same goes for Thursday. Sometimes they will no have it back for a few days if there is no effort to keep up on the deal. They have their own bathroom which they share as well. Again they are responsible for keeping sinks tub and toilet clean. I also have them do their own towels. I have had two major surgeries within 11 month so I have needed this to go smoothly and for the most part it does. It is getting something in return for paying their cell phone bill. If there are extra chores we negotiate on whether it is done for extra allowance or in lieu of having friends over to go boating.

0 22

I have 5 kids ranging from 14 to 11. We have set chores around here ,and have for a few years . The kids all know what they have to do everyday. They know what has to be done before they can do anything else. Yes somedays someone might ask if they can do something and I will say is your chores done and if I just get a look I know its not been done so they go do what they need to do ,and then they come back and say ok mom I did my stuff now is it ok if I do what I asked you. It just works well for us.

2 24

My son seems to think that I,m hard on him and that as he is a child that its unfair that he has chores to do, can i ask at what age you started chores with your children and what kind of things they were/are doing at 13/14 and if possible 6/7

28 26

My kids start very young... as soon as they are able to walk they can help grab a clean diaper & wipes & then put their dirty diaper in the garbage, they can help pick up toys & put them in the toy box or on shelves. As toddlers, they help pick up their room & put their own laundry away. As young children (4-6 yrs old) they can help wipe down baseboards & base cabinets, they can wipe fingerprints off of doors & light switches, etc; I sometimes gave them a wet cloth to wipe down the tile floors, if the floors aren't too bad & just need a quick go over. Older kids (6+ yrs old) can be taught to clean bathrooms, do dishes, clean up the yards, take out trash, vacuum floors, dust, etc. They can clean their own rooms, strip their bed, separate dirty clothes into bins (we separate our dirty clothes by colour - Reds, Pinks & Purples - Blues - Whites - Greens & Browns - Yellows & Oranges - Blacks & Greys - Towels & Washclothes). They can help fold laundry (towels & washcloths, match socks, etc). They can set the table for meals & clear the table after meals. They can help with the the dishes by emptying the dishwasher & put dishes away, sweep floors, etc. At age 12, they can mow lawns & take over their own laundry, they can load the dishwasher, mop floors, etc. By the time they are 14 yrs old, they should be able to do just about anything an adult can do, including cook simple meals. Children are remarkable & as young children, they are eager to help... take advantage of that! :0) Good Luck! Shauna Nilsson Layton, Utah

31 1

I think that it is easier to start them at a very young age to help out. And when they are little they usually want to help. I hate for kids to grow up with an entitlement mentality that they shouldn't have to contribute to the house. Everyone contributes, we are a team. We don't have "chores", there are things that just need to be done. And since I am usually the one who notices what needs to be done, I just ask for their help. If I am making dinner, I just ask for one to help set the table and one to help make a part of it, like the salad or whatever. And while we are working together, we spend time together and talk. It's really nice. I think that it's just nicer if everyone gets along and helps out. I don't just tell anyone to do anything, I ask for their help with something specific. It has worked well for us. Some parents treat chores as a punishment (like Cinderella) and it's not like anyone really likes doing some things, but if we work together and are nice about it, everything gets done and we are pretty happy about it. Also, I want my kids to know how to take care of themselves when they move out. I would hate for them not to know how to use any appliances or how to do a certain thing. And they appreciate what others do for them if they know what is involved. (Clean clothes don't magically appear in their closet.)

28 0

You are so right Shauna. It's a lot easier to start when children are young! I have a 4 month old and plan on teacher her as soon as she can walk to help me around the house.

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16 0

take there internet life line away first time 1 day second time 3 days 3 time week 4 time 2 weeks 5 time until you see a change ... phone,computer,

0 13

There are no bribes or rewards. I've simply explained to my children that we are all responsible for taking care of our home & community. I constantly reinforce the need to be grateful for our blessings and demonstrate that gratitude with action. They clean their rooms, do the dishes, bring down their laundry, put their laundry away & take out the trash.

0 0

I have explained to my 14 year old son that if you want to be treated like an adult you need to act like one. Helping out around the house without being instructed or having to have things taken away from you is a great way to show that you are growing up. I have far more respect for him when this happens and he loves the fact that he is treated the way he wants to be. When he lets me down i go back to treating him like a child and he hates it, in his mind its just better to help out.

0 18

i have two teenagers. One does the vacuuming daily or as needed the other takes the trash out and they take turns doing their laundry and they each put away their own laundry. they are also responsible for keeping their room and area clean and cleaning up after themselves including washing their dirty dishes. it's not perfect sometimes they need to be reminded and if i have to remind more that once or twice then its good buy video games or hanging out with friends. As long as you have them trained and are consistant they usually comply.

I also tell them when they are on their own supporting themselves they can live anyway they want but under my roof they shall follow my rules like it or not!

0 6

My son has to earn his time on any electronic device. He can do so by doing chores without griping, doing extra stuff around the house, doing work in the yard, etc...

0 7

I agree w/ Tracy R. You have to figure out what means the most to them. If they don't take care of their assigned chores, then they aren't allowed the good consequences of taking care of their responsibilities. For our 14 y/o boy, it's all about his PS3, whichever sport he is participating in during that time of year and/or activities w/ his friends. He knows they will be taken away if he doesn't take care of his chores. I admit, it was pretty rocky when we introduced this to him 3-4 years ago, but now - for the most part - he takes care of his assigned chores!

4 30

We have a rotating chore chart for all four kids. Usually they older kids are pretty good about doing their chores (when asked). It doesn't make much sense, but after dinner seems to be the best time to get the work done. It's one of the few times durning the day that everyone is in one place, so it just naturally became the time to say "hey kids you need to do your chores."
The laundry and room cleaning has to be done before you do fun stuff.

14 3

Whatever it is they want to do, and they often want to go somewhere or hang with their friends or even watch a favorite tv show, they cannot do that until the requisite chores are done. It usually works without any argument (perhaps a bit of silent resentment)....but we've been pretty successful in maintaining that rule.


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