How to encourage your teenager to do chores

How to encourage your teenager to do chores

It can be tough to encourage your teenager to do chores. They're busy with school and extracurricular activities, and they likely don't want to spend their free time cleaning the house. However, it's important for them to learn how to be responsible and contribute to the household.


Related: Age appropriate chores for kids


In this blog post, we'll discuss some tips on how to motivate your teenager to do chores.


  • Give your teen flexibility when it comes to chores
  • Offer a financial incentive - pocket money
  • Use a pocket money and chore app
  • Assign chores in advance
  • Ensure chores are ability and age-appropriate
  • Make chores fun
  • Spread chores fairly throughout the family


Give your teen flexibility when it comes to chores


One way to motivate your teenager to do chores is to give them some flexibility around choosing which tasks they want to do and when they want to do them. This will give them a sense of ownership over their responsibilities and make them more likely to follow through. Make sure you set some ground rules, such as not being able to put off their chores until the last minute, and be clear about the expected standard of their work.


Offer a financial incentive - pocket money


Offering a financial incentive, such as pocket money can help teenagers to see the value in completing their tasks and may encourage them to help out more often. It will also help them learn the value of hard work and earning money. But that's not all - find out about all the benefits of giving your kids pocket money here


When considering how much to pay your child for doing chores, you could set prices in line with the difficulty level, or the length of time the task takes. For example, £1.50 for vacuuming the house and £0.75 for taking the bins out, since emptying the bins takes less time. Or, offer a fixed amount for completing the same tasks each week.


You could also consider offering other rewards, such as a later curfew or other privileges. These could be given for completing all of their chores for the week, or as an extra for going above and beyond.


Use a pocket money and chore app


With a pocket money and chore app like GoHenry, you can keep track of what's been done and not been done, and your teenager will have visibility over how much they'll get paid. This can help to motivate them to complete their chores on a regular basis. Plus, it's a great way to teach them about responsibility and money management. It's also great for you as a parent, as it will help you manage your household more effectively and automate pocket money payments to make things easier on your end.


Assign chores in advance


If you want to make sure your teenager does their chores, it's a good idea to assign them in advance. This will give them some time to plan and ensure that they don't forget about their responsibilities. You can either write out a list of tasks or use the GoHenry app to assign and keep track of chores.


A good idea is to assign chores at the beginning of the week so that your teenager has time to complete them. This will also help to ensure that the house is clean and tidy on a regular basis.


Ensure chores are ability and age-appropriate


When assigning chores, it's important to ensure that they are appropriate for your teenager's ability and age. For example, you wouldn't expect a 13-year-old to be able to clean windows on the third floor but they could probably dust the furniture and do the dishes. And remember, some tasks may need to be supervised at first (such as using cleaning products), but once you've shown them, your teenager will be able to do them independently. Why not look at the best chores for teens for some inspiration? You can also refer to our age-appropriate chores list for kids to make sure you're not asking too much of them.


Make chores fun


Make them fun - or as enjoyable as they can be! This will help your teenager to see them as less of a chore and more of an opportunity to spend time with you. One way to do this is to turn up the music and have a dance while you're doing the cleaning together. Or, you could set a timer and see how quickly your teenager can complete their tasks. If you have more than one teenager, you could even make it into a competition.


Whatever you do, just make sure that you're motivating your teenager to see the positive side of doing chores. Try to make sure that your teenager is doing their chores because they want to, not because they have to. If they're feeling motivated, they're more likely to complete their tasks and may even enjoy them.


Spread chores fairly throughout the family


When it comes to doing chores, it's important to spread the load fairly throughout the family. This means that everyone should be doing their fair share - including your teenager. If you have younger children, they may not be able to do as much as your teenager, but they can still help out with simple tasks like tidying their toys away or setting the table.


So, make sure everyone is involved and doing their bit to help out around the house to show that there is a fair balance within the household. This will also help to instil a sense of responsibility in your teenager. For example, they may feel like they need to help out their younger siblings by showing them how to do certain tasks and giving them tips to complete them quicker.


What to do when your teen doesn’t do their chores?


If your teenager doesn't do their chores, there are a few things you can do to encourage them to get back on track:


Keep your emotions in check


It can be very frustrating when your teen doesn’t do what you ask them to do. You may feel like you’re the only one who ever does any housework, and that your requests are simply being ignored. However, it’s important to keep your emotions in check when talking to your teen about their responsibilities. If you’re angry when discussing chores it can lead to an argument, which isn’t productive or enjoyable for either you or your child.


Instead, try to have a calm discussion with your teen about why it’s important for them to do their fair share around the house. If they still refuse to do their chores, you may need to implement some sort of consequence, such as taking away privileges. But remember, even if your teen doesn’t do their chores perfectly, they’re still learning and growing. It can sometimes take a lot of patience, understanding and persistence from your side when encouraging teens to do their part.


Be a good example


If you want your teen to do their chores, it’s important that you set a good example. If you’re always leaving dirty clothes on the floor or forgetting to put the dishes away yourself, your teen is likely to follow suit. Instead, lead by example and be diligent about doing your own chores. This will show your teen that it’s important to contribute to the running of the household.


Here are a few extra things to keep in mind to set a good example for your teen when it comes to chores:


  • Be organised: If you want your teen to be organised, it’s important that you set an example. Create a system for doing chores so that it’s easier for everyone to know what needs to be done and when. For example, set a weekly cleaning schedule or put the dishes in the dishwasher immediately after dinner.
  • Be positive: It’s important to stay positive when doing chores, even if they’re not your favourite things to do. Try to find the silver lining in every chore and see it as an opportunity to bond with your teen or get some exercise.
  • Be consistent: It’s important to be consistent when it comes to doing chores. If you only do them occasionally, your teen will get the same message and may not see the importance of doing them regularly. Instead, try to make chores a regular part of your routine so that your teen knows they’re important.
  • Encourage teamwork:. If you work together to complete tasks around the house, it will be more likely that your teen will want to contribute. You could assign specific tasks to each family member or have a competition to see who can do the most chores in a week.

Let them fail and learn


It’s natural to want to protect your teen from making mistakes. Sometimes, it’s important to let them fail and learn from their own mistakes. If your teen doesn’t do their chores and as a result, their bedroom gets messy or they can’t find anything to wear, let them experience the consequences of their actions. This will help them to understand why it’s important to do their chores and may encourage them to be more responsible in the future. If they do make a mistake, also be sure to offer your support and guidance so that they can learn from it. This will help reinforce what they've learnt and allow them to ask for help if they need it.

Let GoHenry help


If you’re struggling to motivate your teenager to do their chores, the GoHenry app can help. With GoHenry, you can assign and keep track of chores with the paid tasks feature. This also allows you to set rewards so you teens can get pocket money for completing their chores. This is a great way to encourage your teen and help them to learn the importance of responsibility - as well as the value of hard work and money.


With GoHenry, you can help your teen to become a responsible and financially savvy adult. Using Money Missions, teens can learn how to budget, save up for their goals and even make donations to charity.


Learn more about the GoHenry teen debit card and paid task feature today!
Written by GoHenry Published Sep 12, 2022 ● 6 min. read