It won't be too long until your teenager is off to university, or moves into their first flat or house share. If you’re keen to help your teen learn to stand on their own two feet, you might consider asking them to help with household chores. Chores offer a great way for teenagers to learn valuable life skills that will stand them in good stead for when they leave home. In fact, when young people take on household chores, they are more likely to have successful professional lives as adults.
You may also be thinking about paying your teens for doing chores to help them start saving money towards their goals, whether that's saving for a car or moving out. If they have never had a job before, paying teens for chores also shows them the value of hard work and helps them develop good management skills, which could be valuable in the future. In fact, our Youth Economy Report reveals that over 75% of young people believe that good money management skills will help their future career.
If you’re considering encouraging your teenager to help with chores, here's our guide to the best chores for teens.
How to keep your kids accountable with chore apps
If your teenager is new to the routine of doing chores or just busy juggling school, college, a part-time job and seeing their friends, it can be hard for them to keep track of what you've asked them to do. Fortunately, chore apps like GoHenry can help your teenager be accountable for the assigned tasks. You can set up tasks for your teenager to complete, and with the GoHenry app on their phone, they can easily check to see what they need to do and check off the tasks as they complete them.
Eight best chore ideas for teens
While most teenagers will be able to carry out most tasks, and if they've never done a specific chore before or are new to housework, they may need some guidance. It's a good idea to ask them to do just a couple of things a week to get them started into a routine. Then you can gradually build up the chores as they feel more confident and want to take on more. If your teenager can’t find a job or is too young for one, chores can be a great way to build their confidence, self-esteem and skills. If you decide to pay them for their efforts, it can also help bridge the gap while they look for a traditional part-time job.
Here are some chore ideas for teens:
Most teenagers should be able to push the vacuum cleaner around the house. However, if they've never operated one before, it's good to give them a quick demonstration to know what to do and which rooms you want them to clean.
As with all the tasks you give your teen, don't assume they know what you expect from them. Show them where you keep the mop, bucket, and cleaning solution and how much cleaner to use. While it may all seem common sense to you, they may not know what they are supposed to do if they've never done it before.
Taking out the rubbish and recycling
Taking out the rubbish and recycling is a fairly straightforward task and a good one to get your teenagers started. Ensure they know what can go in which bin and what days your bins are emptied.
It's up to you whether you want your teen to be responsible for doing just their laundry or for doing the washing for other family members too. Either way, knowing how to do their laundry is an essential life skill.
If your teen is already competent at cooking, ask them to make the family dinner once a week. Otherwise, you may have to give them a few cooking lessons first. You could even turn it into a useful financial education task for your teen by giving them a budget per person and asking them to plan the meal.
Ask your teenager if they could take charge of the kitchen and be responsible for setting the table and clearing away after meals, loading and unloading the dishwasher or doing the washing up.
Helping in the garden is a good chore for teenagers. Depending on what you need and their age and ability, they could mow the lawn, water the plants or do some planting and weeding.
Simple DIY tasks
If you have some simple DIY tasks that need doing, such as painting, building some flatpack furniture or tidying the garage, depending on their skills and ability, you could ask your teenager to help.
Scheduling chores for your teens
You can help your teenager succeed in their chores by helping them devise a schedule of daily and weekly tasks. This will help them to know what needs to be done and when. For instance, they'll need to lay the table every day, but they'll be required to cook a meal just once a week. Giving your teen a clear chore schedule will help them focus and make them less likely to procrastinate when it's time to get started.
Motivating teens to do chores
If your teenager has never done any household chores before, they may not feel very motivated to get started. Start by giving them just a couple of chores to begin with, and give them a chance to excel. This way, they'll quickly have a sense of pride from knowing they've done what's asked of them, and they'll feel motivated to carry on. It's also important that you give them age-appropriate chores.
Money is undoubtedly a big motivator for many teenagers and rewarding your teen for doing chores is a useful way to teach them about the link between work and money. Which is one of the many benefits of giving chores to kids.
Decide on a specific amount for each chore they complete. How much you pay is entirely up to you, and you may wish to pay more for harder tasks. Our Youth Economy Report discovered that the top housework earner for young people is vacuuming, earning teens £1.20 per task. If you do need a guide, take a look at our article about how much should I pay my child for doing chores?
Motivate your kids to do chores with GoHenry
If you decide to pay your teens to do chores, GoHenry is here to help. With a GoHenry account, you can pay your teens when they mark their tasks complete, and they can use their GoHenry prepaid debit card to make purchases online, in-store, or withdraw cash. While it's a great way to help motivate teens to complete their chores, it also gives them a sense of financial independence and teaches them about managing their money. What's more, thanks to the parental controls on the account, you can set limits and rules as to how much your teen spends and where they spend it.