Growing up my mom always did most of the chores in the house and as an adult, she did me and my siblings a major disservice. After moving out and having kids of my own, I quickly learned that it only took 5 minutes for my house to go from clean to a path of destruction left by the kid. I vowed that I wasn’t going to be a disservice to my own children and I started teaching them age appropriate chores. I wanted to realize that it takes a team in order for the house to stay clean.
As my child got older, I wanted to make sure that they were prepared and were able to take care of their own chores when they headed off to college or got a place of their own. My kids have given me grief over helping with the chores but they live in the house and contribute to the messes that need to be cleaned up. Plus, I know that they will appreciate the things that I taught them when they are younger.
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Here is my top list of chores that teenagers should know how to do before they graduate high school.
Keeping the House Clean
As a mom, I know first hand how difficult it is to keep up with the house when the kids are constantly making a mess. The kids making more messes than I could clean up on an average day was the number one reason that I started teaching my kids how to do chores when they were little. Fast forward to the teen years, oh boy, their rooms can look like a bomb went off and sometimes the mess follows them into the rest of the house.
Daily clutter control is the easiest way to stay on top of things but holding those teenagers accountable for helping keep their own space clean and helping clean up the common areas whether it is their mess or not is important. Helping keep their space clean and doing their share of chores in the common areas will teach them a variety of skills needed to keep the house clean. They should be able to vacuum, mop, dust, clean the windows, and mirrors, cleaning the oven, making the bed, and wiping down the cabinets with furniture polish is just an example of the things that need cleaning.
Raise your hand if your teenager rather wear dirty clothes; instead, of helping you get the laundry done. Laundry seems like a simple chore but there are certain things that teenagers need to know before they try to attempt doing it on their own. From sorting the laundry to folding and putting away their clothes, there are certain steps that your teenager needs to know. Here are a few:
- washing machine settings
- measuring laundry detergent
- fabric softner vs dryer sheets
- cleaning the lint trap on the dryer (tell them why they must clean it)
- dryer settings
- ironing if needed
- delicate clothes
- reading labels
- clothes that need to be dry cleaned only
If your teenager wants to eat after they move out of your home, they need to know how to properly wash the dishes. From burnt on food in the skillet to learning how to use the dishwasher, we all know that these tasks can overwhelm a teenager easily. Teaching them how to handle the tough tasks is ideal so they don’t have to rely on phone calls to mom for help or searching YouTube for the answer.
How to Cook Their Own Meals
Teenagers need to know how to cook meals before they graduate high school. Teens who don’t know how to cook meals are more likely to eat unhealthy meals like ramen noodles, microwave food or splurge on eating fast food every day.
Cleaning The Bathroom
The bathroom can quickly go from sparkling clean to filthy dirty in less than a week. It is important that your teenager needs to know how to properly clean the toilet, sink, and bathtub/shower in order to kill harmful bacteria.
Organize Their Belongings
This is an area that I really wish that my mom did a better job teaching me how to do. Teenagers need to be able to organize their belongings so that each item has a specific place where it belongs. College dorms are very picky when it comes to clutter and keep their area tidy. Not only does everything need to have a specific home for cleanliness, but it is also important so that their belongings aren’t stolen by other students. We suggest buying baskets, bins, and other organizational tools from Target.
Whether your teenager ends up renting a place that has a yard or when they are able to own their own home one day in the future, they will need to know how to properly do yard work. It is important that they know how to safely use a lawn mower, weed eater, edger, chemicals for the yard, and keeping the flower beds tidy. Keeping the yard tidy is important for curb appeal and helps maintain property values in the neighborhood.
Basic Car Maintenance and Care
As soon as your teenager learns how to drive, now is a great time to start teaching them about basic car maintenance and care. Prevention helps ward off major car problems and keeps your car running smoothly. It is sad to say that some teenagers leave the nest and have no clue how to do household chores.
As a parent, teaching my own children how to do chores around the house was on my radar as soon as they were old enough to help. I wanted them to learn responsibility at a young age so that they knew how to do things that I really wish that my mom spent more time teaching me even though I was a bit rebellious. Do you know a teenager like that? I was guilty as a teenager but my mom didn’t make me do chores when I was younger and I felt different than what I do as a parent.