parenting

8 Household Chores That All Teenagers Should Know How to Do

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.

Laundry

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
  • bleach
  • 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
8 Household Chores That All Teenagers Should Know How to Do Before Graduation 1

Washing Dishes

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.

Yard Work

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 lawnmower, 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. Knowing how to maintain and care for their care will help the be knowledgable about how a car operates and will be able to easily identify common car complaints.

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.

Do your teenagers know how to do these household chores?

icecreamnstickyfingers

Christy has three children. She has over 22 years of parenting experience, including parenting as a young mom, a single parent, and dealing with chronic illness/pain. When she isn't writing, you can find her coloring, playing Candy Crush, and listening to Taylor Swift.

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14 Comments

  1. these are huge things my kids are going to learn for sure as they get older!

  2. These are all things kids should definitely know. I used to do everything for my kids, but stopped when I told my daughter to sweep the deck with a broom and she was pushing it around like a mop. I slapped my forehead and realized I wasn’t doing them any favors by not teaching them household basics. Thankfully, said daughter now has her own apartment and is excellent at maintaining everything on her own now.

  3. I am working on some of these with my 17 year old. He can do some, but others? Yeah, he needs help. My daughter is nearly a teen so she needs to start doing some laundry!

  4. Agnes Dela Cruz says:

    My daughter can do so much for her age sometimes I’m amazed how she knew things even if I did not teach her.

  5. It’s best to teach your teenagers to do these household chores. It’s one of the best ways to teach them about responsibilities. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Oh, my! I have a teenager and the only thing he does from your list is do some cooking. LOL. I will have to show him your list. 😉

  7. Chris Hoov says:

    I couldn’t agree more, your kids should really know how to do these things at their teenage years.

  8. I agree with you my kids are so lazy now, but they are only 10 and 7 as they grow up I think they will learn something and do it. These are great tips.

  9. Ruth I says:

    This is true! When I was a teenager, I do all the laundry and cleaning in our house. I still do not know how to cook complicated dished but I’m good with frying. lol!

  10. I have been giving my kids little tasks here and there. Mostly it’s to “work off” little things they convinced me to buy them lol.

  11. My son has been getting different chores around the house – to help prepare him for becoming an adult. Hubby also teaches him different repair how-tos and helps teach him how to build things.

  12. Monica Y says:

    So important to teach our kids to do chores. We have started with simple things and will be moving to more complex as he gets older

  13. Oh my gosh I so agree with this list. We took home eCove out of the curriculum and now so many kids never learn these skills properly.

  14. I agree with you on this. I have three girls and one boy and they know how to do all this. My kids have been washing their own clothes for years. My daughters know how to maintain their cars better than I do, lol.

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