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Household Chores for Teens

By: Shelly Flais, MD, FAAP

As your child enters their adolescent and teen years, household chores still play an important part in their growth. Chores contribute to the busy household and develop important life skills. Caring for shared spaces within the home also nurtures the concept of shared teamwork that will last into adulthood.

In addition to chores child did as a younger kid, some great chores for teens include:

  • Vacuuming shared spaces (such as living room, hallways, stairs, furniture)

  • Washing and vacuuming the car (especially if they have car privileges)

  • Mowing the yard, spreading mulch, weeding

  • Clearing walkways and the driveway of winter snow

  • Doing grocery shopping (when they have their driver's license)

  • Cleaning the kitchen after meal prep

  • Doing pet care (such as feeding and grooming)

  • Helping with and caring for younger siblings

Wondering if your teen can perform some of the household tasks that need to be done? Just remember, if your teen can operate a smartphone, they can figure out how to use a washing machine, an oven and a dishwasher.

Helping teens see the big picture & balance responsibilities

If your teen is swamped with too many extracurriculars, consider the big picture. Many of our teenagers are overscheduled. However, baseball practice doesn't make anyone "too busy" to take out the garbage without reminders from a parent.

After the age of 16 years, many teens take on part-time work or a summer job, which is fantastic. But it's not a reason to stop contributing to home chores. Can you imagine if as parents we didn't keep up with household jobs because we "had to go to work?" Make sure your teen knows that the work within the home is as valuable as the work outside the home.

More information

About Dr. Flais

Shelly Vaziri Flais, MD, FAAPShelly Vaziri Flais, MD, FAAP, is a board-certified practicing pediatrician and mother of 4 children. An instructor of clinical pediatrics with Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, she is the author of the American Academy of Pediatrics books, Nurturing Boys to Be Better Men: Gender Equality Starts at Home and Raising Twins. Dr. Flais is also a contributor for Sleep: What Every Parent Needs to Know. She has shared her reality-based parenting approach with national and local television, radio, online, and print news outlets.

Last Updated
Adapted from HealthyChildren Magazine (American Academy of Pediatrics Copyright © 2024)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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