Tired of doing it all?
Had enough of entitled attitudes from tweens and teens?
Want more time for you?
Want to yell less and be happier?
Then read on because tweens and teens could be doing these 5 chores that are on your plate.
Here’s my opinion on why chores are so important for you and your kids.
Here’s a handy printable chore chart to get started.
Obviously, the more kids you have and the ages they are will determine how this works for you.
But once you get those kids doing chores for you, especially if you loosen up on the controls, you won’t ever want to go back.
They’ll gain life skills and you’ll gain some freedom.
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#1 Tweens Can do the Cleaning
Chores can be divided into zones like a bathroom or kitchen. They can be split up by types like dusting or windows. Sometimes it takes trial and error to see what works for your family.
An added benefit once you get them cleaning is they are more likely to be better about cleaning up after themselves.
Toothpaste splatter and dishes with caked-on food are so much more obvious when the person cleaning has to take care of it.
Boys will realize how much they are peeing everywhere.
It’s not an overnight change and of course, they will often blame the other kids for the messes. But it does begin to turn around if you still with it.
Making it easy for them with handy cleaning wipes or kits that can be carried from room to room help too.
#2 Teach Tweens to do the Laundry
By the time I was 13 I was doing my own laundry. That fateful day came when I complained about a pair of jeans I wanted to wear that was still in the hamper.
My mom said I know how to fix that. She showed me how to use the washer and dryer and said it was my responsibility to do my own clothes.
That wasn’t exactly the outcome my teen self was looking for but it actually worked out better for both of us
It didn’t come without mistakes, but I learned. Like the time I used bleach to get blood off my jeans. 🤦♀️
Genius I know!
Although I did “ruin” the jeans, the blood did come out. Since it was the 80’s and the style was in…well I had a hip pair of jeans, a new skill and a lesson learned.
Even if they only do their own clothes and sheets it’s a lot less for you.
Nothing about it is particularly difficult.
Tween and teen clothes don’t usually include delicate fabrics and you can build up to that later. As long as they understand which colors run they will be just fine.
One important thing to teach them is where the water shutoffs are just in case there is a leak.
#3 Let Tweens Learn Lawn Care
While it will still take supervision for quite a while once they begin using lawnmowers and weed trimmers there is plenty that can be done in the meantime.
We have quite a big yard. We tackle it as a family and everyone has their role.
One person takes care of cleaning up after the dog. Usually, the youngest two switch off.
Our oldest uses the tractor mower. The younger two follow with rakes and put the trimmings into sleds to carry off to the woods.
We utilize the same system for picking up leaves. The mower pushes it all into straight lines and then its the rakes and sleds again.
No one has to argue over their job or wonder who did what last time. Now I’m sure that will change once we begin letting the others use the tractor but for now, it works.
Weeding the flower beds or spreading mulch in the spring can all be done by kids too.
There’s nothing quite like relaxing on the deck in the shade while the kids tackle the lawn.
Besides….getting good at this one can help them develop the perfect summer job if they’re ready.
Find out what happened this summer when we tried this chore experiment!
#4 Cooking for Tweens is Fun
Whether for family bonding, allowing yourself time to unwind in another room or needing to eat when you aren’t home, tweens really do need to learn how to cook.
They don’t need to be the next Chef Ramsey unless they want to be, and you never know, but some basic skills really is so important.
Unless they want to live on Ramen noodles and frozen pizza through their twenties get them cooking.
My youngest, who’s nearly 11 now, got really into cooking when he was 7.
We watched all the Master Chef Jr. shows.
He got all sorts of baking and cooking supplies for Christmas that year.
While we did get oven mitts and knives designed for kid chefs, it ended up working out better to teach him with real tools and be extra watchful.
My daughter even filmed him pretending to host his own cooking show.
There are so many kids cookbooks out there. But so many are filled with recipes that don’t fit our family.
Either the ingredients are expensive, hard to find or there is just no way my kids were going to eat any of the meals.
So I came up with this idea, and it worked so much better.
Taking jumbo size index cards, I wrote down the recipes to all the meals we already eat in our house.
I made sure to include all the steps in kid-friendly terms.
I used laminating sheets and punched a hole in the top corner.
Then I used a ring to attach them all together.
With this set of recipes, my kids can make all our favorites and get the cooking skills they need.
After a bit of practice, even my 7-year-old was able to make all the recipes by himself with minimal help from me.
I still handled the raw meat until it went into the pan and cut things that were more difficult like carrots.
Likewise, emptying pots of boiling water and removing items from the wall oven are still things I do but we’re off to a great start.
Even making smoothies to cover weekday mornings or afternoon snack clears some time for you.
Use this printable weekly menu planner
#5 Allow Tweens to Grow into Shopping for Groceries
While still tweens, maybe they aren’t going to the grocery store on their own yet, but they can take on a big part of it until they can drive and take it over.
Especially if they’re already involved in the cooking, they can meal plan based around sales flyers.
They can go through the cabinets to see what has run out.
Cutting coupons or using mobile saving apps and learn to budget is another valuable skill.
This also helps kids realize how expensive food is…especially when they’re always complaining that there’s nothing to eat!
Helping at the store by weighing produce, waiting at the deli or skipping ahead aisles can save time.
Loading the car and then unloading and putting away the groceries once at home also gives you a breather.
Need a cute printable grocery list?
What chores have you handed over to your tween? Comment below.