Who’s doing the majority of the daily chores in your house? If it’s you, and you’re a parent of tweens and teens, you may want to consider recruiting your kids to help out. After all, you aren’t creating the mess on your own. It’s only reasonable that everyone in the family pitches in to keep your home clean and orderly.
But getting your tweens and teens to help out with daily household chores can be a challenge. Paying them for tasks completed (a.k.a. allowance) is a strong motivator—and a great way to teach them about responsibility and the value of a dollar. Plus, when they earn their own money, they also learn about financial independence. Bonus: It’ll take a few things off your overflowing plate too. Win-win!
What are daily chores?
Think about the tasks you do every single day to keep your household running. Many of them relate to making meals, general tidying, and cleanup (that endlessly full dishwasher needs constant attention). But there are also tasks that involve helping others to make sure everyone stays healthy and on schedule. Assistance with homework, pet care, and bathing younger kids all fall into this category.
It may seem overwhelming to itemize all the house chores you do every day, but when you clearly identify them, it makes it much easier for your tweens and teens to successfully get them done. It also helps kids realize just how much effort goes into maintaining a home and that if everyone chips in, the work can get done quicker and more easily.
Why should kids do daily chores?
Doing chores is part of growing up and helps kids prepare for adulthood. Research shows that children who do chores have higher self-esteem, are more responsible, and are better able to deal with frustration and delay gratification. All these skills contribute to greater success in school and relationships.
Assigning daily tasks also gives kids a structured routine. If they’re having a particularly tough time at school or camp, coming home to complete a chore, no matter how simple, can give them a small boost of confidence every day.
Assign daily chores
Once you’ve figured out a list of to-dos, delegate age-appropriate chores to your kids and teens. While most tweens can easily wash and dry dishes, they may not be ready to oversee a sibling’s homework.
Teens can perform practically any household chore that adults do. That said, you will need to provide direction and guidance as they learn how to do more intensive chores properly and safely.
Set kids up for success by showing them how to do a specific chore to your standards, then monitor their work to ensure they can do it on their own. For instance, your teen could start cooking one family dinner a week. Make the recipe together first, then, if necessary, leave instructions for them to carry out on their own the following week.
Some tweens may not be ready to cook a whole meal on their own, but they can do all the preparation, such as washing and peeling vegetables, filling a pot with water, and gathering and measuring ingredients.
If you’ve got one kid who fancies themselves a budding culinary star and another who enjoys sweeping up after meals, you can also assign jobs based on preferences. But if none of the kids are particularly jazzed about doing anything specific, you can rotate chores, so no one feels “stuck” doing a task they dislike all the time.
Discover how to create household chores for the whole family with our Guide to Household Chores for Teenagers & Kids
The best daily chores for teens and tweens
Need some inspiration? Here’s a list of common household chores to get you started.
Daily chores to keep the home clean
- Make the bed
- Put away clothes, sorting dirty from clean
- Put items back where they belong (such as books on shelves, video games stacked away, remotes with the TV)
- Wipe down bathroom counter and mirror
- Wipe down kitchen counters
- Hang up coats and backpacks after school
- Wipe and put away sports equipment
- Clear the table after meals
- Wash and dry the dishes
- Load and unload the dishwasher
- Sweep the kitchen floor
- Straighten up the living room
- Sanitize and/or wipe down high-traffic zones (such as doorknobs, light switches)
- Tidy up bedroom before bed
Daily chores that nourish the family
- Help with or make breakfast
- Pack lunches
- Help with dinner preparation
- Help with or cook dinner
- Set the table
- Feed pets
Daily chores that help others
- Help younger siblings brush their teeth and get dressed
- Provide homework help
- Prepare a bath for younger siblings
- Help younger siblings into pyjamas
- Brush or clean pets
- Bring in the mail
- Walk the dog
How to manage daily household chores
Some parents use chore charts and chore calendars to help the family keep track of who’s responsible for what jobs. These analog methods can work well for younger children, but it can be more effective to reach older kids through their devices.
That’s where you might want to search for chore apps for teens and tweens, like Mydoh. It’s a free money management app that offers a simple way to coordinate chore lists and pay out allowance. You can set up tasks as chores, track what’s been done, and pay for completed chores on Pay Day. You and your kids can see what’s on the list, so there’s no need to nag them about what to do and when (we all know how well that works, right?).
Mydoh helps you start money conversations with your tweens and teens
Daily chores for teens and tweens can be helpful for everyone in the family. And tying allowance to completed tasks is a good opportunity to start teaching financial literacy. Using Mydoh not only helps you track household chores but also gives your kids and teens hands-on experience with earning and spending.
No matter how you track daily chores, the most important thing is that everyone in the family understands how they can pitch in. Your kids’ future housemates and partners will thank you for it!
Download Mydoh to help your family build a chore-based allowance system at home.
This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.