You may have seen my recent post about age-appropriate chores for children, but what about your older kids? There’s plenty that your pre-teens and teens can do, and this is an important age to focus on.
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After all, kids this age are learning important life skills that they’ll take with them after they graduate. Eventually, they’re going to be out on their own, and they’ll need to know how to do these things!
We all want our older kids to help out around the house and yard, but it goes deeper than that. As parents, it’s our job to prepare them for adult life. Chores and projects are a great way to do that!
To help you out, I’ve compiled a list of age-appropriate chores for your pre-teen and teen kids. Each of our children obviously develops at a different pace, but this is a great guideline to follow. Adjust it according to your child’s maturity and readiness!
Chores For Your Pre-Teen
By the time your child reaches their pre-teen stage, which is between 11 and 12 years old, they are doing many things on their own. This is the age where you can expect your son and daughter to start doing some of their own laundry.
You should still supervise them to make sure they use the right amount of soap and select the right setting, but for the most part, it is a chore they can handle on their own.
Pre-teens can also do the following things themselves:
- Dust wood furniture
- Vacuum and mop all rooms
- Change light bulbs
- Change their bed sheets
- Do more yard work, such as pulling weeds or mowing the lawn
- Preparing simple family meals
- Cleaning windows and mirrors
- Doing the dishes without help
By the way…these are skills that are totally age-appropriate, but kids aren’t born knowing how to do them. If you’re looking for an easy but effective way to teach them, check out the life skills products from Skill Trek!
Chores for Your Teen
When you have teenagers in your home, you are starting to prepare them for adulthood. You want to teach them as many basic skills as you can before they reach 18, so that by the time they go to college or move out on their own, they know how to take care of themselves and their home properly.
This is done through various chores around the house, as well as time with Mom and Dad working on various projects.
Chores for 13 Year-Olds
For 13 year-olds, you want to start introducing them to life skills, in addition to the chores they have already been doing. Of course keep having them make their bed each morning, do the dishes, and continue working on their own laundry.
However, they should also start doing some things they will need to handle on their own as an adult, such as replacing the bag in the vacuum cleaner, ironing their clothes, mowing the lawn, and possibly even doing some minor repairs around the house.
Aside from changing a light bulb, a 13 year-old can also help with things like hammering nails, as long as they have supervision.
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Chores for 14 and 15 Year-Olds
Continuing with these type of lessons, have your 14 and 15 year-olds do more home chores as well. For example, you can have your son start preparing more elaborate meals from recipes he finds and have him do the grocery shopping for ingredients.
You can let your daughter start babysitting for neighbor kids or wash the outdoor windows in your home. These are life skills that help your teens take care of themselves.
Chores for 16 and Up
By the time your teens reach 16 or 17 years old, they should be doing everything you are doing. This includes being able to clean out the refrigerator, do any housework or yard work, wash cars, make a grocery list and shop on their own, and do deep cleaning around the house. This is also a good age to start teaching your teens about financial budgeting.
Continue introducing new chores to your kids each week and add to the chore chart. They shouldn’t be doing all household duties, but helping out so they can learn how to do things on their own. By the time your teens move out of the house, you feel confident they know what they are doing.
I hope you find this list helpful! Having a child in college now, I’ve seen the importance of teaching these skills first hand. Being able to confidently handle things that come up in daily life has allowed him the confidence and freedom to work toward bigger things!