Establish a household chore list for teens to encourage personal responsibility and to involve then in the day-to-day running of the home. Mutual agreement is a vital part of assigning chores; tasks at a time that clash with a teen's school activities are doomed to failure. Keep charts to track the progress of teen chores.
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Challenging Teens with Cooking Chores
Cooking chores are important lessons for teens who will soon be taking on the responsibility for feeding themselves during college years. Challenge your teen to make one meal a week, preferably on days they have no scheduled after-school activities or weekend jobs. Suggest simple menus for beginners and encourage them to learn to make favourite dishes for the entire family. Work alongside them as a mentor, teaching rudimentary cooking skills and offering support materials such as cookbooks that contain recipes for their favourite foods. This chore also includes serving dinner, dish washing, cleaning the stove and putting away the dishes and pots.
Age-Appropriate Improvements on Cleaning Chores
Ask a teenager who already tidies and cleans her own room to assist and teach a younger sibling to do the same, but define the limits as to what the teen can expect from younger brothers and sisters. When the teen has extra time during the holidays, ask her to take on a spring cleaning project for specific rooms or the whole house. Regularly review existing chores to see if they are more appropriate for younger family members and "promote" a teen to more responsible tasks.
Tailored Laundry Chores
Many teens already take responsibility for their own laundry, including the washing, drying, ironing, folding and putting away of clothing. Offer to swap a chore they like least for another chore on your to-do list. An example of this is taking over the washing and drying of their clothes, an easy automated task for the parent who is preparing the evening meal, and trading it for washing up afterward.
Safe Garden Chores
Suitable garden chores for teens depend on their level of physical strength and development, skill and safety awareness with tools such as motorised lawnmowers and trimmers. Safe outside chores for teens of all ages include washing cars, driveways and paths, sweeping and bagging up leaves, putting out trashcans on collection days. Encourage teens to learn about recycling by teaching them to separate glass, cans and garden wastes into the proper bins.
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