Chores for 12 Year Olds

Chores for 12 Year Olds and Teenagers

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I’m always amazed that as my daughter continues to grow up that there are still so many questions I have about am I doing things right and what is the best way to parent. I want her to grow up well and to become a wonderful adult and that means making sure she’s responsible and can take care of herself. That also means that she should be doing chores. I’m left with the question of what are chores that you should give your tween or teen. 

My husband wants to give her more chores than I do and I think it’s because I have a tendency to want to baby her a little more than I should.  It’s something I’m working on but even though she’s almost 11 she is still my baby. Since we moved to our new home in Colorado in the spring. We have given her more chores than we use to at our old home. I understand the importance of chores but I also still want her to be a kid and have fun. Not being weighed down with tons of extra responsibilities. 

So I have tried to find chores that you should give your tween or teen that are not real time consuming or challenging. As kids grow up their responsibilities need to grow with them. So the chores my daughter was doing at 8 were easier than the chores she has now. The chores she will have at 14 will be different as well. I had to remind myself that as kids get older they get new benefits with age like more sleepovers, going shopping, getting a cell phone, etc. So I needed to balance out what she gains with getting older with the understanding that there are more responsibilities as well. 

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 Take on some of the pet chores

We have a lot of pets so we all take on some of the responsibilities of caring for them. We give our daughter the chores of feeding her cat and cleaning it’ box. As well as helping to care for the guinea pig. As well as helping to pick up after the dog outside.  Pets are part of the family and it’s important that everyone helps to care for them. Plus it teaches them that pets are not just fun that they are work. 

We use to not have her help as much with the pets because I didn’t know how much to have her be in charge of. Then I realized that friends of hers were doing a lot more for their animals including caring for a horse and I saw that it was important for her as a family member to help care for our animals. 

 make her bed

 keep her room tidy

 help move laundry

Since my daughter is only 10 she is not quite up to the task of taking on laundry all on her own. I want her to get there at some point so as she gets older she has more to do with her laundry. I help fold it but she puts it all away. She can also move a load from the washer to the dryer and start a new one. I hate doing laundry so I want to make sure she understands how it is done and that she will be able to do her own as she gets older. 

empty dishwasher/do dishes

take out the trash

In our house, my daughter is responsible for taking the trash out to the bins. Then on the day, it needs to go out to the street she helps take that out. It’s a small task that helps the family. 

keep her bathroom clean

This is a chore that kids have to keep learning to do as they get older. First with keeping the room tidy, then wiping down counters and the sink. Then with floors, toilet, and tub. I think because it involves using cleaners it’s not one of the chores I gave her often as a younger child. once she was 9 we started having her work on her bathroom more. 

Taking care of Pets

If you have pets this is a great thing for your older kids to help out with. We have cats, dogs, and turtles. I know it’s a lot so we have feeding pets, cleaning a tank, cleaning litter boxes, and taking on walks that our daughter helps out with.

wipe down the kitchen counters

Wiping down the counters and doing the dishes are the first chores I’ve begun to give my daughter in the kitchen. Eventually, I will show her how to do the other cleaning tasks in the kitchen. I have found it works better to slowly add in new tasks and not give her a lot of new things to do at once. She keeps a list of what she’ responsible for doing on a whiteboard in her room so it’s easy for it to be added to or changed. This also helps her to remember to do her chores. Though of course her dad and I are often needing to remind her. 

vacuum floors downstairs and her room

Vacuuming and sweeping or mopping is a good chore to be added when they are big enough. My 10-year-old is really tall so she’s been doing this for awhile. A few of her friends are still pretty tiny so I don’t know if they could do this chore at their house. It’s about finding chores that you should give your tween or teen that work for your child in your home. All kids and families are unique. 

Parenting a tween is a challenge and I’m sure I will continue to make mistakes and learn lessons over these next years as she enters teenhood but I’m hoping that by making her responsible it helps her to be a better kid. That’s why I’ve worked hard finding chores that you should give your tween or teen. I’ve seen too many selfish and entitled teens and I want to do what I can to avoid that behavior with my own children. 

Currently, she does not earn an allowance for doing chores but it is something we may start doing in the future. She can earn things she wants us to buy her by doing extra around the house. Do your kids earn an allowance? I’d love for you to leave a comment letting me know what chores they do and if they get an allowance. It’s always helpful to hear from other parents. 

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