The Perfect List of Chores for 12-Year-Olds and Teens

As a parent, it’s important for us to instill the values of responsibility and self-discipline in our children. Chores are one of the best ways to do this. Here is a list of chores for 12-year-olds and teens to help them understand the value of hard work.

teen girl cleaning floor and smiling

When kids are given age-appropriate tasks suited to their maturity and development level, they learn how to take ownership of their actions and develop good work habits.

But what kinds of chores should parents assign? How can you ensure your 12-year-old or teen develops these skills without feeling overwhelmed?

As a parent of a 12-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy, I totally understand your dilemma.

While we started giving them simple tasks and chores as soon as they could do them – like sorting matching socks as a 3-year-old and helping pick up their room, as they grow older and we assign more chores, there is always a question of how much is too much.

Let’s explore the importance of teaching kids responsibility & self-discipline through age-appropriate chores and tips on helping them understand the value of hard work. Plus, I have compiled a huge chore list for you (and me) to pick from.

Importance of Age-Appropriate Chores

There are many advantages of providing age-appropriate chores to 12-year-old and teen children, like simple tasks around the home:

  • It helps them develop important life skills such as responsibility and self-discipline.
  • Encourages them to become independent and self-sustaining adults with a strong work ethic.
  • Teaches kids accountability.
  • learn how to manage their time
  • Work cooperatively with others,
  • follow instructions

Showing kids that they can complete a task and see it through is an important lesson in self-discipline and responsibility. Assigning tasks that build on each other can help reinforce the values.

What Should a 12-Year-Old Be Expected to Do?

There are a number of tasks suitable for 12-year-olds and teens that can help them learn important life skills such as responsibility, self-discipline, time management, and cooperation. Depending on the child’s maturity level, you can assign them any number of tasks around the home, such as:

  • doing the dishes/loading and unloading the dishwasher
  • washing clothes and linens, putting away the laundry
  • vacuuming
  • dusting
  • cleaning the bathroom
  • helping clean up after a meal
  • simple pet chores
Happy Indian teen girl cleaning her home, wearing headphones, listening to music while vacuuming floor, having fun

More mature teens can take on additional responsibilities like:

  • taking out the garbage
  • mowing the lawn
  • helping with grocery shopping.

It’s also important to assign tasks to help them develop their problem-solving skills, such as fixing a broken appliance or setting up a computer.

My 9-year-old loves the sense of achievement of helping organize our digital photos into folders once a month or helping us with online grocery shopping. And my 12-year-old loves to make us breakfast on Saturdays.

How Many Chores Should a 12-Year-Old Have?

There really isn’t a specific rule since every kid and family is unique. Chores that take up 15-20 minutes a day and maybe a little more on the weekends or holidays are a good rule of thumb. Once in a while, if you need them to help you with a major home task, like cleaning out the garage, etc., they can definitely contribute more.

Older teens can spend more time a day helping and doing chores.

little girl wiping dishes is kitchen

How Do I Get My 12-Year-Old to Do Chores?

Anytime you assign a chore to your tween or teen, chances are you will be met with resistance – how it’s too hard, or not fair.. etc.

As with any grown-up, kids thrive when they feel valued. Reinforcing their achievements by providing positive feedback when tasks are completed in a timely manner and according to expectations goes a long way.

It is also important to provide incentives for completing chores.

Providing small rewards, such as an allowance or extra screen time, can help motivate kids to complete their tasks. And let’s be honest, screen time is a very valuable currency these days!

Also, having an open dialogue with the kids about the importance of hard work and how it will benefit them will help them understand the bigger picture. Such dialogue will be needed often before it really sinks in.

cute african american child cleaning table with yellow rag

List of Chores for 12-Year-Olds and Teens

Here is a list of chores for you to pick from to assign your tween or teen.

  • doing laundry and putting it away
  • setting and clearing the table
  • washing the dishes
  • loading/unloading the dishwasher
  • vacuuming
  • dusting
  • sweeping and mopping the floors
  • feeding and walking pets
  • washing the car
  • helping with cooking
  • help put groceries away
  • take out trash
  • simple yard tasks like mowing the lawn, clearing the weeds

It is important to remember that each kid and family is unique and should be assigned a chore that they will be able to handle independently. This depends on their emotional maturity as well as physical capabilities.

By assigning age-appropriate chores and providing incentives, you can help teach your kids the value of hard work and responsibility. With a bit of guidance and support, kids can learn to be more independent and responsible adults in the future, which is a win-win.

teen cleaning windows - with text overlay - the perfect chore list for teens
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Anika Gandhi is on a mission to declutter and organize all the things around her and is here to inspire and encourage you to do the same!

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