What are the household expectations you have of your preteen/teen?
Most preteens and teens attend school and have various extracurricular activities, so they are quite busy. I know mine are. I've been trying to find a balance between understanding the busyness that comes with these things, but also trying to instill family responsibility with regular chores, etc. Would love to know how others balance this.
In our house, when my oldest was a preteen, she was allowed to hang out with friends and do social activities until 5. After that, she was home with us. She helped make dinner and I did dishes.
We have three kids that are still at home ages 15, 11, and 9. Each of our children has their own extracurricular activities and social interests so our schedule can be quite erratic to say the least. I believe that responsibility and time management is a really important skill they need to learn while they are young. We tried a few different things and the one that works best for us is, each child has one weekly chore (ie; clean the bathroom, vacuum, dusting, laundry, etc) that needs to be done by Sunday night and a smaller daily chore that assists in the daily running of the house (ie; set the table, clear the table, take out the trash, make their own lunches, etc). We switch the assigned chores every 4-6 weeks so they can all learn how to do the different things and so no one has to do anything they really don't like for very long. I hope it helps
Just a few regular chores! Maybe chores like these:
One, would be to keep their dirty clothes in their own basket. Two, would be to change their own bed sheets alone once a week - and keep the family laundry pile neat (not turn everything upside down). Maybe even give them their four sheets and four pillowcases in a drawer so they get responsible with their possessions, two on and two off. Three, to water some plants (their own responsibility). Four, to take it in turns with dishes after evening meal a couple of times a week (on certain days they will be home for sure). Five, to call grandparents to ask how they are and if there's anything they need. Not a lot to ask but it is like pulling teeth. Good luck.
I have four boys but two have since moved out. The oldest, 26 moved away with his girlfriend and our 19 year old is in college. I now have a 16 and 13 year old still at home. When they were all here, I kept a chore list on the frig which was color-coded. Each child was a different color. It was easier for me to keep track of who did what on which days. Anyway, I have them clean the kitchen, mop floors, clean bathrooms and vacuum. All the while, they would have to keep their rooms straight too. I taught them all how to wash clothes so I would split up the days. The two oldest would wash on Tuesdays and the two youngest would wash on Fridays. If they forgot to wash something on the off-days I wouldn't allow it. If the two older ones wanted to throw something in while the two younger ones washed on Fridays, they could. If the two younger ones forgot something to wash on Friday, they would have to wait until Tuesday or when I washed my clothes. It got out of hand in the beginning. My water bill would be insane so I had to enforce strict rules. As far as the food went, I had to enforce strict rules for that also. If I cooked a big meal, which I did often, the kids weren't allow to eat before me and my husband. They fixed our food first. I can't tell you how many times in the past whereas we cooked and didn't eat right away and all the food was gone.
Over time, my husband started teaching our sons how to cook. We just wanted them to be well-rounded. We run a tight ship here. All of our boys are very active in sports...mainly football but they definitely know how to take care of themselves otherwise.
Good question! I love reading others' responses. I have 4 kids, and the oldest two boys are 14 and 12. We have daily morning chores (feed the dog, empty the dishwasher, take out the garbage, make their beds and clean up dirty laundry). In the evening, the kids must fold any clothes that have been washed and put them away. They help with dinner, including clean-up.
The days are extremely busy, so we feel satisfied that these basic chores are enough. Overall, it should take them no more than 20-30 minutes to complete everything - usually divided between morning and night. On the weekends, to earn video-game time, we require additional chores including yard work, vacuuming, cleaning their bathrooms, emptying wastebaskets, and more. We'll also send them to the grocery store across the street occasionally.
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