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How to Teach Life Skills Through Chores

Life Skills Through Chores for Teenagers

How to Teach Life Skills Through Chores

As a parent, you are deeply invested in raising a child who will one day be capable of taking care of themselves in the adult world. Though your child has had you around to support and care for them from day one, there will come a day when you cannot be there and you want your child to be prepared for that day. This means teaching your child basic life skills; as your child becomes a teen, you begin to look for evidence that those lessons are taking hold.

Once your child has left for college, you want to know that they will be handy enough to perform the basic tasks of self and household maintenance on their own. You want your teen to be able to do their own laundry, plan and execute their own meals, clean a bathroom, or make a budget.

Teaching Life Skills Through Chores

In order to raise a handy teen and make certain that the lessons stick, you are going to have to insist upon your teen shouldering some of the household responsibilities. This may not be too difficult if your teen has been accustomed to performing regular chores as they grow up. All children should be encouraged, even required, to do age-appropriate chores so that you can teach them necessary life skills.

If your teen has not been doing chores all their life though, you may have a battle on your hands when you get started. If this is the case, start small, with just a few minor assignments. You can build on them over time. Take the time to demonstrate how each chore should be done and why so that your teen is not thrown into the task blind.

Getting Chores Done

Make sure that your teen knows that you are expecting them to complete their list of chores and that there will be consequences if they do not, but help them to succeed. You can do this by:

  • Warning them that you will be expecting them to do chores at a specific time.
  • Providing them with a list of chores to complete.
  • Helping them get started.
  • Providing the necessary tools for the job.
  • Offering a reward for completing unusually difficult tasks.
  • Making sure that your teen knows their responsibility to contribute is no different from that of other family members.

If you can consistently enforce the need to step up and do chores, then your child will learn the skills that they need to take care of their own dorm room or apartment in the future. Raising a handy teen is simply a matter of teaching and modeling skills, insisting that they be used and used appropriately, and praising your child when they have performed the tasks you ask of them.

Not only will you be teaching your teen necessary skills, you will be equipping them with a sense of personal responsibility that they can carry with them throughout their lives.

Good Chore Ideas For Teens

The chores that you give your teen are going to depend on what tasks need doing around your house, as well as on what skills your teen needs to work on. Here are a few ideas:

  • Do your own laundry
  • Vacuum and mop floors
  • Dust
  • Clean counters
  • Mow the lawn
  • Shovel the driveway
  • Help organize the garage
  • Wash the windows or sliding glass door

These are just a few ideas to help you get started. Each of these chores will help your teen learn useful cleaning and organizational skills that they can apply to their adulthood. Any chore that teaches new skills or builds upon existing ones is a good idea.

Of course, make sure you aren't overwhelming your teen with too many chores. They still have homework to do, sport practices to attend, and a social life to have. Balance is key. You can give your teen a fair number of chores that will help them learn valuable skills, while not impeding their ability to live their life in other ways.

Rotating your teen to different chores each month can help them learn more skills. For example, one month you may have them dust, vacuum and mop the floors, and shovel the driveway. The next month, you may have them learn how to do their own laundry, clean the counters, and wash the windows. This also helps prevent burnout with chores, which can easily happen with teens. Finally, remember to give your teen a bit of a break during exam time; this time should be focused on studying and preparing for important tests.

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