What Chores do your teenagers do?

(28 Posts)
NellyNellyNelly Sun 27-Jul-14 22:53:22

Please tell me what chores your teenagers do, do you pay them? Mine are aged between 14 and 18 and I am fed up with clearing up after them.

This is my chore "wish list", opinions (good and bad) and most welcome.

Make their beds daily.
Put laundry in the laundry bin, not on their bedroom floor.
Take dirty cups or glasses to the kitchen AND put in dishwasher. My kids are not allowed to eat in their rooms apart from fruit.
Fruit peel to be put in kitchen bin not left in bedroom.
Rubbish to be put in bin.
Put their freshley laundered clothes away.

Is that enough, or do you expect more from your teens?

NatashaBee Sun 27-Jul-14 22:56:42

Sounds more than reasonable to me! I would get them to cook dinner once a week too.

That's what I expect
Sadly , it's not what happens
DS(19) and DD (17) seem to think that we have a house elf who does all the work
When we rum out of water glasses I know where to look ( and it's not in the cupboard DD oh no )

BackforGood Sun 27-Jul-14 23:03:00

Make their beds daily. Up to them, but nobody else does it for them, however, I'm not going to fret if their quilt isn't straight
Put laundry in the laundry bin, not on their bedroom floor. Yes, they do that, or it wouldn't get washed
Take dirty cups or glasses to the kitchen AND put in dishwasher. My kids are not allowed to eat in their rooms apart from fruit. I'd like them to do this, but it takes nagging
Fruit peel to be put in kitchen bin not left in bedroom. Not really an issue here
Rubbish to be put in bin. Er, yes, they do that. Don't really consider that to be a chore
Put their freshly laundered clothes away. I don't do it for them, but they all go through stages of having a floordrobe

Mine all have to cook the evening meal once a week (quite often will do 2, or at least 3 a fortnight)
All have to empty dishwasher every now and then, and likewise load it.
All have to do stuff like lay the table, get drinks for people, clear up after themselves, get their own breakfasts, lunches etc.
They have to do odd jobs on request - maybe get the washing in from the line, or out the washing machine or whatever
If they want something ironed, they know where the ironing board is.

No, I don't pay them - they are part of the household and, as such, contribute towards it's running

RudyMentary Sun 27-Jul-14 23:05:57

Mine do more
In my opinion that's the minimum - it's only their own stuff isn't it?

Mine feed the dog, empty and re-load the dishwasher, take the rubbish out to the wheelie bins, put the bins out front on collection day and bring them back, sweep decking, cut grass, clean their rooms, lay table, clear table etc etc

CointreauVersial Sun 27-Jul-14 23:13:53

I would say that's a "bare minimum" list.

My DCs are a little younger (14, 13 and 10) and do all of that, plus emptying the dishwasher, laying/clearing the table and putting out the bins/recycling. We have a cleaner, so they don't need to clean, but have to tidy their rooms before the cleaner arrives. They do need a little nagging for all this, but it's a non-negotiable aspect of family life.

My next plan is to get them cooking every now and then.

hmc Sun 27-Jul-14 23:19:37

Rudementary - that's great and is what I and I an sure many parents would strive for - but how did you get there? Was it a hard won battlle?

Periodically I have the talk with my two and am clear on expectations and they are good for 24 hours before it lapses again. Often when asked to do a chore they are savvy enough not to say 'no', but reply 'later' instead, and of course later never comes

RudyMentary Sun 27-Jul-14 23:51:33

hmc I think you have to be strong and resist the temptation to do it yourself because it's easier. So if they leave a plate on the side, make them come back and put it in the dishwasher. They learn it's easier to just do it

When they were younger I would set each one a simple task for the week and show them how to do it. The following week they would rotate and show each other how it was done. I gradually introduced most tasks. By doing this they all learnt how to do most things around the house.

Strangely, we don't have strict rules or restrictions on computer games, TV, Internet or even bed time. They have learnt to self regulate and seem to just muck-in with house stuff and shopping etc.

We have a timer and whenever it's needed we have a '15 minute challenge' <<groan>> All mobiles go on the table, music is put on and timer set and we all charge around tidying up until the timer goes off. Repeat as necessary grin

NellyNellyNelly Mon 28-Jul-14 09:57:35

Thanks so much for your replies. I am loving the idea of "music on and timer set for 15 minutes".

The weird thing is that when they were little they were really good at tidying up. Everyday there would be "tidying up time" before bath and bedtime. Toys went away, puzzles back in boxes, etc. the final part would be them all sitting on the settee whilst I hoovered. Of course, only I was responsible for the kitchen area.

With hindsight, as they started at senior school the homework kicked in and there were less toys. They now have gadgets, so really there should be less mess, only there isn't.

Lots of things to think about, thank you everyone.

bigTillyMint Mon 28-Jul-14 10:34:45

Are those things chores? I thought they were just living normally thingsconfused Like Rudy, I just expect my DC to muck in. DS is very good at this, DD less sohmm

Make their beds daily Well they pull the duvet over ish!
Put laundry in the laundry bin, not on their bedroom floor Mostly, and the rest with stern reminder
Take dirty cups or glasses to the kitchen AND put in dishwasher. My kids are not allowed to eat in their rooms apart from fruit Mostly. but it would be crisps/biscuits rather than fruitangry
Fruit peel to be put in kitchen bin not left in bedroom N/A!
Rubbish to be put in bin Mostly
Put their freshley laundered clothes away DD is terrible at this, DS only slightly better.

Their rooms are messy, but not dirty and nothing that a 15min clear-up wouldn't sort!

CointreauVersial Mon 28-Jul-14 11:00:28

I like that 15 minute tidy-up too <takes notes>

We have a "Tuesday Tidy" because the cleaner comes on a Wednesday and doesn't want to wade through their crap, but the 15 minute thing could be done anytime.

when they were little they were really good at tidying up. Everyday there would be "tidying up time" before bath and bedtime I think all little ones do. That's why you always get someone (who has a compliant 4 year old) on threads like this who scornfully tells us that their DC are fully house trained and do all the chores willingly and we are bad mothers because our teenagers don't.

18 and 16 here.
Make their beds daily No, they climb in whatever mess they left. They do however change the bedding weekly.
Put laundry in the laundry bin, not on their bedroom floor. Yes they do, mostly.
Take dirty cups or glasses to the kitchen AND put in dishwasher I despair on this one.
Fruit peel to be put in kitchen bin not left in bedroom Fruit peel? Teenage boys?
Rubbish to be put in bin Yes
Put their freshley laundered clothes away I do this normally but am "training" DS1 for uni and so he is doing more now than normal.

Most of those are fairly basic and not really what I would class as chores.
I have always tried to ensure they can do all the chores while not expecting them to always do them. They can, and do if asked, mow the grass, clean the bathroom, do the bins, wash, iron, etc.

DS1 reckons he does more than his 18 year old male friends. I find this hard to believe as most of their mothers work and I don't so I have more time to do stuff myself.

WeeClype Mon 28-Jul-14 16:11:02

My 15yr old and 11 yr old do all those but I draw the line at fruit in the room as last summer was spent battling with fruit flies caused by banana skins left rotting in a bedroom bin! They are allowed other food up in their rooms.

If I go out with the younger DC's (baby and toddler) I'll tell the older Dc's to pick 2 rooms in the house and have a quick tidy round.

I don't have set chores but I do ask them to hoover stairs, empty kitchen bins etc all the things I hate

SoonToBeSix Mon 28-Jul-14 16:16:25

That's not chores that's looking after their own stuff. My dd 15 clears dining room table wipes tables brushes floor etc. empties dishwasher. Half an hour of sorting /putting away family laundry a day.

Babushka01 Fri 01-Aug-14 11:11:25

Hi all
Thank you, I now feel as though my house is normal!!!
Only other thing I could add us that my cleaner has left & what I have come to realise is that my 15 year old can tidy up & cook (when she has to) but has no idea how to clean the bath or iron etc. I am not working over summer so have decided to hold off getting a cleaner & hopefully my kids will learn some basic life skills

Hereshoping1 Sun 03-Aug-14 21:02:56

Fed up with nagging about clearing up, I put a dirty frying pan that he had left in the kitchen in DS's bed. He was really appalled but did the trick.

bigTillyMint Sun 03-Aug-14 21:07:40

�bleurgh� grin

Spidermama Mon 04-Aug-14 15:06:32

Sounds good apart from the bed making. They've reached an age where their room is their business.

I have the same expectations of my kids but they are rarely met. It's a real grind. Daily I and their father nag but know it's useless as they've switched off to our nagging.

dinobird Thu 07-Aug-14 17:29:56

My eldest is 15, his bedroom is his business. I remember as a teenager hating that my mum made me clean my room, so if he wants to live in squalor that's fine. He changes his own bedding because he has a high sleeper and is nearly 6 foot so it's actually easier for him to do. He periodically brings down the random forks and glasses that he's squirreled away, we've not actually ran out of things......yet.
He gets £15 a month, for that he has to put the washing up away every day and do the bins and he sorts the laundry and puts the first wash on, I periodically will ask him to do extra chores, like cleaning the car etc.

He's well trained, anything not in the laundry basket when he sorts it, doesn't get washed. His clean laundry gets put away on a Saturday night when I ask him for his laundry box, to put that weeks laundry in lol.

damepeanutbutter Thu 07-Aug-14 17:58:49

Like Backforgood mine (17, 14, 11) get called up to do random chores like hang the washing out, or bring it back in, or empty dishwasher and put things away, or empty the recycling bin or the rubbish bin. Somehow they do this without complaint as they know these things need doing.

Mealtimes - I call whoever is around to lay the table and help with what I need help with (chopping onions or grating cheese). At the end of the meal they HAVE to help with getting kitchen back to normal or I have threatened not to cook any more meals. They know I am likely to mean it.

During these hols I have drawn up a daily vacuuming rota so that the house gets a fairly cursory vacuum once a day. They quite like rotas as it makes it seem fair.

Bedrooms - I leave these for them to tend as they wish. DS lives in squalor. DDs clean and tidy their rooms as I've told them spiders like dirty rooms and they cannot stand spiders.

Every Sunday evening we have 'housework half-hour' and we all five of us (3 x DCs, me and DH) either clean upstairs or downstairs (on rotation). It has taught them how to use a duster and a mop!

Ironing. 17yo will do ironing if I ask her, whilst watching tv. DS (14) can iron t-shirts if pressed. I think it important that he does what I expect my DDs to do. Will teach youngest (DD aged 11) to iron in next year or so.

Capitola Thu 07-Aug-14 20:17:37

DS, 16 will empty/load the dishwasher. He often does the washing & tumble drying. He strips his bed, washes & remakes. He'll vacuum -if asked- and he mows the lawn

His own room is a hovel, albeit with a nice clean bed.

He's 80% slob, I reckon.

IUsuallyAm Thu 07-Aug-14 20:58:11

Nelly I'm afraid I expect all of that from my DDs, 8yo and 5yo, on a daily basis (but no food in their bedroom)! They also lay the table, help prepare salad, make sandwiches etc - and get their own breakfast if up earlier than me/DH at weekend/hols. 8yo is keen to start a little more (closely supervised) cooking, which should be stressful fun. They also oddly love vacuuming! 5yo complains about putting clean clothes away, but as I've pointed out to her, she does love her clothes and can go through three different outfits a day so she creates a lot of laundry for me to do - the least she can do is put the clean stuff away at the end of each day (v envious of dinobird who can do their DS's laundry once a week!) On the other hand, DSD, 14yo, complains if asked to so much as put a spoon in the dishwasher! We try to treat all the girls the same, but it's hard when the eldest is with us only every other weekend, and there seem to be different expectations in her other home sad. I try hard not to nag, and have learnt to avoid her bedroom shock otherwise it spoils the precious little time she spends with us. Am going to suggest Rudy's 15 minute challenge to the girls tomorrow - thank you!

Tappergirl Thu 07-Aug-14 22:30:56

I currently have major problems with my stepson. He is not slovenly, but looks no further than the end of his nose, typical I am sure, but it drives me insane. I work ft as does his father. Since doing his gcses he has done bugger all, won't look for a job, won't help around the house, won't walk the dogs, wont clean the bathroom, nothing. I get home exhausted after having shopped twice in one day to make sure provisions are in place. He swannies out for dinner we have, sorry I cooked tonight,, says thank you, very falsely. Then his father and I proceed to argue to the point of no return. Weekly occurence. I am at the end of tether. Don't think I love DH any more, as he will not listen to my plaintive pleas.

niceguy2 Thu 07-Aug-14 23:57:16

I have a 18yr old, 13yr old and a 7yr old.

Chores-wise I don't insist on too much in their bedroom. I've learned to just shut the door and pretend it doesn't exist. That said I do occasionally venture in for some reason and end up going nuts!

Around the rest of the house they do get chores. The eldest cooks a meal once a week for the entire family. She started that at 14 under utter protest sobbing literally. Thought we were being mean but I insisted she needed to learn to cook. Now she can cook most things, prints her own recipes out and can't understand how none of her friends can't cook!
13yr old is learning slowly also and will in time get a night too.

After each meal they organise the cleaning up. Usually one will wash, the other dry with the youngest given some random chore he can do. The only exception is when eldest cooks then she's excused and I'll tidy.

The 13yr old and 7yr old will empty and load the dishwasher.

They each hoover the house, sweep the kitchen once a week and the eldest irons for at least an hour once a week too.

That sounds like a lot but in reality it's not that much. The key is routine. It's always a huge battle at first with lots of sulking, excuses and procrastination. But eventually they do it out of routine and I don't think any of them even think about it now.

willowisp Fri 08-Aug-14 09:08:57

My 8 & 11 yr Dds, for the past 6 mths, lay/clear the table, make their bed, feed cat &/or dog when asked. Also tidy their rooms, put toys away & empty their school lunch boxes & bringing down their night water cup.
There is no food in their rooms ever. They also have to do piano practise 6 x a week. All this adds up to pocket money points.

It's hard beating the chore drum, but they need to know it's IMO, part of family 'team' life...everyone doing their bit.

Even harder is getting DD 1 to put clothes away, I usually fold up clean stuff & leave on her drawers. She normally wears them off the pile...

We have a new 'target' preparing for the night before, this is in preparation for secondary school.

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