It can be difficult to find household chores for tweens that are realistic.
I remember what it was like to be a tween. Back in the day when I was a kid, I think adults had unrealistic expectations of pre-teens.
We weren’t even living in the information age, and grownups expected us to know how to do the right thing all the time.
Fortunately, our kids are growing up in a different time.
When my daughter was a tween, she had much more emotional freedom than I ever had.
She was allowed to ask questions and make mistakes, and I’m okay with her not making the same choices I would make in every situation.
That doesn’t mean that I don’t have expectations for her, though.
And yes, she has chores!
Keep reading for some ideas of expectations and a list of household chores for tweens.
What are some responsibilities and household chores for tweens?
Here are some of the expectations I had for my daughter when she was a tween:
1. Make her lunch.
My daughter is expected to make her lunch for school every day.
My husband used to make them, but they’d come home half-eaten.
We decided that giving her responsibility of figuring out her lunch for the week and making it would ensure she wasted less.
We were right. She’s been making her lunch since the first grade.
Now that she’s in middle school, I do pitch in when I know she had a late night doing homework, but for the most part, this is still her chore.
2. Keep her bedroom neat.
While I don’t expect that my daughter’s room will always be pristine, there is an expectation of cleanliness.
She knows that she’s not allowed to have any food waste or trash in her room, and we expect her clothes to be hung up regularly.
I’ll help her with deep cleaning and organizing, but her bedroom shouldn’t look like a tornado came through it!
3. Keep track of her homework assignments.
I’m not in school anymore, so I don’t have homework to keep up with.
Between a student planner, emails from her teacher, and reminders that she gets in school, my daughter has enough resources to help her keep track of homework.
If she forgets it, then she’s expected to reach out to her teacher on her own.
It will be her job to manage that when she’s in college, so this is a great skill for her to learn now.
Knowing how to manage their workload is one of the most important expectations for tweens you can have.
4. Help around in the house.
My daughter doesn’t have a ton of chores, but she is expected to help keep the house clean.
She takes out the recycling, vacuums the floors, and cooks dinner one night a week.
It’s not a huge responsibility, but we want her to learn how to do her part to ensure our house feels like a home.
5. Expect to hear ‘no’ sometimes.
My daughter doesn’t get everything she wants.
I don’t delight in telling her no, but sometimes, what she wants just doesn’t work for our family.
I don’t mind if she shows that she’s disappointed, but I do expect her to be able to accept a no without going crazy.
6. Express gratitude.
I’ll keep it real. My husband and I don’t always write thank you notes.
We do, however, express gratitude with a phone call, email, or text message when someone shows us kindness.
Our tween is expected to do the same.
We talk to her a lot about being grateful for the things that people do for her or give her.
I’m not just talking about folks outside of our family, either. We expect her to be grateful for things her father and I do for her as well.
One of the most important expectations for tweens that you can have is gratitude.
7. Let me know if she needs clothes, deodorant, etc.
Similar to the homework thing, if my daughter needs things, we expect her to let us know.
I don’t know when she runs out of soap or lotion.
This is an easy way, low-risk way to teach her to be responsible for herself, and let her own her personal hygiene routine.
8. Ask for help when she needs it.
I want my daughter to learn how to be a critical thinker, so I don’t always rush to help her when I see she’s struggling with something.
Kids figure out how to do things when they have time to work through the challenges.
If she does get stuck, though, she knows that she can ask for help.
9. Treat everyone (even in our family) with respect.
Tweens are notoriously emotional.
We know that when they’re going through challenging times, they tend to take things out on the people that are closest to them.
While we do allow a fair amount of that and are understanding, we still expect to be treated with respect.
There will be no “I hate you!”, slamming doors, or screaming in our home. It’s just not what we do.
When you set expectations for tweens, and treat them with respect, you can expect the same in return.
List of Household Chores For Tweens
- Wash dishes.
- Fold laundry.
- Clean the bathroom.
- Make dinner one night a week.
- Look after a younger sibling.
- Dust the house.
- Clean baseboards.
- Sweep and vacuum the floors.
- Take the trash out and put the bins on the curb.
- Assist with yardwork (pulling weeds, etc.)
- Help with cleaning windows.
- Taking care of family pets.
- Wash the car (this one could be fun to do together).
- Water plants.
Download a Household Chores for Tweens Chore Chart
Remember that you’ll have to coach your tween on how to clean the right way.
It might take many, many times of you showing them how to do a chore before they do it correctly.
Be patient. They’ll get it eventually.
To help your tween remember to do their chores, download this household chores chart and hang it somewhere that they can see it.
Each week you can decide together what they’re responsible for, and fill out the list.