For Kids

> Return to For Kids index! <

How to Motivate Teens to Do Chores Without Arguing

Is your teenager constantly avoiding responsibilities? It's not always easy giving consequences when your children are older. Find out some ways that help your teen understand the importance of their chores.

Take Away Computer Time

Changing the computer access password is one of the easiest ways to prevent your children from using their computer. Taking away the keyboard & mouse, power cord, or other apparently vital accessories are easily overcome by kids with a little know-how. Make sure you change all account passwords if there are multiple!

If you want to limit internet access, call your internet service provider for information regarding changing your router's WiFi password. If you have other internet users, either inform them of the new password or enter it in for them in their computers / devices.

Take Away Cell / Home Phone Privileges

This is a simple option that is usually pretty effective! Many teenagers use their phone to communicate with friends, and taking away their first option makes it harder. If they take the initiative to find other forms of communication instead of just doing their chores, try another option listed here as well!

Have Your Teen Spend Chore Time with You

Make your child follow your every step and do nothing while you sweep, vacuum, wash floors, do dishes, dust, clean bathrooms, do laundry, and so on. They'll get a better sense of how much has to be done and how unfair it is for one individual to do everything! Make sure you prepare yourself to get this point across - it's not a way to fight each other, but instead a way to gain compassion between family members. This method can work both ways: you can also reverse roles and have your teen do everything, as you follow them around all day while they fill your shoes! Giving a hand when your teen seems to be learning the lesson is a great way to shift into a positive experience.

This experience will encourage your child to see how little is really expected of them and how valuable their help is!

Go on Strike!

For a day or two, or even weeks, quit your responsibilities and see how your teen reacts when nothing gets done! No laundry, groceries, driving, or cleaning! Let your child see how they can live in a mess with no meals prepared, or clean clothes to wear! This will also act as a friendly reminder to the rest of your family of all that you do each and every day. Only start helping again when your teen begins to do their part. You will find your teen quickly motivated and back on board with doing their chores!

Charge for Chores Not Done

Your teen may have an allowance, babysitting money, or cut lawns for cash. Chores not done can start imposing fees as a consequence, and if unpaid, will result in worse punishments. If mom is going to do everything, then she may as well be paid for it!

Make Them Volunteer

Have your teenager spend an entire weekend volunteering their time in the community helping a senior with yard work, a local animal shelter, a local soup kitchen, food bank, or a place of your choice. Make your teen appreciate all they have and how little they are expected to do, and get a little appreciation and distance from future confrontations!

Take Away TV Privileges

Most TVs have parental locks; consider using these features when taking away privileges, or remove the ability to turn the TV on altogether!

Community Help

Arrange for your child to volunteer time removing graffiti or picking up trash. Your community would be more than happy to have the help! Make a point of how much easier it is to do chores at home without complaining, while also teaching your teen how damaging irresponsible behavior can be.

Lose Allowance for a Month

Ensure that your teenager understands that allowance is given for a month's work well-done, not just for the occasional effort.

Reverse Roles

When your teen needs something and they haven't been fulfilling responsibilities, just make the answer no! No ride, no laundry, no dinner, no for anything they ask. They will quickly learn it works both ways and everyone needs to help each other.

These suggestions should be used as follow-up methods of the warnings you give your teenager. They must understand that you go through with your promises for both good and bad things, so you can build a better respectful environment for everybody.