If it feels like you are constantly going, running from one task to another, it’s probably because you are! Take a moment and see what your daily activities involve: Can any of your tasks get delegated to your teen at home? Most likely yes!
Setting Good Intentions
The first step is figuring out what they can and cannot do, and making sure not to overwhelm them at first. If they are not really doing anything around the house currently, then you don’t want to hand them a list of twenty things that need to be done asap. Look for the tasks that are a little easier or more known to your teen so they can easily pick it up and get it out of the way. Think of washing the dishes, or vacuuming and sweeping. These tasks do not require a lot of knowledge or learning, so they can take these chores on without too much grumbling. As they complete their chores on time and in good faith, you can start increasing the number of tasks or the difficulty level, such as washing the car or figuring out what to eat for the next few nights.
Keep Them on Task
It is of course easy to say that your teen will go wash the dishes, but it is a whole other challenge getting them to accomplish it too. Some kids may want to help but feel overwhelmed if they have a lot of homework or other extracurricular activities. Make sure they understand that having chores is not a punishment or that you are trying to take away their free time. Explain to them that these are necessary life skills and things they will need to do in the future on their own. You want a break every once in a while, from these tasks as well, but if there is an evening where they do not have much free time, try to be a little flexible.
If they simply do not want to do the tasks, make sure you have everything laid out on what you want done, how often, and specifically which days of the week. If you want them to do the laundry every day, then have it listed as every day. If you want them to mow the lawn once or twice a week, put down a day of the week and do not leave it up to them, as they may try putting it off until the very last minute. This can make it a little easier pushing them to accomplish tasks when they can clearly see when it needs to be done.