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7 Teenage Chore Chart Ideas (Prep them for Adulting)

A teen chore system should look different than a child’s. Make the transition with these teenage chore chart ideas.

Got a chore chart system your teen has completely outgrown (like, two years ago)?

teen negotiating chores with mother, text overlay

Chores are still a pretty important part of a teen’s life, for many reasons.

Like…:

  • You need and want them to help around the house
  • You want them to learn important skills they’ll be using in just a few short years (whether in their apartment, a dorm room, or a home)
  • You want them to grow in personal responsibility
  • Etc.

Which is why I’m talking teenage chore chart ideas today.

Because a teen’s chore system – the kind that will get them one step closer to the kind of independence they’ll need to handle as as young adult?

Should definitely look different than a 7-year-old’s chore system.

Teenage Chore Chart Ideas

Make the transition from a kid chore system to a teenage chore system with these teenage chore chart ideas.

1. Keep an Open-Ended Area on Chore Charts for Chore Initiation

Your teen is getting closer and closer to the point where they’ll need to initiate their own chores (for their own household).

That’s because as a young adult, they’ll no longer be able to walk around the overflowing trashcan in the morning because it’ll magically disappear before they get home in the evening, sans-bugs.

It becomes their responsibility to see the need, and then make the time to take care of it.

Without Mom telling them about it. 

Which is why I think having them negotiate and initiate a chore or two they do for the household each week is a great strategy.

They’ll still be contributing to the household, but it will be chore tasks (or chore projects – keep reading below for those) they identify as a need.

This should also help them take more ownership over what they’re doing.

In the image below, you can see where there’s a list of Must-Do chores, and then an area for 2 Choice Chores (name it whatever you’d like!) where a teen can come up with two chore ideas to complete for the week.

black chore chart with 2 choice chores  area written in green

2. Move from Daily Deadlines to a Weekly Deadline

Executive Functioning skills – the ability plan ahead and meet goals, prioritize things, get stuff done in a world full of distractions, etc. – are really important, and we can help our teens develop these even while doing household chores.

Try moving from a chore chart system with daily deadlines to a weekly deadline for a weeks’ worth of chores.

Keep using a blank weekly chore chart, but allow your teen to fill in their own daily chore tasks and chore projects as they want to complete them (within a weekly deadline of, say, Saturday at 4:00 p.m.).

For example, shown below, you can list the chores that need to be done in the lefthand column, then ask your teen(s) to schedule when they’ll complete it. Let them know they just need to have it done by the deadline (this week, it’s Saturday at 4:00 p.m.).

black chore chart with must-do column for teens to schedule on blank week
black chore chart showing teen scheduling must-do chores when they want, by the 4:00 p.m. Saturday deadline

With a chore chart like this, you can also use those small squares to put in the hour (if you want your teen to practice scheduling things like that – otherwise, you can use it to check off chores that they’ve completed and you’ve checked).

3. Introduce More Complex Chore Projects

When kids are young, we want to keep chores as simple as possible. But many household chores are really chore projects that take a series of simple tasks to complete.

It’s time to introduce some more complex chore projects to your teenager – move them from completing a simple task to chores that are multi-step.

This will recreate more of what “real life” is going to look like when they’re a young adult.

You can get my free list of 100 chores + chore projects, below.

Chore Project Ideas

  • Organize the family board games area
  • Clean out the freezer
  • Collect and organize hair “thingies” throughout the house
  • Clean out and reorganize the spice cabinets/spice area

4. Task them with Managing Younger Siblings’ Chores

Your teen is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to simpler chores they’ve been completing over the last few years.

They can help your overall family chore system by managing and providing oversight to their younger siblings.

You can also rotate this task between siblings, and between teens. Just list on your chart who the Chore Manager is for the week (and who they are managing, in case you have more than one younger sibling).

Give the responsibility for the chore zone area, or the chore to the teenager in partnership with their younger sibling, so that they take ownership and will also make any touch-ups/fixes that are needed.

black chore chart with first column

Hint: whether or not this works in your household is up to where your teen is, and how their relationship with their siblings are – you be the judge. Sometimes, teens surprise their parents when given more responsibility…in a good way.

5. Introduce a Teen Chore App with Prepaid Debit Card

I always, always want people to start their allowances and chore commissions off with actual cash.

OR, if they want to use an allowance app to start with, to at least have their child cash out periodically so that they can do real store transactions (you know – with handing over the right money, making change, keeping track of a wallet full of cash, etc.).

Now that your child is getting older?

You might think about introducing a chore & allowance app with a prepaid debit card.

greenlight parent balance screen showing each child's card, dollar amount, and piggy bank amount
gohenry parent balance screen showing each child's card, dollar amount, and piggy bank amount

These apps will:

  • Help track your chore system – which chores got done, which did not, who owes who money, how much your teen has, etc.
  • Give them an intro to the world of fintech, which is everywhere now and going to play a critical part in all of our financial futures
  • Give them some sweet tools to help them manage their money, such as seeing how much they have saved, how much they earned, etc.
  • Give the whole family a tool to pay each other with, whether for chores, for Money Responsibilities, etc.
  • Give them a way to pay for things when on school trips or otherwise away from home, which happens more as they get older
  • Give them experience with handling “plastic” and both the good and bad consequences that can occur, before they can do real damage with a real credit card

Here are a few articles to help decide between apps: Greenlight vs. gohenry, Greenlight vs. FamZoo, and Greenlight vs. BusyKid. There are also free allowance and chore apps, but they do not come with a prepaid debit card for teens. 

6. Phase Out Chore Commissions with their First Job

Does your teen earn chore commissions?

There are two possible transitions going on or about to happen – soon they’ll be adults, having to handle all of their own chores without pay, and they also might be earning money through a teen first job, meaning you’re no longer the sole source of their income.

A few ideas for adjustments you can make:

  • Phase out chore commissions, and have household duties/responsibilities for being part of the family
  • Assign household duties/responsibilities, but pay them commission for managing their younger siblings’ chores
  • Renegotiate how much they’re paid, based partly on how much money they’ll be earning and how much time is spent away from home

7. Normalize Chores as an Adult Thing to Do

Do you want to remove chore commissions from your household as your teen ages, and/or cut down on the amount of nagging needed to get chores done?

An interesting study was done that caught my eye, and the conclusion of it was that you should assign chores by random chance to both the adults and teens in a household.

And I got to thinking – this is really a way to help normalize the world of chores and upcoming “adulting” your teen is headed for in the next few years.

It also removes the parents from being the “bad guys” when it comes to household work. Hey, you guys will be doing it, too! And you’re just as likely as the next person to get the task of cleaning out the litter box, or taking the trash out, or insert whatever chore is avoided at all costs in your home.

While your teen’s chore system will look different than chores for a 7-year-old, they’re still just as an important part of their life. Keep chores alive and well in your home – and prep your child for young adulthood – with these teenage chore chart ideas.

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Amanda L. Grossman is a writer and Certified Financial Education Instructor, a 2017 Plutus Foundation Grant Recipient, and founder of Money Prodigy. Her money work has been featured on Experian, GoBankingRates, PT Money, CA.gov, Rockstar Finance, the Houston Chronicle, and Colonial Life. Amanda is the founder and CEO of Frugal Confessions, LLC. Read more here or on LinkedIn.