What Are Some Chores for 14-Year-Old Kids?

By Erica Loop
Teenage girl helping her family do laundry
Teenage girl helping her family do laundry

Now that your child’s a teen, he is responsible enough to pitch in and help out around the house. A 14-year-old can go beyond simple tasks such as picking up play-things or putting folded laundry away. Brainstorm household duties that he can take over and write up a chore list that matches your family’s needs. Keep in mind, your child’s chore list may not look like his friend’s. Every family has unique needs, expectations and values that the list reflects.

Choosing Chores

Boy taking care of his younger brother at playground
Boy taking care of his younger brother at playground

Before you pass off all of your responsibilities to your 14-year-old, be wary of overwhelming her. Demanding that your child completes a rigorous set of daily duties may backfire, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Even though your teen is capable of doing chores such as cleaning, cooking, organizing and taking over some of the care for younger siblings, she isn’t your maid or nanny. For example, if you ask her to babysit all day every Saturday, the task may transform from a fun way to spend a weekend day to something that she despises doing.

Pick and choose a few chores that your teen can regularly do. Make sure that they don’t interfere with her schoolwork or after-school commitments, such as sports practice or music lessons. Provide her with a variety of chores that change over the course of a week or a month. This gives her the chance to try out different tasks and learn about what running a household means.

Cooking a Meal

Mother and daughter embrace in the kitchen while cooking
Mother and daughter embrace in the kitchen while cooking

Your 14-year-old is heading towards young adulthood. Help him to prepare for what’s ahead by assigning chores that lead to independent living skills. It’s a no-brainer that your child needs to eat. But, in a few short years when he’s on his own, he’ll need to be the cook. Even if he’s got the top-of-the-line college cafeteria meal plan package, he may not always want to eat at school when he’s left the nest. Start early and have your teen help you to prepare meals with a few cooking chores.

Give your teen one meal a week to plan. Ask him to find a recipe in a book or online, write out an ingredients list and go with you to the store to shop. He can prep and cook the meal under your supervision. Don’t stop the chores at dinner-time. Part of the task is also to set the table and clean the dishes.

Cleaning the House

Girl helping her mother hang up sheets
Girl helping her mother hang up sheets

Keeping your house clean takes everyone in the family’s effort. Assign your 14-year-old chores that help to keep things neat and tidy. She’s ready to go beyond simply sorting laundry, and actually put the clothes in the washer and dryer herself. She can also contribute to a clean house by dusting, vacuuming, sweeping and washing the floors.

Selecting Tasks By Region

Gloved hand holding brush to clean bathroom toilet
Gloved hand holding brush to clean bathroom toilet

The types of chores that you choose for your child may vary depending on where you live. For example, if you live in a rural area, yard work may be a priority. If you live in the city, you may not have a garden to groom or a yard to rake. If this is the case, indoor activities such as cleaning the bathroom or making the beds are better options.

About the Author

Based in Pittsburgh, Erica Loop has been writing education, child development and parenting articles since 2009. Her articles have appeared in "Pittsburgh Parent Magazine" and the website PBS Parents. She has a Master of Science in applied developmental psychology from the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education.