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Chores For Teenagers: 5 Ways I Took My Sanity (And My Saturdays) BACK!

Chores. My kids think it’s a swear word. It’s their kryptonite.
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My kids have been doing chores for a long time now and we’ve learned a few things along the way. It’s not always perfect, but here are the things that make chores for teenagers less of a battle around our house. 

Here’s how I took my sanity (and my Saturdays) BACK!

Want To Go Out With Your Friends This Weekend?

I’m sure they do. 

We used to spend ALL DAY on Saturday doing chores (not because my kids had too many chores, they just took TOO long doing them).  So basically, Saturdays looked a lot like me stalking my children like a lynx so they’d JUST GET THEM DONE. The honest truth is, that’s the last way any of us wants to spend our Saturday. 

Well, we’ve found a fix for that. All chores must be done by THURSDAY so that Friday and Saturday are actually spent doing the fun things we want to do. Chores not done? They don’t go out with their friends until they are complete. That seems to add enough fuel to the fire to get things done (and fast)! 

Work For Hire Opportunities Aren’t Available Until Their Basic Responsibilities Are Done

The upside of all these chores? I pay good money for chores I hate. Scrubbing the shower grout with a toothbrush? Wiping down baseboards? What chores do you hate the most? Those are the ones I pay the best for. But only AFTER they’ve completed their basic list of responsibilities. You know, the things they do because we all live in the same house together (and that’s a decent sized list). 

I Don’t Hand Out Money Like Candy

The thing about teenagers is that they actually really need money. I don’t hand it out. Our kids have to pay for their cell phone service. I don’t often throw $20 dollar bills at them for their weekend spending. They need their own money for that stuff.  “Supply and Demand” baby.  They stay motivated and willing to take on the additional chores because they need the cash.  They need that money for the snow cone shack and movie night with their friends just bad enough to want to scrub my grout with a toothbrush. 

I Believe In Check Lists

One of my favorite books is “The Checklist Manifesto“. It’s basically a book about how checklists improve performance and outcomes in everything from flying airplanes to reducing complications in surgery. I think checklists work well for chores too.  I’ve got a checklist for each room of the house (complete with a list of what cleaning products they should be using). It’s amazing how quickly my kids seem to forget the basic steps involved in cleaning the bathroom. Oh, I don’t know, like cleaning the toilet . . .

Get The Right Equipment

The kids have their own gloves. I’ve invested in an extensive collection of microfiber rags. Inevitably there’s always an area of the house where everyone’s ICK factor overcomes them. 90% of the time it’s the toilet.  {In fact,toilet bowls can contain as many as 3.5 million bacteria per square inch and some of those remain on traditional toilet brushes after you’re done cleaning. Gross, right?}

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But toilets aren’t on my work for hire list of chores. EVERYONE needs to learn how to clean the toilet (and clean it well). 

I was excited when Clorox emailed us to be part of their “Teenage Clean” campaign because I was literally drafting a post to tell the world all about my new “Chores By Thursday” method that I mentioned above. I grabbed my 14-year-old, handed him the Clorox®ToiletWand®, {which by the way kills 99.9% of germs and features abrasive scrubbers to power through tough stains}, and assigned him to clean the toilet. Everything that followed was probably as stereotypically teen as it could be. 

It started with:

“Seriously mom! You’re going to take pictures in the PINK bathroom and put it on the INTERNET?!?” Yes son. I am. 

Welcome to 1964 my internet friends! The pink tile is alive and well!

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He actually assembled the wand on his own and gave it a spin.  Similar to the way teens seem to be preloaded with mess-making abilities, The Clorox® ToiletWand®system disposable refill heads are preloaded with Clorox® Toilet Bowl Cleaner to give you the cleaning power you need with none of the nastiness of a traditional, germy toilet brush. Simply click a refill head onto the wand, scrub to unleash the preloaded Clorox® Toilet Bowl Cleaner.

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Boom. Done. (And he didn’t even wear gloves . . . EW? Maybe. But that little wand kept him from actually touching anything gross). With a quick press of the button, the end of the wand is disposed of and there’s not more pooling water in the toilet wand caddy where your old gross brush used to live. 

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Our little photo session ended with “Thanks buddy for your help!”

“Yeah, no problem mom. You should pay me $10 . . .”


What do you to do get your teenagers to do chores? (and do them right!) Tell us in the comments!

This is a sponsored post in partnership with the Clorox®ToiletWand®.  All opinions are my own (And so is this toilet wand. We totally dig it.)


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