Working mothers are as busy as ever. A recent survey from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics found that women spend an average of more than two hours per day on household activities like interior cleaning and preparing meals. That additional work can feel especially tiring after a full day’s work. But mothers may have some help right under their noses. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, adolescents can benefit from participating in various chores around the house. The AAP notes that helping out at home teaches kids the importance of contributing to a team while boosting their self-esteem by helping them feel valued and competent. Kids might not jump at the chance to do chores, and some tasks may still be best performed by parents. However, the AAP notes that the following are some age-appropriate tasks for adolescents, the completion of which can help busy moms feel a less overextended.
Put away their belongings.
Do the laundry: Moms may want to teach kids the ins and outs of mixing light-colored clothes with dark clothes to avoid ending up with some accidentally pink attire.
Folding and putting away clean clothes.
Vacuuming, sweeping and dusting: Emphasize safety when dusting so young adolescents don’t feel compelled to clean areas that might be beyond their reach.
Set and clear the table.
Wash and put away the dishes.
Feed and walk family pets: Adolescents also can be responsible for cleaning birdcages, fish tanks and litter boxes.
Mop the floors.
Scrub the sink, toilet, bathtub, and shower stall.
Prepare their own lunches for school: Adolescents can make their own lunches, but moms may want to check to make sure lunches include some nutritious fare.
Cook dinner one night a week: Cooking dinner should never take precedence over academics, but adolescents should be able to manage making meals once per week, even if it’s on weekends.
Yard work: Teach adolescents the proper ways to use lawn and garden tools before assigning them any tasks in the yard. In addition, only assign more taxing tasks like mowing the lawn when kids are physically capable of safely operating the machine.