What Chores Should a 12-Year-Old Do?

chores for your 12-year-old
Choosing age-appropriate chores can help your children build self-esteem. Find out what chores you can assign your 12-year-old

Getting your children into the habit of helping around the house can begin early. And by age 12, your tween may be able to take on more responsibility. 

Choosing age-appropriate chores can not only help your children learn the importance of pitching in, but also build their self-esteem, teach vital life skills, and make them feel a valued part of the family. 

Below are a few common chores that can be assigned to a 12-year-old:

  • Putting away their belongings
  • Keeping their room room clean
  • Doing laundry and folding clothes
  • Setting the table 
  • Washing dishes
  • Feeding and walking pets
  • Vacuuming, dusting, cleaning
  • Helping with food prep or cooking
  • Taking out the trash
  • Washing the car
  • Doing simple yardwork 
  • Helping with food prep or cooking

How do I select age-appropriate goals for my kids?

When thinking about assigning age-appropriate chores for your kids, it’s best to pick from a list of different categories.

Chores they’ve mastered:

  • Pick a few chores they’re already really good at and can teach their younger siblings (if they have any). This may include loading a dishwasher, doing the laundry, dusting, etc.

Chores they’re working on:

  • Pick a few chores they can do on their own, but haven’t yet mastered (creating chore step-by-step expectation cards for these is a good idea). This may include mowing the lawn, cooking a simple meal, etc.

Chores you help them with:

  • Pick a few chores that may be a little complex to handle on their own but that they can help you with so they can start understanding how the process works.
  • Remember that one of the ways kids learn best is with hands-on training, with you modeling the behaviors you want them to adopt.

Chores that can help them earn money:

  • One of the ways you can help your child learn money management is to pay them for doing certain difficult chores.
  • Use the opportunity to teach them about saving, budgeting, and wise spending.

Remember that your chances of success are higher if you gradually increase your expectations as your child matures, guiding them along the way. This gives them confidence in their skills and will help them grow to be responsible adults. 


Teens need how many hours of sleep per night? See Answer

What are developmental milestones for a 12-year-old?

At the age of 12, kids may become more talkative and show a sense of humor. Everything is changing for them. Below are common milestones for a 12-year-old child:

Cognitive development

  • Develop the ability to think abstractly and engage in “what if?” reasoning, grappling with moral and ethical questions.
  • Displays more sophisticated reasoning skills, allowing them to consider possible justifications for exceptions to rules, although they may still have naive opinions.
  • Should have a good command of reading and writing.
  • Can understand fictional characters’ intentions and follow several storylines at the same time.

Social and emotional development

  • May start to distance themselves from family and have increased focus on their peers (both same- and opposite sex).
  • Form friendships based on common interests.
  • More sensitivity to social drama, peer pressure, etc. and aware of popularity and social pecking orders.
  • Become preoccupied with appearance and have strong likes and dislikes, in part because they care so much about peer approval
  • May feel self-conscious about their physical changes, feel pressure to conform to cultural gender norms and become intolerant of cross-gender mannerisms and behaviors.
  • May engage in risky behavior such as watching films unsuitable for their age and trying alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs

Physical development

  • May begin puberty at this age.
  • Experience mood swings due to growth spurts and hormonal imbalances.
  • More aware of their appearance, and body consciousness may become a big issue.
  • May be interested in sex and try to experiment.
Chores and Kids: How Much Should You Expect? https://www.chop.edu/news/chores-and-kids-how-much-should-you-expect

Chores and pocket money: https://raisingchildren.net.au/toddlers/family-life/chores/chores-for-children