How to Set Deadlines for Your Children's Chores

It's important for your children to know they have certain deadlines to do their daily chores. This way, they know what you expect from them.
How to Set Deadlines for Your Children's Chores

Last update: 12 September, 2020

Sometimes children, both tweens and teens, put off the things they need to do. It seems like there is always something they can do instead. Often, chores aren’t a priority for them. In fact, your children’s chores sometimes seem more like an imposition than an obligation or a responsibility.

As a result, parents need to guide their children at times. First, they must understand that these tasks are their responsibility. Second, you can guide them in the process of organizing when they need to do certain chores, making them more responsible for their tasks.

Establish deadlines for your children’s chores

Some people suggest that there are higher incidences of anxiety, depression, behavior problems, and alcohol abuse in children from overly indulgent homes, rather than children from homes in which parents set consistent limits and responsibilities. Taking on household responsibilities is actually really beneficial for children.

However, chores need deadlines. For example, you can set short deadlines for daily chores and more lenient deadlines for less frequent chores. On nights when you eat together, family members should know they need to clean the dinner dishes and tidy up the dining room. In addition, you can always add cleaning the kitchen to this process so all members know what is expected of them. This makes the process simple.

How to Set Deadlines for Your Children's Chores

Another example might be that they need to fold clothes shortly after they come out of the dryer to reduce wrinkles. If your teen is in the middle of something when you ask, ask them when they can do it (15 minutes? 30 minutes?). Then, set the kitchen time to remind them so they can do it when it goes off.

Advantages of setting deadlines for chores

One advantage of setting a deadline for weekly chores, such as cleaning the porch furniture before 6 p.m. on Friday, is that your children might feel more freedom about when they do their chores. It also helps them learn responsibility. For example, if they do the chore on Thursday, then they can spend Friday afternoon with their friends.

Another advantage of setting deadlines is if you work in the afternoons. When your child comes home, you can delegate specific tasks with a set deadline. For instance, your child can start dinner or organize the house at their leisure.

One option is to leave a to-do list for each evening, explaining what is for dinner and what needs to be done in advance. Another advantage is that your children can all collaborate to perform their chores. However, schedules often change. You’ll need to consider workloads so that all family member has chores and can keep up with their schedules.

Be flexible but firm at the same time

Once you set limits for daily chores, you’ll need to be flexible about tasks that can wait. However, even if you are flexible about when they do chores, your children need to know that chores must be finished before a certain deadline. That way they know what you expect from them at all times.

How to Set Deadlines for Your Children's Chores

If at some point they haven’t done a chore because they’ve been doing something else, such as studying for an important test, it makes sense that you can be a little flexible and forgiving. In this case, you wouldn’t need to punish them for it.

It’s different if your child doesn’t do their chores because they didn’t want to or were playing on the computer. In this case, you should set firm consequences for their lack of responsibility.

You should also agree to consequences for not complying with deadlines in advance to avoid any conflicts in the future. This way your children know what you expect from them at all times. They’ll also know the consequences are for not doing their daily chores.

About children’s chores

With this in mind, it’s much easier for your children to do their chores. They’ll know what you expect from them, what the deadlines are, and what the consequences are for not doing their chores. This can prevent rebellious attitudes or children neglecting their responsibilities.


This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.