11 Ways to Get Your Teen to Help During the Holidays

Just because it’s the holiday season, don’t expect your teens to become all warm and fuzzy all of a sudden, offering to do chores and willingly participating in themed crafts. (Let’s be realistic here… ) While you may be tempted to add them to the naughty list, WAIT! Try these suggestions to turn that sulky troll into a spirited little elf:

Come Together, Right Now

No one likes to find out about a big, last-minute chore they need to do, especially when they’ve made other plans. Teens are the same way.  Demanding they hang the lights or clean the family room for a party doesn’t work. Instead, make a list of all the holiday tasks that need to be accomplished. Ask your teen for input – letting them have a say will promote a more cheerful attitude. Plus, teens like to be in charge of things because it gives them a sense of control and ownership, and they want to prove to you that they can handle the responsibility.

Open Their Gifts

Everyone has specific abilities and talents. Now that your child has become a teen, you’ve probably noticed that they have a knack for fixing things, have a green thumb, or other nifty skills. These gifts can be used to lend a hand when it comes to tackling holiday chores. Teens won’t feel like it’s work when they’re doing something that showcases their talents and when it’s something they enjoy. What special abilities does your teen possess?

  • Green thumb? Make a fresh flower arrangement for the entry, a wintergreen wreath for the front door, centerpieces for the holiday table, make garland for the mantle, choose the poinsettias, and water the tree.

  • Good with a camera? Put your teen in charge of taking the annual holiday family photo. Let them pick the theme, location, fashion, etc., and roll with it. Have them upload it and send it to the store so they can pick up the prints and mail them out.

  • A whiz in the kitchen? Prepare a menu and help cook the holiday dinner, prepare dinner for siblings while parents are shopping, bake and decorate cookies for the yearly cookie exchange.

  • Car buff? Check the tire pressure, oil, and other gauges before the road trip to grandma’s house; change the oil in mom’s car to save her a trip to Jiffy Lube.

  • Techie? Send out the annual family photo via email, or try something wacky like Elf Yourself , set up new equipment for gaming, set up an app for the lights timer.

  • Loves to drive? Chauffeur siblings to activities, take siblings to the mall to shop for parents, run errands to the grocery store, pick up a relative at the airport.

  • DIYer? Check the lights, extension cords, and outdoor decorations for damage and repair or buy new items. Fix the squeaky cabinet door in the guest room, paint the basement playroom for the cousins coming over, change the burned out bulb in the refrigerator and hallway, put new caulking in guest room bathroom.

  • Pinterest addict? Turn pinning into doing and have them pick a couple of craft projects that can be made into gifts for your neighbors and the kid’s teachers, make new holiday coasters or homemade holiday cards.

  • Super organized? Hand over all important dates, and then have your teen organize all the office parties, recitals, and other events on a dry erase board, or download an app like Cozi so everyone can have access to the schedule. They will be in charge of inputting any changes to the calendar.

  • Great with babies/seniors? Watch younger siblings so parents can shop, help grandma with her holiday décor and any household duties she needs done, keep siblings occupied while you do busy work around the house.

  • Animal lover? Bathe the dog or take them to the groomer, wash the dog bedding, arrange for boarding if needed, make sure dog is walked and fed while guests are staying at the house.

Give Up the Reins

These suggestions may seem downright frightening at first. If you give your teen the reins, you could end up with an ugly sweater-themed family photo or a holiday meal with no ham or turkey. Let your idea of the perfect holiday go and enjoy the extra time you have to enjoy the festivities, because your teen stepped up. They will be pleased that you trusted their judgement in carrying out the tasks you gave them, and your holidays just may be a little more cheerful to boot!

How have you gotten your teen to help out during the holiday season? Share your tips with us!

Tags : celebrations   holidays   christmas   hanukkah   teens   

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