Reports indicate that women around the world still do the bulk of household chores.
One of the reasons for this disparity can be linked to household chores, with quite a few studies pointing out that girls are asked to do more work around the house than boys. In fact, one study found that on average, girls did two more hours of chores for the week, while boys got to play during this time.
Why your boys should help out with household chores?
Mums and dads of boys: isn’t it time we helped to close this gap? Here’s why you should get your boys to do household chores, starting from today!
1. It helps break gender stereotypes
It may be the year 2016, but certain gender stereotypes still exist — with “girls should learn how to do household chores” being one of them.
But when you think about it, neither males or females are born with a genetic predisposition to wash the dishes or do the laundry so why should one gender be picked over the other to do these chores, by us, by society?
Gender stereotyping is a dangerous thing. It places pre-determined notions and ideas firmly in the heads of boys and girls. And when they grow up, it may limit their ability to develop their personal skills, pursue their dreams (professional and otherwise) and make choices about their life plans.
No parent would want this for their children, right?
Make chores fun for your boys by involving them in interesting tasks, such as helping you to wash the car.
2. It teaches responsibility
We all want our kids to grow up to be responsible adults. But when we refuse to, or neglect giving our boys household chores, it teaches them they they can get away with making a mess and worse, that girls will clean up after them, and girls learn that housework is their responsibility.
You can apply this theory to the actual mess of a household with kids, or at a deeper level when a child makes a mistake and refuses to be held responsible for it — this can equally happen when he is an adult, too.
Getting your boys to do household chores, as insignificant as it may seem, can make a significant impact on how they view responsibility.
Teaching your son today that he needs to clean up his toys at the end of the day, means that someday when your boy is a husband, a dad, he won’t think twice about pitching in with household duties. It means that at work and in life in general, he won’t shirk away from duties, however big or small they are.
3. It helps them at school
Yes, that’s right: giving your boys household chores can actually help them perform better at school. Experts say, “boys should be made to do more household chores so they develop a work ethic which will stop them falling behind at school.”
And when you think about it, it makes sense. If your boy, on his own,tidies up his room, takes out the rubbish or does other age-appropriate household chores, then you can be sure you won’t have to pester him to do his homework or school project.
Again, it links back to that sense of responsibility and self-reliance that doing chores can teach.
4. It teaches them empathy and kindness
Back in the days, a boy would think nothing of seeing his mother work all day doing various household chores. While he probably wouldn’t think to help, neither would his mother have expected him to.
This same boy might have grown up to be a husband who yells at his wife for not having his meal ready on time, or critisises her for allowing the laundry to pile up. If we are to move away from a male-dominated society, if we want our boys to be kind and sensitive, rather than aggressive and unsympathetic to others, then a good place to start is at home, through chores.
And while at the beginning, getting your boys to do chores might be a huge chore in itself, soon, you’ll see them willingly jumping in to help dad or mum prepare dinner or tidy up the house. This is an understated parenting win because you know they’ve done this out of empathy, a real need/ urge to help.
While the benefits of getting boys to do household chores are quite clear, getting started might actually be a bit tough as most kids — regardless of gender — are notorious for running away from work of any kind!
The trick then, is to keep it fun, be generous with a reward system at least at the beginning, and keep things age appropriate.
You can’t really expect a two-and-a-half year old to take out the garbage. But there are little chores that even a toddler can manage, and enjoy while doing them.
Take a look at this chart below, of course, modifying the tasks to suit your household:
Make it fun
A chore doesn’t have to be, well, a chore, if you make it fun for your little one! Here are some ideas:
1. Try motivating your toddler to clean up by singing the ‘clean up song.’ This worked so well with both my boys when they were younger.
2. Turn packing away blocks and Lego into a game. “Okay, let put all the blue blocks in this corner of the box, and all the yellow ones over here”
3. Do the “Great laundry race” with your older kid. Stand outside the laundry door and shout out a colour or two, like ‘blue’ or ‘pink’.
Then watch your children sprint into their rooms, dive into their laundry baskets and pick out dirty laundry items in the requested colours. The winner is the child who makes it back to the laundry first, with two piles of laundry correctly colour-sorted.
Have a fun chart/reward system
Once your kid is old enough, then a small monetary reward for the completion of chores can work. At the end of every week/month will make your child feel his contribution is valued. Also, it teaches him that hard work doesn’t go unpaid — literally.
These cute “chore tracker” charts are totally do-able and will keep your little boy motivated.
Your reward doesn’t have to be of the monetary kind if you wish, though. A star chart works great with younger children. Even the promise of a fun family weekend outing followed by ice-cream can also be incentive enough.
Meanwhile, check out these cute “chore tracker” charts above. They are totally do-able and will keep your little boy motivated and interested to carry out his ‘duties’.
Parents of boys: do your kids do chores? What kind of tasks do you give them? What do you feel about getting boys to do chores? Let us know in a comment below.
Also read: The story of a 5-year-old doing the chores and cooking will break your heart!