My boy, since as young as two years, has been asked to help out in the house. Fetch things, tidying up, picking his own plate, getting his own bowl of cereal, putting things away after the meal are a few things he does along with all other household chores that he can be a part of.
A lot of times, we have been laughed at or even been criticised for making our son do – “kudiyoon wale kaam”
Nonetheless, we continue to raise our son no different than we would raise a daughter here’s why :
– the harsh truth is that gender stereotypes still exist even in the nineteenth year of the twenty first century:( no baby whether a boy or a girl is born with genetic predispositions to wash the dishes or do the laundry. Then why we as a society pick only one gender for these chores? Such stereotypes develop strong pre-determined notions in the minds of girls and boys, that affect their ability to grow, evolve, and make choices in life. In simple words – Gender Stereotypes are dangerous!
– When we excuse our little boys from household chores, we allow them to believe that they can create a mess and get away with it. In most households let’s say – you can leave behind a mess for a girl/woman to clean it up later. Imagine the same scenario in a life situation on a deeper level. Wouldn’t we want our boys to grow up into responsible adults.
– Let’s call to mind a scene from any movie, story, narrative or from our own lives a decade ago : Dad will be seated on a couch reading a newspaper, the kids are jumping, or lazing around and the mother is either busy preparing a meal or cleaning. The boys would have never felt like helping the mother neither would the mother have expected them to do so. The same young boys will then grow up to be men who think household chores are for their wives to do.
If we want our boys to be more emphatic, sensitive and as we always say EQUAL , the right time to involve them in home chores would be now!
– Boys who help in home chores are also likely to develop certain work ethics over a period of time. If a child is accustomed to doing work at home, he won’t really have to be pestered to do his homework or study. He is likely to be able to manage his time well and strike a balance between study and play.
I recently watched a short film by Ariel that moved the daughter, wife and the mother in me. Check it out here –
We as parents bear the responsibility of raising the future generation right. Ariel addresses such a crucial point in this film, provoking the men and women to think. I recently got a chance to attend the launch of this movement and I was in awe of the team when I heard of the thought behind the film.
Change begins with baby steps towards a better tomorrow. Something as simple as laundry can be taken up by the men in the house. Equality then, in true sense is not far off.