Boys and Chores

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I'm sure most parents will agree with me that letting boys do chores around the house helps in building character. However, Filipino parents may disagree on which chores to assign.

For me, I try to teach them all kinds of chores. From the more stereotypical "male" chores - like carpentry, basic electronics, cleaning their own rooms, etc. - to the more down and dirty "feminine" chores (as in kitchen, bathroom, clothes-related chores). I just try to see if they can do a chore, depending on age or ability, and ask them to do these chores during week-ends.

I bring this up because last week-end, my mom, being the old-school Filipina that she is, said "Don't let them do womanly chores, they'll turn gay."

Of course, I gagged. I initially wanted to start an argument. "What's the connection between chores and their sexuality?" I started. But seeing she meant well, and since I won't be able to persuade her anyways, I decided to shut up.

I have several mantras at home that I conveniently bring up, whatever calls for the occassion (read - whenever they're feeling lazy in helping at home).

The format of the mantra goes like this

"ANYBODY WHO _____________ SHOULD KNOW HOW TO ___________."

This can cover all chores. Examples :

Anybody who lives in a house, should know how to clean it.
Anybody who wears clothes, should know how to do the laundry.
(And my personal favorite) Anybody who eats, should know how to cook.

Following this line of reasoning, both guys and girls live in a house, wears clothes and eats. So I don't see why a chore should have gender exclusivity.
The reverse also holds true. Girls should also have at least a brief idea how to do "guy chores".

Also, one son gives more premium to intelligence. And he really detests housework. I tell the boys part of intelligence is knowing how to do things. That includes knowing how to do chores as well.

Last week, I was watching a tv shopping show and they were selling clothes irons. The hostess, a pampered socialite, encouraged people to buy the iron while admitting she didn't know how to iron her clothes. Gaaack. Major turn off. She looked pretty stupid that moment.


However, my main reason of ensuring that they at least know how chores are done is independence. I am more secure knowing that whatever happens, wherever they go, they will not die when there are no people to depend on to do the home chores.

How about you, what kind of chores do you let your son/s do?

Originally posted 29 January 2008