We live in a parenting world where there are few boundaries when it comes to domestic life. Most dads I know are as capable with a vacuum or an iron or a mop as their wives. And that’s the way it should be. In many households, there are two full-time working parents trying hard as a team to raise children and keep a clean, healthy home.
And as a bonus, our children will learn from an early age that Daddy does chores just like Mommy and it will reinforce the end of gender stereotypes. Here’s why that’s important.
1. It Opens up Gender Roles
Our children live in an enlightened age. Men and women can do any job (although pay scales are still tilted towards men), and there are very few limits on the jobs that anyone can do. That evolution has taken a long time to occur and one of the places where these types of changes occur first is in the home. By relaxing stereotypical gender roles in the home, children see from their earliest moments men and women working in a variety of roles and that will make these types of changes more and more acceptable.
2. They Will See That This Is the Future
We know that the days of men being the sole breadwinner and the women staying home to cook, clean, and make dinner are long gone. Life doesn’t work that way anymore. When Dad puts on an apron or folds the clothes or gets on his hands and knees to scrub the tub, it is not a one-time, isolated thing. This is the reality today and it will be for the foreseeable future — at least until we can create an army of robots to do this work for us.
3. It Will Make Them Better Husbands and Wives
When the cleaning duties in a home are shared, children become accustomed to it and it becomes the norm. That’s a good thing in the short-term and the long-term. Down the road as our daughters grow up and begin dating, they will expect to meet a man who pitches in and works in tandem with them to maintain a clean home, no matter the chaos of day-to-day living. That type of relationship helps maintain a healthy marriage, too. For our sons, they will be more inclined to pitch in on their own as well and will make better partners for their wives.
4. It Will Help Our Sons When They Live Alone
People are getting married later in life and that means they are spending more and more time living on their own before settling down into domestic tranquility. By growing up in a home where Dad sets the standard for helping out around the house, our sons might emulate that behavior and take more pride and time cleaning up their bachelor pads.
5. It Will Encourage Them to Pitch In
Many times, children will use any excuse possible to avoid cleaning chores around the house. Imagine if they don’t see Daddy cleaning. “But Daddy doesn’t do these chores,” they might tell Mom. That won’t go over well for anyone.
6. It Will Show That Everyone Can Pull Together
When Mom and Dad equally share the workload around the house, our children learn an important and long-lasting lesson: that everyone has to do their part to make sure that the house is clean and tidy. That type of commitment has benefits that go beyond the mop and sponge.
Our children will learn the value of teamwork, problem-solving, and the reward of working together to accomplish a shared goal.
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