From proper social behaviors to money management, our responsibility as parents is to teach our children skills to prepare them for eventual independence once they leave home. More and more parents are breaking gender stereotypes and acknowledging that boys should learn domestic skills as part of that preparation.
Years ago girls took Home Economics classes in school to legitimize their domestic work. The classes, however, actually reinforced a division of labor and created unrealistic expectations for young girls. Today, these classes are offered to both sexes and are proving to be invaluable to everyone. Knowing how to set a table, mend a pair of pants and bake a cake are skills that are being taught to both boys and girls across all classes and starting at a much younger age than ever before.
While it is still common for women to do double-duty when it comes to taking care of their families, teaching boys domestic skills can ultimately create a new generation of balanced households. In many cases, after working full-time, mothers still face yesterday’s domesticity as they do laundry, most of the cooking, and shuttle children to and from daycare and soccer practice. By teaching boys domestic skills now they will not only be able to help themselves, but they will grow to help their wives and split these chores later in life. When we set realistic standards for our boys and teach them domestic skills, we are setting them up to have a more equal division of labor in their own households in the future. Not to mention, they will be better equipped with the knowledge they need in college or living alone upon graduation.
The more skills we can set our children up with when they are young, the better prepared they will be to successfully live on their own and eventually teach their own children. The following are just a few essential domestic skills that every parent should teach their sons:
How To Do Laundry
While your son may bring his laundry with him when he comes home for visits, once he has left the nest knowing how to do laundry will behoove him in many ways. Additionally, knowing how to sew, iron, and remove stains are domestic skills that boys should learn.
How To Cook
Knowing how to prepare and cook a meal is not only a domestic skill, but a life skill. Teaching boys to do this means setting up a lifetime of healthy meal planning, time management and budgeting for food.
How To Clean
Teaching boys the importance of keeping their personal space clean as well as good personal hygiene will provide them with a healthier living experience now and for the rest of their lives.
Dispelling gender stereotypes and encouraging boys to learn domestic skills will truly make their lives better and more fulfilled. Allowing them to see the importance of engaging in these skills creates a positive outcome. From laundry to cooking, there is tremendous value to a home with both sexes sharing the housework.