Let’s make a SonRise

As the academic year came to a close we went to meet our son’s teacher. Along with other feedback and assessment from the year, she gave us an interesting insight about his behaviour. She mentioned our 6 year old is used to asking others to do things for him. It shook me up a bit as I had never realized this. But then I reflected on it, it was indeed true!

While my husband and I share responsibilities at home and contribute to its smooth functioning, we never thought of involving our son, thinking he’s just too small to help. We focus every day on building his academic learning, life skills and moral values but missed out on this key aspect.

As a parent, you need to constantly evolve and adapt to changing needs and this feedback was eye opening for me. As much as every child is different, every parent is different too. And we, as parents intuitively know what works best for our child, in our setting. We therefore, decided to take this feedback and figure out how it would fit in our set up.

My husband and I pondered over it and realized that we actually gave our son things on a platter. He was used to ordering us around and getting things without moving an inch. Our reluctance to recalibrate this behaviour was the biggest challenge.

It also dawned on me that making our daughters independent and our sons domestic was the only way to balance out a future where roles will only be increasingly gender neutral.

We sat and chalked out a plan where we firmly yet subtly divided duties between us.

Here are some basic things that we now consciously ask our 6 year old to do –
  1. Set the table for dinner –We generally have this meal together as a family. Our son places the plates and cutlery on the dining table.
  2. Keep the utensils in the kitchen after eating –Instead of leaving the plates on dining table, we now insist he carries and leaves it in the kitchen sink
  3. Fill his own water –No nanny/servant will hand over water to anyone through the day! We need to bring our own bottles and also refill if needed.
  4. Put clothes, shoes, bag in a fixedspot assigned in the house rather than throw it all around
  5. Clean up his toys – He needs to pick up the toys and put in their place before bed time. This also includes his minute Lego pieces strewn all over the house.
  6. Cooking together –This is something we have been doing together for a while and continue to do so. My son helps put together salads, bake cakes and make pizza and sandwiches.

It is important we teach our children these habits and the best place to begin is home. It is equally important that our sons see this behaviour in their fathers for them to understand there is no shame in housework and it only adds to their masculinity if they are able to share in these responsibilities. As a society, we focus on educating our daughters and fostering their self-reliance. Isn’t it important we teach our sons the lessons of independence and self-reliance too? This will hopefully make them better spouses once they are married and set the correct expectations.

Let me know your thoughts and what additional responsibilities your children take up in household work. In case you have not started taking help from your sons, hoping this write-up inspired you to do so soon!

I am taking my blog to the next level with Blogchatter’s #MyFriendAlexa. This is my #Post2 /#Week1 for the campaign. You can read my previous post here – 7 different kinds of husbands


45 thoughts on “Let’s make a SonRise

  1. We went through the phase you have mentioned with our daughter some three years back. But my daughter is in her 8th grade now and she does most things herself, thanks to the discipline my wife has instilled in her since then. If we keep spoon feeding our children they misunderstand things and start believing that it is their right to demand. Nowadays, my daughter helps my wife with washing utensils and helping in the cooking like peeling potatoes and cooking easy dishes that she can manage. There are certain things reserved for me. I normally don’t drop links in my comments. But since your post is on bringing up children, here is my post written on my Monday mornings two years back.

  2. It’s a nice post and got me thinking that it’s time we start addressing the stereotypes pertaining to gender. Irrespective of whether a it is a boy or girl, it’s essential that we inculcate in our kids the basic life skills. As parents we can definitely address this gender bias by inculcating ownership and accountability in our children.

  3. I completely agree with your post
    I try and inculcate the habit of sharing work at home for my boys.
    Along with your list, they also help me in drying clothes on weekends, car wash, making tea, cleaning washbasin and bathrooms, dusting, etc.

  4. Absolutely true Prerna and this is the reason we made a point to start these habits early on with my gals. After their first bday, they developed a habit of tidying their toys and keeping them at the right place. And then after their school started, I can many changes as they are becoming self sufficient.

  5. I have a son who is about to turn three years old but my husband and I make it a point to not show any sort of gender divide in any kind of work we do at home or outside. We equally share responsibilities at home as well as outside and want my son to learn the same. Thanks for the pointers. We too involve him in age appropriate household chores.#MyFriendAlexa #CloudandSunshineReads

  6. Yes kids need to learn to take care of themselves and also shoulder some basic responsibilities in the house. I believe in it strongly and both my kids are involved some or the other thing. It can start from as early as three years, my little caps the bottle after I fill it and we enjoy these tasks done in together form.

    Prerna, you shared very insightful post, this will surely make all parents to think on it.

  7. Completely agree with you Prerna, I liked the line that we need to make daughter’s independent and teach sons domestic work, Goa a balanced future.
    My son does most of his chores, now we are moving towards helping in kitchen and babysitting younger one without gadgets.

  8. What a great thought! Our parent’s generation thought only daughters need to learn all these things. In today’s generation, everyone is equal and you never know when life throws under the bus. It is always good to be prepared.

  9. I loved the heading first of all ‘sonrise’ Yes it’s so important to take such tiny steps that can lead to help achieve the broader concept of gender equality . Great post.

  10. Thats a great way of how you are raising your son and making him sensitive about all the things around him that it is not a woman or a man job. Nice.
    #ContemplationOfaJoker #Jokerophilia #MyFriendAlexa

  11. I am glad atleast you took that feedback into consideration. I have seen people ignoring it and gender biases starts there.
    It’s amazing how you took things in control and even involving your kid to cooking. Amazing.

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