12-Year-Old Refuses to Do ‘Girl Chores’ Around the House – His Mom’s Response Goes Viral

Inspiring Stories

*Featured image contains photos by Gustavo Fring

In today’s society, it’s becoming increasingly normal for families to split household chores more equally. Sure, there’s always work to do, but households are a lot different than they used to be. Split families and households where both parents work to earn an income mean that chores can’t always fall on one person.

How the chores are split also shouldn’t be based on gender, as one mom reminded the world recently when her son decided they should be.

A Routine That Works

A 41-year-old single mom with three boys (12-year-old twins and a 10-year-old) depends on their help to keep the house tidy every week. In exchange for their chores, she pays them $10 a day. They have five days to complete their chores, and which days they complete the chores are up to them.

If they fail to complete their chores for a day, however, they lose $10. At the end of the week, the mom pays out the balance of those efforts.

“This system has worked swimmingly for us since it started, the boys have always complied with completing their chores,” the mom wrote on Reddit.

Outside Influence

One day, one of the mom’s 12-year-olds was getting ready to play a video game with his friend. He told his friend he would be ready to play in 15 minutes, but first, he had to dust and sweep the stairs.

When he was done, the boys began playing their game, and the friend commented, “It’s a good thing my parents don’t make me do girl chores.”

Later, when the mom learned about the incident, she explained to her son that there are no such things as boy chores and girl chores. Chores are chores, and the family was a team that needed to work together for the household to function.

“I also told him that I understood that other families functioned differently; however, in our family, everyone did an equal share,” she added.

Putting Consequences Into Action

Despite the talk, the boy refused to do his chores for the next three days. So, as per the agreement, the mother deducted $10 per day from his allowance. He received $20 for the two days he did his chores, while his brothers both got their $50.

According to the Reddit post, the son was upset, and he called his father about it. Instead of supporting the mom, the dad called her and told her she was in the wrong.

“I explained to him that our other sons actually did their chores for all five days, so they were rewarded accordingly,” she continued. “And assured him that if he had decided to start giving the boys an allowance then he can run allowance however he wanted, but this was ultimately the system I had come up with. My ex-husband told me that I am being insensitive and humiliating our son.”

A Viral Response

Many in the comments of the post agreed with the mom and added that maybe it was a good thing she was no longer with the father if he couldn’t support her. Others applauded her parenting style and reiterated that helping around the house was help, and there should never be a gender assigned to that.

Sure, some people called the mom out for what they felt was a hefty allowance — $50 per child per week is $150 a week, or $600 per month. But at the end of the day, the message resonated with many, especially moms at home who are struggling with full-time work and the stress of running a household.

Setting an Example for Kids

This story powerfully reminds us that it’s up to us to break gender norm stereotypes and reframe the conversation for the next generation.

Many of us grew up watching moms cook, and dads tend to the lawn, for example. But it takes everyone in the house to keep the house running, and gender should be the last thing those chores are based on.

In many households, dads love to cook, and moms love to mow the lawn, for example. And let’s not forget there are households with same-sex couples. At the end of the day, chores and household tasks should be divided by other factors, such as enjoyment, ability, time, and competence.

By modeling those behaviors for kids, they will learn, and shared chores will become normalized. And if you’re a parent trying to get your kid to help out around the house, remember that no chores should be decided based on whether you have boys or girls.  

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