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Making the family chore chart? You're not alone if the kids get the chores you'd rather skip.

By Zara Hanawalt
March 24, 2021
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An image of a boy doing dishes.
Credit: Getty Images.

The harsh reality of life is this: No matter how much we hate 'em, chores are sort of an inevitability. That doesn't mean we have to like doing them, though. Like, scrubbing toilets? Who really enjoys that?

Unfortunately, those of us who can't hire help to tackle every chore pretty much have to take them on ourselves. That is, unless we do what one in three parents are doing, according to a recent survey. Yup, we're talking about assigning our most dreaded chores to our children.

The survey, which was conducted by Cinch Home Services, reveals some dirty (no pun intended) truths about how people really feel about chores, including the ones we consider our least favorite (aforementioned toilet-scrubbing tops the list, followed by removing hair from drains, cleaning the bathroom and unclogging the kitchen sink), to who is actually doing the chores.

Not surprisingly, over 40 percent of the women surveyed felt they were doing the majority of the chores in their homes. And when asked if they had ever done a chore "badly" to avoid having to do it again, only 22.3 percent of women admitted to this behavior—while over 30 percent of men said yes. Again, no one is surprised. The good news? If the survey's findings are any indication, the gap between men and women is narrowing when it comes to the amount of household work they take on, so yay for some progress!

But let's get down to the real takeaway here. Nearly one-third of the survey's responders reported that they have their children do the chores they'd really like to avoid, which is...genius. And also totally fair. No, we're not talking about asking your two-year-old to put away laundry (that sounds like a hot damn mess, right?) or requesting that your second-grader prepare full gourmet meals. The chores should be age-appropriate and the kids should have some guidance (and obviously, we need to give children time to be, well, children). But there's also a very real case to be made for the route one-third of parents surveyed take.

Think about it: Your load of household responsibilities increases exponentially when you have kids. Isn't it only fair that said kids take some of those chores off your hands? There's plenty of information out there that supports the idea that chores are beneficial for kids, so really you're looking out for them in the long run if you ask them to do the dishes. And if that chore you assign to them happens to be your personal least favorite? That sounds kind of like a win/win to us.

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