Parents concerned that lockdown could give children warped perception of gender roles, survey reports

The poll found that seven in 10 women felt overwhelmed by the number of chores left to them

Steve Richmond
Wednesday 13 January 2021 20:16 GMT
Seeing one parent do most of the chores could see children of the same gender copy these behaviours
Seeing one parent do most of the chores could see children of the same gender copy these behaviours (Getty Images)

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Louise Thomas

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A survey has revealed concerns that lockdown could lead to children having a skewed perception of gender roles in the home. This comes as almost seven in 10 mums juggle more household chores than ever before.

A study of 2,000 adults found that despite 66 per cent of women trying to set a good example by sharing tasks with their family, more than a third feel they often do everything themselves.

Nearly seven in 10 even went as far as to say they feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the chores which fall to them.

However, while women tend to do the chores more often, men are doing their bit when it comes to washing dishes, hauling out the rubbish or vacuuming.

But as children spend more time at home than usual, more than half of parents polled worry that this will influence how the youngsters view gender roles and equality.

They fear that seeing one parent take on the lion’s share of the chores could see children of the same gender emulate these behaviours.

Psychologist Emma Kenny, speaking on behalf of home appliance brand Indesit, which commissioned the research, said: “We have a great deal of work to do in ensuring equality in the household.

“The gender bias we were working so hard to eradicate seems to have reared its ugly head once again so we must push back harder than ever to ensure that parents provide good neutrality where chores, ambition and general expectations are concerned.

“Children, potentially for the first time in their lives, have witnessed their parents trying to balance home life, work life and life admin.

“With both parents working this way, it is essential that children see their parents as equal, otherwise the subliminal messaging is that one parent, often a woman, is valued less than the other parent, something we absolutely wish to avoid.”

The survey also found more arguments have taken place during lockdown with parents admitting their children have seen or heard the disagreements over household chores.

Despite efforts to set a good example, 41 per cent of women said other adults in their home leave dirty clothes on the floor with some claiming their kids have then learned to do the same.

Another other mothers  also admitted that their children have witnessed them leaving dishes on the side, with several of the youngsters then following suit.

Leaving plates on the table and never taking out the bins were also among the most frustrating behaviours children have picked up from adults at home.

It also emerged around two thirds of parents wish their family would help more around the house, with many believing it’s important for children to help around the house to help teach vital life skills.

A further 58 per cent believe responsibility for chores builds a strong work ethic, with the average family paying each child £6.07 per week to carry out household tasks. This would make a total of £315.64 a year.

Other use more access to TVs, tablets or mobiles as a way to encourage youngsters to help around the house.

The research, carried out by Indesit via OnePoll, comes as the brand launches its #DoItTogether campaign, urging parents to set the right example to their children for a happier, healthier and equal home.

Ms Kenny added: “Whatever parents can do to lighten their own load and create a positive sentiment towards chores, so by planning and executing together, they can create real learning moments for their children and bonding experiences full of very important life lessons for children.”


1. Vacuuming

2. Feeding pets

3. Washing dishes

4. Dusting

5. Sweeping

6. Cooking

7. Watering plants

8. Taking out the rubbish

9. Laundry

10. Washing the car


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