2 thoughts on “Kids and Chores

  1. The article asks, “What about middle-class, American kids?” Did the authors mean “What about [WHITE] [unnamed ethnic group] middle-class, American kids? I wonder about the implicit race and ethnicity of the middle-class American kids referred to in this article and when race and ethnicity are explicitly identified when referring to Americans. I was baffled at this article because I didn’t have to travel to Mexico to see and hear about children – not only those identified as female – who help around the house. In my own and those of many households of African American ancestry as well of other African ancestry (e.g., Jamaican, Caribbean American, African) households, children under the age of nine are in the kitchen helping to cook, vacuuming, sorting and loading the washing machine (my daughter learned the French name for clothing while sorting the clothes by colour). These children are not “parentified” but learned that on particular days, certain chores are performed and everybody helps. In my own household, my daughter is next to me as I cook and she is asking questions about how I know when to turn the fish over in the saute pan and excitedly stirs the sauce by just swirling the saucepan over the fire. The joy on her face (and her concentration) coupled with the knowledge that she can master that skill is a delight to see. Among families of African ancestry, biracial/multiracial communities, as well as among families of Irish, Utkrainian, Italian, Mexican, Indian and a range of other ethnic identities, I have witnessed children doing chores and enjoying it There is rich information and research opportunities on this side of the American border among distinct racial and ethnic American middle class families who are raising children in the tradition of their families.

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