The answer to “Who does the housework?” in Spain used to be obvious – the housewife. And the mother taught the daughters to cook and clean and sew, while the sons played with their toy cars. That was two generations ago, and there are women of 30 who still complain that as children, they were made to make their brothers’ beds before they went to school. Of course, things have changed a lot, particularly now that women usually go out to work as well as running their homes – although there are figures that show that on average, women spend 4.55 hours a day on domestic duties, and men just 1.37.
Given the trend towards greater equality, you might think that boys are now learning to do household tasks, or at least some of them, on a rough scale of 5.55:1.37, but apparently, equality has taken a different form among children. Nowadays, according to child psychologists and others writing on the website http://www.solohijos.com, parents think that the time they spend with their children should all be time spent having fun, playing and going out, and children are growing up thinking that they have no domestic obligations or responsibilities at all.
So neither boys nor girls are being taught to lay the table or pick up their toys, and in later life, says neuropsychologist María Luis Ferreros, “they” (the children) “feel confused because they have been living outside reality”.
|Who does the housework?|
|Independencia y responsabilidad||Independence and responsibility|
|Hay que tener tiempo y paciencia||You need to have time and patience|
|Autonomía y actitud positiva||Autonomy and a positive attitude|
|Con dos años los niños pueden recoger sus juguetes||At two years old children can tidy up their toys|
|Con cuatro o cinco pueden dar de comer a la mascota||At four or five they can feed the pet|
|Con seis o siete años pueden limpiarse los zapatos||At six or seven they can clean their shoes|
|Hacer un bocadillo, ayudar a hacer la lista de la compra y dejar su ropa en la cesta de la ropa sucia||Make a sandwich, help make the shopping list, and leave their clothes in the (dirty) clothes basket|
|Los niños mayores pueden hacer la cama, pasar la aspiradora, barrer y fregar el suelo||Older children can make the bed, vacuum, sweep and mop the floor|
|Guardar la ropa limpia en el armario||Put clean clothes away in the cupboard|
|Sacar la basura y lavar el coche||Take the rubbish out and clean the car|
|Atar los cordones de los zapatos||Tie shoe-laces|
|Hacer los deberes sin que se lo recuerden||Do their homework without being reminded|
|Mantener la habitación ordenada, tender la ropa||Keep their room tidy, hang out the washing|
|Todo esto es muy divertido||All this is great fun|