Teenage girls and what they aren't doing

I was reading an article by the Australian Institute of Family Studies on how teenagers use their time, in particular on household chores and came across this line in the conclusion “Increasing gender equality among 15-19 year olds living with their parents was manifested in girls becoming more “domestically useless”, like their brothers, rather than in boys doing more. Daughters are becoming more like sons, rather than retaining an intermediate status as “useful house children”. 

The report indicates that teenage girls’ refusal to help with the housework is being driven by a feminist revolt.  They think: “Why should I bother to do the dishes when my brother doesn’t?”

To me this should raise major concerns — what happens when these teenagers grow up, leave home and start their own families — are we going to see filthy toilets, rubbish piling up and dirty kitchens in the Gen Z households.  Will they have enough skills to run a home, care for their children, provide healthy meals, buy the groceries etc... And considering that almost all these girls will join the workforce and will need to learn to juggle work and domestic life, it is certainly is a scary thought.
The question is — why don't parents “encourage” their children to undertake chores around the home once they hit the teenage years?  Is it just too hard, especailly when parents are too exhausted by the time they get home from work to discipline their children or are parents getting lazy themselves.  Or is it because no one has any time these days — mum and dad are at work for longer hours than ever before and there is no one to supervisor what goes on after school (when I use to do my chores) — or are teenagers so busy with jobs, sport, homework that they simply don't have the time?

As for boys - boys who a century before went off to fight wars - one in three teenage boys are doing absolutely no household chores and those who are doing chores are doing less than 10 minutes a day of housework.  I must have very tough on my sons as they certainly spent more than 10 minutes per day helping.
We are breeding a selfish, thoughtless generation — who only think of themselves.  If they thought of others they would be very happy to help around the home, considering they contribute to the dirty dishes, the washing that needs to be laundered, the dust on the floor etc.. 

When I was visiting my cousin Clara I was thrilled to see her 6 year old daughter helping around the home — helping her mum cook, washing the dishes and learning new skills.  It was a joy to watch. This little girl has "expressed great desire to serve the Lord by learning to be a keeper at home".  She has been enjoying studying and memorising Proverbs 31:10-31 with her mum, including learning to work towards becoming a godly young woman, reliable young woman, honest young woman, loyal young woman, attentive young woman, and a loving young woman (words "stolen" from Clara's family blog). 
Sadly when this little girl grows up there will be only a very few young women as skilled as she will be to run and manage a home.  Very few parents put in the energy or see the importance of training their daughters (and sons) to be able to run a household but it is very important as the home is what holds society together.


  1. I think the thing is - is to get them trained to help BEFORE they become teenagers. :o)

    My boys do quite a lot of "kitchen" work. And recently have even started cooking.

  2. Mrs Adept is right. Get them before they are teens. I had boys first so they were big enough to help before my girls were. All mine can do the basic stuff: cook, wash up, do a load of washing, sweep a floor [no~one wants to do the loo lol]. When my boys were out on their own they commented on how no~ones cooks from scratch any more. That's scary ~ given how nutritionally deficient t.v dinners & take~away is. This whole *career thing* is detrimental. No~one wants to be a servant ~ & yet the Kingdom consists of servants...

  3. I agree with you both - both my sons carried out chores from a young age (and loved to help in the kitchen). However I am not sure this is happening in many homes and if it is, it is likely that parents are not maintaining the pressure once they reach the teenage years (when there is rebellion). My eldest son has said the same Ganeida, about friends who do not know how to cook, let alone clean. In the shared house he lives in there wasn't even a vacuum cleaner - it was one of the first things he bought!

  4. I have taught all my children,(five boys and one girl) however, the married didn't marry a girl who knew how, but she has learned and now is doing a wonderful job.(after 5 years of marriage, and years of him doing most of the cooking) She is motivated and loves serving her husband in this way. I have been so proud of her.
    My daughter, although was trained, could care less...she does take care of her apartment and I am believing that motivation will set in with her and she will pull from her training.

    Sad to see this report...but it is pretty much the same here in the United States.

    But when you desire to learn you will learn.

  5. Great post. I totally agree about teaching them that there is joy in good hard work -- and that happens when they are young.

    I tell my kids that I respect them and expect a high level of work. And that's okay. In fact, that's good.



  6. I wonder about these young generations too... Seriously, what is it going to be like in just a couple decades when these kids grow up - what will they live like? Dan and I sometimes wonder if those who are trying to do the right thing - the homeschoolers, the fundamentalists, the parents who care about their children enough to teach them skills - might actually be raising the only skilled people of their generation... Technology, entertainment, making sure we succeed in the world (ie. care about only ourselves), making money and all the other goals of the common family/person only take a person so far... and then WHAT?
    I'm very glad God is in control and nothing is ever out of His control, because otherwise it would be simply scary.

  7. I couldn't agree more, Jo - the future of which you write is a scary one. Whether we like it or not, everyone needs to clean and cook in order to make life livable! Sure - I don't enjoy cleaning, but I do it!

  8. Hi Jo,

    Excellent post! I totally agree with you.

    God bless your day,

  9. I was just talking to dh today about this very thing and about how you have trained your sons:)
    I always am encouraged by people like you and others in blog land to focus on training my dd in these things as I sadly wasn't:(
    As you say it involves 'energy' on our part to do this and that's where I think it makes it difficult for busy parents. I also liked hearing from Mrs Adept and Ganeida on how we need to train them before they become teenagers!


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