Schools debate: Chores and housework

Key Points

  • Email with all your opinions and comments!
  • What do your pupils do to help out at home? It is enough? Why? Why not?
  • What happens if you forget to help out? What would you do if your parents/carers went on strike?

Join the discussion


    Right - that's it for today! We're bringing a close to what has been an excellent schools debate about housework and chores.

    We've learnt that not everyone agrees whether some jobs are girl's jobs or boy's jobs - and that if parents went on strike, most of you would give in and do more housework!

    Thanks to everyone who took part today, and join us next week on Thursday 6 December if you can for what promises to be an interesting schools debate about poverty and wealth.


    Timothy is in the fourth grade at Open Schoolgemeenschap Bijlmer, a secondary school in Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

    He says: "My opinion about household chores for a child is that the child should do more things, because it will be easy for the parents, and they won't have stress anymore."

    Fellow fourth grader Alvaro thinks that "Schoolwork should stay in school, because there are a lot of situations where some children could have a hard time making all their homework AND doing all their chores".

    And classmate Kirandeep, 15, adds: "My opinion about the house hold is that everyone has to do the household chores - everyone in the house has to clean it."

    Thanks to the OBS students who took part today!


    Serginho from Open Schoolgemeenschap Bijlmer in Amsterdam, Netherlands, has this to add:

    "My opinion about chores is that its just good to do, because its makes your home or room clean.

    "If you don't clean your room or home it could make you ill and there could also be things like bugs. I myself always clean my room because of the consequences and it looks far better than when I don't do it.

    "I don't have much to do about the house. Only sometimes I have to help with a few things like helping with groceries, making food or drying cups or clothes but for the rest I only have to clean my room."


    We asked Felsted Prep School in Dunmow, Essex, what they would do if their parents went on strike and they had this to say:

    "We wouldn't be very pleased if our parents went on strike! This would be acting irresponsibly and not setting a good example.

    !We would like to think that our parents would talk to us before acting in such an extreme way."

    What do you think you would do in a similar situation?


    Mariah in Year 8 at Upton-by-Chester High School in Cheshire, UK, has written in to tell us that "I don't mind doing my chores because I know when they are and I can plan my evening round them and I know they help my mum".

    Dom says that he does chores at the weekends but midweek is a different matter: "When I get in from school, I cannot be bothered to do anything. The most thing I can be bothered to do that helps out a tiny bit is laying the table."


    Akhil at The Sagar Secondary School in Rajasthan, India, has been watching our 'mum on strike' film (right), and has this to say:

    "If my parents went on strike I would not be able to live more than 10-20 days! My home will become a mess. So always help out at home!"

    Classmate Mandy adds: "If (my mother) were to go on a strike, I would probably give in very fast because I have inherited my mother's genes for neatness and I cannot stand to see a dirty house!"

    And Vedant agrees: "If my parents went on strike, then I would have to do that work myself because it can't just be left! If I can't then I would have to call up some friends for help."


    Kamla Nehru Public School in Phagwara, India, have more thoughts on the debate topic!

    Disksha and George write: "We should work at home and be a helping hand for our parents. Mother is not our worker, she is our mother. By helping her at home she will feed good and happy in this way we can reduce the burden also.

    Tanya thinks: "At least we should do our work daily, keeping our things in the proper place will help our mother's to lower her burden."

    Nandita says: "Mother or parents always think that we should do our school work first but it would be nice if we could do some home work after finishing our school work."


    Pupils at Colegio Newland in Queretaro, Mexico, have waded into the debate about whether certain jobs are boy's or girl's jobs.

    "We think that all household chores are everyone's responsibility, with no gender difference. That thought is an issue that we discuss a lot in our 'Philosophy for Children' class.

    "We know that's not true across the country. For example, SofĂ­a was in a home of a friend who was asked to serve food to his brother.

    "Pablo says he knows that in the houses of some friends, making food is a matter for girls, but we want to change that, because is not fair that girls have to do all the work or the work boys do not want to do."


    Will, Livvi and Lizzie at Upton-by-Chester High School in Cheshire, UK, tell us that: "We all love to help round the house by keeping our rooms clean, hovering, washing up, washing clothes, making meals, walking the dog or caring for our pets and changing bedding!

    "This however is not a daily task we try to help as much as we can but we feel that it's mostly a parent's job to tidy as children have many activities and need time to relax and do homework!"

    Will, Livvi and Lizzie from Upton-by-Chester! Will, Livvi and Lizzie from Upton-by-Chester!

    Louis and Florence from Goodrich Primary School in London, UK, also have an opinion on our 'gender responsibilities' question (see 1241).

    Florence thinks that "In most families it's the woman in the house that washes the dishes and things but that's not fair. I think that this comes from the olden days where the women stayed at home and looked after the children while the men went out to work."

    But Louis has a different view: "I think that women do the same amount of work as men but women make a big deal about it."

    Controversial views there!


    Swati from Chiranjiv Bharati School in Haryana, India thinks that:

    "Doing housework is just a part of life that most of us don't enjoy, but we realise it has to be done. Some people hire home cleaning services; the rest of us just do it ourselves.

    "Many of us have common household chores. Some more than others; we have some we absolutely hate, and some we don't mind. I hate doing household work like sometimes dusting and ironing my school shirt."

    Thanks Swati! What do you think?


    Just a reminder that there are 15 minutes to go in today's debate, so if you've got something to say, say it now!

    If you are just joining us and want to contribute to the conversation, email your comments and opinions to now.


    Tanya from Vijaya International School in Agra, India, tells us that "I am a workaholic. I do a lot of work at home to keep everything neat and clean.

    "My mother and father praise me in this aspect. If my parents were on strike I would work more at home and try to convince them (not to).

    Classmate Sharma adds: "I am too young to do the kitchen work but whenever my mother has lot of work and she needs my help or whenever she is sick I co-operate by doing simple work like dish wash-up, cutting the vegetables, making tea and by helping in serving the food."


    Erin, Martin, Anjola, Chloe and Clare from Wymondham College Debating Club in Norfolk, UK, have been talking about what parents should do if they get ignored:

    "Parents should talk to them and say that you are going to go on strike for however long needed as one of the parent's jobs is to teach the children to act responsibly."

    Another issue they have come across is: "how much parents trust their children, for example, to do the ironing".


    Pupils from Goodrich Primary School in London, UK, have been considering our question to schools, posed at 1206: Do you think certain jobs around the home are seen as a 'man's job' or 'woman's job'?

    Grace says: "I think that women do most of the household jobs like washing up, taking the rubbish out and tidying."

    But Gala thinks that "There is no such thing as a man's job because it doesn't matter about your gender. You should be doing everything".

    Contrasting views there - what do you think?


    We've received a really nice email from Jariti, who is in Class 10 at Chiranjiv Bharati School in Gurgaon, India.

    "Cleanliness is nothing that one has to be taught, it is something that one acquires from inside.

    "My mother is a back patient. She has been told by the doctor to rest. Whenever our maid doesn't comes to work, it becomes a bit of mess but me and my sister try our best to take up her responsibility, dusting, cleaning the dishes and cooking. I also sometimes help my father in cleaning our car.

    "Helping always gives me an internal happiness which is far beyond any explanation."

    Thanks very much to Jariti for sending in those thoughts.


    Jessica, Katie and Rachel from Upton-by-Chester High School in Cheshire, UK, believe that "We should be responsible for our own mess".

    "If we do little to help and expect all the boring things to be done for us, this makes parents think that they are the hired help.

    Jessica, Katie and Rachel in 'debate mode!' Jessica, Katie and Rachel in 'debate mode!'

    "This must change for the future of the child as they will one day become the adults themselves."

    Great points there!


    Kingsley from Open Schoolgemeenschap Bijlmer in Amsterdam, Netherlands, writes:

    "My opinion about chores is that they must be done by everyone in the family. Everyone has to do a piece of work not only the parents. Children are lazy so sometimes you have to yell or force them to do it or else they won't listen to you.

    "Sometimes you have to say that you're going to reward them if they do their chores, because if you say so they will do their chores without being mad or sad. Some parents have a difficult time because they do all the chores on their own without being thanked for it or rewarded."


    A warm welcome to Colegio Newland who join us online from Querataro, Mexico!

    They say: "We have to help at home. In our families everybody is responsible for the chores.

    "For example, Pablo has to take care of the dogs, Sergio helps with the dishes and set the table, and each of us have to make our bed and put our clothes in place."

    They have a question for other schools: "What is the difference between helping/co-operating and being responsible for household chores?"


    Khaitan Public School in Sahibabad, India write:

    "If we forgot to help out then it's no big deal in the house but if our mum went on strike the entire house would be disrupted.

    "In India we have different scenarios for different strata of society, in the lower income group children have to be active contributors in their households. However the middle and upper income families are more liberal with their children and it is not mandatory for them to help."

    Tarun adds that he "helps his father in doing outside chores like the bank work, insurance work etc".

    But Harshita writes: "that household chores are boring and she has no interest in helping out".

    Upton-by-Chester High School pupils are following the debate on their big screen! Great stuff! Upton-by-Chester High School pupils are following the debate on their big screen! Great stuff!

    More thoughts of the consequences of parents going on strike, this time from Goodrich Primary School in London, UK!

    Amy says: "If no-one tidies up the kitchen will be piled up with dishes and plates and I think everyone should do their chores, not just mums or dads."

    Alice thinks that "If my mum went on strike I would help her tidy up. I help my mum by helping her tidy and wash up dishes. Also when I finish eating tea I take my plate away and clean it."

    Taylor adds that "You need to take your mum or dad seriously and respect their hard work and do loads of chores."


    Elizabeth is in Year 8 at Upton-by-Chester High School in Cheshire, UK, and tells us:

    "I tidy my bedroom regularly, and after dinner I tidy the kitchen and put the dish washer on. I don't really have any chores I just do the odd job that my mum tells me to do.

    "I think I do enough house work although I think my mum would say the opposite, I don't like filling the dishwasher because the stuff is dirty, I wish my mum would let me cook dinner a couple of times a week instead."


    Georgia from St Mary's CEP Primary School in Folkestone, UK, says: "I feed my dogs, dust, mop and hoover every day after the dog who leaves long hairs everywhere! I also have responsibilities for the shared areas in the house and the washing up.

    "Helping out around the house makes me feel more grown up and responsible"

    Emily adds: "The most important job I have is looking after the dog. I sometimes help with the hoovering. I think we should help out because it helps mum out, it also shows that we are responsible and care and then we will be trusted with other things by our parents.

    "If my parents went on strike I would try and tidy up but wouldn't worry about dinner, I would find something in the freezer to put in the microwave."


    Sophie, Shumina, and Eve from Upton-by-Chester High School in Cheshire, England have also been discussing today's topic

    Sophie says: " I try my best to help out as much as I can, but sometimes I really cannot be bothered to do what I am asked to." A very honest appraisal there!

    Eve adds: "I agree with parents' views and understand that it is not fair to expect them to have to tidy up after me and my siblings".

    But Shumina feels that "I have plenty of chores to do and the people that don't have to go to school all day, should do it! I feel sorry for my mum that has to pick up after me, but that's life."


    Meanwhile, Sagar Secondary School pupils have been discussing what their reaction would be if their parents went on strike (like the one in our film, right):

    Helga tells us that "if my parents or my caretakers go on strike them I would start to clear up my own things and even help them".

    Sucharita says she would try to convince her parents that from now on the household work will be shared.

    Purvi would ask for her mother to call off her strike and tell her that she will hang my clothes and work for her and even make some light meals!

    And Mi Ji added that: "I would have to take care of her too but I think it would be a good thing because it will give me a chance to experience how much I can do as a parent."

    Interesting - seems like going on strike would be a successful strategy for parents of Sagar pupils!


    Anya, Imogen and Jenny from Upton-by-Chester High School in Chester, UK, write:

    "We agree with many of the responses. Children should be raised to help look after their home and tidy up their mess, we will have to do it when we move out so why not start now?

    "We feel that we don't do enough at home so we shall start to do more cleaning because we have realised how much our parents do for us and our siblings.

    "If our parents went on strike our houses would be an absolute bomb site, we know we definitely wouldn't be able to live like that, so that is why we are going to help our parents more and look after our houses."


    Goodrich Primary School in London, UK, have got in touch to share their thoughts on the debate!

    Florence writes: "I think that what we do at home to help is not enough because if our parents went on strike we would not know how to tidy or clean. I don't do enough. It's unfair that my parents have to do everything for me because they have their own stuff to do as well."

    Louis writes: "I think that it is right for your mum to go on strike. I think us children need to do more to help grown-ups tidy up. I tidy my room."

    And Dontay writes: "I hoover and tidy my room. If my nan went on strike it would be a dump!"


    LATEST UPDATE: If you're just joining us, schools around the world are discussing chores and housework, and pupils have been sending some great comments in so far!

    Household cleaning... Do men or women have jobs they are 'suited' to? Household cleaning... Do men or women have jobs they are 'suited' to?

    We've been struck by how some of you see certain household jobs as the responsibility of either boys or girls - and the topic has sparked some lively debate in the World Class office!

    Do you think certain jobs around the home are seen as a 'man's job' or 'woman's job'?


    Himanshi from Vijaya International School in Agra, India, writes:

    "We all help our parents in different ways. Girls mostly help in household things. In my holidays I always try to help my mother in different ways like vegetable cutting, tea making etc.

    "My mother is a government servant, when she comes home late in the evening I give her a body massage and I give her a cup of coffee. That's what I do for my mother.



    World Class have a question for schools online: are all jobs at home 'chores'? Does helping around the home always have to be a bad or boring thing?


    It's time for some more digital art from 'Computer Club' members at St Mary's Primary School in Folkestone, UK.

    This colourful effort was sent in by pupil Emily:

    'Feeding the pets' is one of Emily's chores at home 'Feeding the pets' is one of Emily's chores at home

    Rachael from St Mary's CEP Primary School in Folkestone, UK, writes:

    "My sister and I live with our aunty and uncle. My sister and I do the washing and drying up each day, we also do the hoovering and many other jobs. I think it is my responsibility to keep my own areas of the house tidy.

    "It's good to help so we will know what to do when we are older, we'll be able to look after ourselves and become independent."

    Thanks very much Rachael! What do you think? Do you think chores will help you in the future too?


    Felsted Prep School in Essex, UK, are back in touch and they write:

    "At the end of a long day at school sometimes you need to have a bit of a break. We often have prep to complete or sports activities and by the time we get home we just want to relax.

    "At the weekends we do help out. We do our laundry, clean dishes, help to cook dinner and tidy our rooms. However we only feel we need to be responsible for our own mess - not that of our siblings! If our parents stopped tidying up we would start doing more.

    "Perhaps we are being a bit lazy - but we are children!"


    A big World Class welcome to Kamla Nehru Public School, Phagwara, India

    Muskan writes: "In these days children have to do lot of work in the school work. But the children can arrange their own things at the proper place. This simple work can help the mother to reduce the burden. By doing household chores, children become independent and feel responsible about home."

    George writes: "The home work is teamwork, not a single person's work. We should not forget that our parents gave us life and they work for us. We must help them in day-to-day work."


    Let's hear more from pupils at Open Schoolgemeenschap Bijlmer in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

    Quincy says: "I just try to keep my own room as clean as possible and frequently wash the dishes, I also throw out the garbage and practically do the groceries for everyone in my family.

    "I don't think too much of throwing out garbage or doing groceries considering those are things that don't take a large amount of time to do."

    And Rufito makes an interesting point: "The time will come that the kids will live on their own and then they (will) have enough time to do housework and chores and also they will have enough time to develop."

    Is Rufito right? Or do young people need to learn how to do the housework before they leave home? What do you think?


    Wymondham College Debating Club in Norfolk, UK has been talking about whether parents should expect help around the house. The students write:

    "Children need to be disciplined and learn that they have to help. They also need to learn how to look after the house for when they grow up in the future.

    "Some parents, however, use bribery as a way of getting their children to help out around the house."


    Let's hear from Khaitan Public School in Sahibabad, India...

    Aanchal writes: "I help in the household chores like making grocery purchases on behalf of my mum, doing the tidying up of my room, dusting and arranging the crockery after it is washed.

    "Sometimes I even do the cooking when my mother is unwell or busy out of town."

    And Harsh writes: "I'm only 11 years old. I do not feel the need to help in the household as there is always my mum and wonderful sister."

    What do you think? Do you help out around the house like Aanchal or do you not feel the need like Harsh? Let us know by emailing


    Computer Club members at St Mary's CEP School in Folkestone, UK, have been sending in some digital art detailing their household responsibilities!

    Beth's household responsibilities include mopping and laying the table for dinner Beth's household responsibilities include mopping and laying the table for dinner

    Great work guys! We'll be seeing more of those later on.


    Pupils from Vijaya International School in Agra, India have sent in some of their thoughts on housework.

    "Devashish has to help more in housework but his mother says that she will work at home and asks him to concentrate in studies," they say.

    "If he forgets to do his day-to-day chores at home, his father and mother remind him to do the work.

    "If they went on strike he would try to help them out in the household chores until they come back to work!"

    More from the Vijaya pupils later!


    Kian from St Mary's CEP School in Folkestone, UK, has been watching our 'mum on strike' film (right).

    He thinks that it is good to help keep the house clean but isn't sure how much he'd do if he had to and if his parents went on strike!

    "I might just go round to my grandma's," he admits!

    Hmm... We're not sure that would go down well with his parents! What do the rest of you think?


    Felsted Prep School, Essex, UK, has got in touch to share their thoughts on the debate.

    Lillian, Freddie and Holly write: "We think that it's a good thing that children learn about responsibility, so that they are independent when they have grown up. Chores around the house are a responsibility for the whole family, though."

    Freddie writes: "I think that children should tidy their own rooms and their own mess."

    Do you agree with what Felsted are saying? If not, why not?


    Hello to St Mary's CEP School in Folkestone, UK, who have been discussing our debate points (above).

    They tell us: "Kian, Emily, Georgia, and Rachael had an interesting discussion between them as to whether jobs like 'doing your homework', 'reading', 'getting ready for school' and 'tidying your bedroom' were really jobs at all in the home, as all of those were for each of them as individuals.

    "We wondered what other schools think about these jobs?

    "They thought everyone should have to do something to help out in the family unit, but admitted they didn't always do things themselves."


    Faizaan from Open Schoolgemeenschap Bijlmer in Amsterdam, Netherlands, tells us: "Clean up your own mess and it's alright. It's not good for someone to do everything alone.

    "Children have to do their own chores. Clean up your plate after eating, help sometime with the vacuum cleaner and help your mom or dad with cleaning.

    "At home I do enough. I clean up my room, I do my own dishes, I clean my own clothes, I vacuum sometimes and I help my mother sometimes."

    Thanks for those comments Faizaan!


    A warm World Class welcome to The Sagar School in Rajasthan, India!

    Helga writes: "I help my mom to clear the table after meals. I sometimes sweep the floors or dust the shelves. I also feed the cat regularly.

    "When my parents go to work, I clean the living room or the bedroom to surprise them. My father and I enjoy cleaning up the house."

    Konark writes: "I help my mother in dusting, serving food or adjusting or connecting any electronic devices & also do not disturb her while she takes an afternoon nap."


    Greetings from World Class and welcome to today's live schools debate!

    Pupils around the world are about to discuss the importance of chores and housework. If you're just joining us, it's easy to get involved - just take a look at our debate points (above) and share your opinions by emailing

    You can also take a look at our film (right) about a mum whose house got so filthy, she went on strike from housework!


    There are 30 minutes to go until today's live schools debate!

    Today's young people from around the world will be talking about chores and housework - and it's easy to join in.

    All you need is an internet connection and some pupils - see below for more details.


    DEBATE TIME: Thursday 29 November, 1100-1300 GMT

    Join pupils around the world on 29 November to talk about chores and housework.

    How it works

    In class, watch the film on the right and discuss the debate points above to get your pupils thinking about their attitude to chores and housework.

    Can they put themselves in the shoes of whoever maintains their household? Do they think they help out enough around the house?

    Talk about the issues in class and gather some opinions, examples and comments to share with pupils around the world.

    Come back to this page at any time between 1100-1300 GMT on Thursday 29 November to share and discuss your ideas by emailing them to

    We'll publish pupils' opinions right here, allowing schools to respond and converse in real time.

    Some helpful tips are available in our teacher's guide to live debates. We aim to include as many contributions as possible.


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