Mother shares sweet Thanksgiving advice to parents who are raising sons

A mother has gone viral on Twitter after offering sweet advice to parents who are raising sons.

As families begin preparing for Thanksgiving, Emily Taylor, a mother of three from Louisiana, took to social media on Sunday to encourage parents to include their children in the cooking and cleaning that comes with making a Thanksgiving dinner.

“As we approach Thanksgiving, I beg of you please involve your boys in the preparations as much as you involve your girls,” she wrote. “Let them measure and mix and bake and create alongside their sisters. Have them set the table and pour drinks. Make them help clean up too.”

In a follow up tweet, she claimed that having young boys help out in the kitchen can lessen the societal stigma surrounding women and their responsibilities at home.

“Don’t let another generation of boys grow up to be men who think the kitchen is the domain of women until it’s time to cut the turkey. Happy Thanksgiving!” Taylor wrote.

As of 23 November, the tweet has more than 64,400 likes, with parents describing how they’ve taught their sons to cook and help around the house.

“I only have boys. They get involved in baking weekly, they help clean up after dinner everyday and I encourage them to make their own beds everyday. They’re eight, seven and five (twins),” one parent wrote in response.

“I raised four sons, and had something called learning years. At 14 they did everyone’s laundry, at 15 they were responsible for cleaning the bathroom and kitchen. At 16 they were responsible to pay bills (balance budget) with the family bank account, at 17 they cooked all meals,” another person added.

Others said the advice was also beneficial because the qualities would be appreciated as the boys grew up.

“And make sure to explain (as appropriate) that women find helpful men more attractive than the alternative,” one person wrote. “My mother never told me that, but by 14 I’d already figured it out and learned to roast a chicken, make sauces and bake pies. Great motivation.”

Speaking with Today about the advice, Taylor revealed that she was motivated to share the suggestion after she heard another parent make an unpleasant remark about men’s responsibilities during Thanksgiving.

“A comment was made (arguing) that boys can’t stay in the kitchen all day like girls can when helping with Thanksgiving stuff,” the single mother said. “This person has two adult sons. I was a little flabbergasted. Like: ‘Yes they can, if you teach them to.’”

She also explained why it’s “important” to her that her own sons learn different domestic skills “early on”.

“I’ve seen a lot of grown men who have that mindset - that they don’t need to help with anything or the only thing they need to help with is the grilling or the smoking,” she said. “As a single mom, it’s important for me to teach all of my kids to be self-sufficient, to participate in family life and to contribute to everything that’s going on in our home.”

Although she acknowledged that her tweet resonated with many people, she also revealed there were some jarring reactions to her post, including from male Twitter users, who claimed their job during Thanksgiving was to “sit on the couch and watch football”.

“That was around 40 per cent of the comments, though I don’t think that’s the attitude of 40 per cent of men in the world,” Taylor added. “But yeah, it was surprising to see that many comments like that. I got one particular message that was pretty hateful.”

Research has shown that women are more likely to cook on Thanksgiving than men. According to a 2021 survey conducted by YouGov, nearly 50 per cent of women said that they do all the Thanksgiving cooking while 24 per cent of men said the same.

The Independent has contacted Taylor for comment