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Family

Single mom's advice for anyone with sons on Thanksgiving is a must read

She was shocked by the amount of reactions—both good and bad—that her viral tweet ignited.

thanksgiving dinner ideas, thanksgiving, family, parenting
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One single mom went viral for encouraging parents to let boys help with the holiday cooking

Last year, single mom Emily Taylor made some sound Thanksgiving advice that is still great food for thought.

As Taylor shared with Today.com, she had been talking with another parent, one who had two adult sons, when they argued that “boys can't stay in the kitchen all day like girls can when helping with Thanksgiving stuff.”

Taylor was, as she put it, “flabbergasted,” and continued to ponder that comment until she was compelled to share her own thoughts on the subject.


In a post shared to X, formerly known as Twitter, Taylor urged families to rethink how they view gender roles for the upcoming holiday.

"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."

To sum things up, Taylor added, "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grow up to be men who think the kitchen is the domain of women until it's time to cut the turkey,” adding that these outdated gender norms rob young boys the chance to learn valuable life skills.

"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,” she said.

While some parents were vehemently against Taylor’s stance, many other parents agreed, even adding that inviting young boys in to do some of the Thanksgiving cooking could help them discover a new hobby they would otherwise miss out on.

One mom wrote, “my 5-year-old loves baking. We ended up creating our own business.”

Another added, “some boys grow up to be great cooks. I want them to write books about their journey that brought them into the kitchen. We need more of whatever that is.”

Several men who did grow up learning to cook chimed in as well. One said, I grew up in an Italian family so I was put in the kitchen at an early age. Cooking is a love language. It’s therapeutic. Let me cook anytime and I’m in my happy place.”

Another comments, “my mom did that with me growing up and now I make Thanksgiving dinner for my family. I love it.”

One person even made a point that other domestic skills should really not be assigned to one particular gender, saying, “and if there’s a tire or oil to be changed, have your girls go out to help. My hubby takes our twin daughters out to the garage. It’s awesome.”

Taylor agreed, replying, “none of my kids are allowed to get their license until they can demonstrate they can change a tire.”

Taylor ultimately hopes that her viral tweet inspired parents to think about what messages they’re sending kids with certain holiday traditions.

“We can help dispel myths that are prescribed to certain genders," she says. "And who knows? Maybe more boys will learn to love cooking and more girls will love watching football when we're doing all of those things together."

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