Girls asked to do more chores than boys

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

At the end of 2009, Highlights for Children announced the results of its State of the Kid report, which surveyed kids nationwide about an array of topics related to growing up in 2009.

When asked if they have chores to do in their homes, a majority of kids say that they do (71.9 percent). However, significantly more girls (74.7 percent) reported having chores to do than boys (65.3 percent).

"We were surprised by this gender difference in responses," said Highlights magazine's editor in chief Christine French Clark. "But Highlights receives and responds to more than 60,000 letters and e-mails from kids every year, and one of the things we know they often worry about is sibling conflict and fairness." Chore results were the largest gender difference of any of the questions on the 10-question national survey. Conversely, boys (37.3 percent) were slightly more likely to think that being a kid today is harder than it was for their parents than girls (32.7 percent).

Other key findings:

  • Schoolwork is a major concern for children. Kids named schoolwork and tests as their biggest problem (23.4 percent). If they had 5 minutes to talk to President Obama, the third most popular topic kids chose to talk about was lessening or changing their burdens at school (7.2 percent).
  • When asked whom they admire and respect outside of their family, kids named their friends and their teachers to the top spots. Celebrities did not fair well in the results. Less than 5 percent of kids named pop culture figures like movie stars, musicians and athletes as their role models.
  • When asked what they'd like to say to President Obama, the most popular response was that he is good at his job (20.9 percent). Many kids had questions for him about the economy, gas prices and taxes (10 percent) and other kids had more personal topics to discuss with him. One respondent said, "I would ask him for water parks, and to invent robot maids."
  • Kids wish they had more time to have fun. If they were given an extra hour in their day, most kids (36.3 percent) say they would choose to play. Many kids specified that they would spend this time playing outside.
  • When asked what to do with an extra hour in the day, sleep was the third most popular response for respondents ages 9-12. Kids also identified lack of sleep as one of their biggest problems.
  • Three out of four kids said that they get to spend enough time with their family, but about 25 percent would like more time. Slightly more children ages 9-12 reported wanting more time with their parents than kids ages 5-8.
  • When asked if it is harder to be a kid today than it was for their parents, the majority of kids (67.3 percent) didn't think so.

The full Highlights State of the Kid report is available at

About Highlights for Children:

Devoted to "Fun with a Purpose," Highlights for Children, Inc. has helped children become their best selves for generations. Its flagship publication, Highlights magazine, the most recognizable and widely-read children's magazine in the nation, printed its one-billionth copy in June 2006. Other Highlights offerings include the new magazine celebrating early childhood, Highlights High Five and Highlights for Children Book Clubs. Online, children can visit for interactive content related to each issue of the magazine, and parents can visit for informative articles and suggestions for additional family activities. Corporate offices are in Columbus, Ohio, and editorial offices are in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. Fun with a Purpose is a trademark of Highlights for Children, Inc.