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Need help with the housework? Here's how to get it!
By Sandra Beckwith

Most American couples still use Donna Reed and Harriet Nelson as their role models when it comes to divvying up household chores. To break free of those old habits, try these tips:

  • Communicate: Ask your partner for help, and be specific with your request. “Please load the dishwasher after dinner,” is better than, “Please clean up after dinner,” because everyone has a different definition of “clean up.”
  • Demonstrate: Don’t assume your partner knows how to do a task. Show, don’t tell.
  • Compliment: Find something nice to say about the help you’ve received. A woman who has changed the oil in the car for the first time wants her accomplishment to be acknowledged, just as a man who cleans the bathroom does.
  • Reward: Give a reason to clean. Suggest dinner and a movie together if there are no t-shirts to fold or sheets to change when Saturday night rolls around.
  • Lower your standards: Don’t worry about whether the task gets done your way or to your standards. What’s important is that it gets done without you doing it.

Sandra Beckwith speaks frequently on the lighter side of gender differences and is the author of WHY CAN’T A MAN BE MORE LIKE A WOMAN? Learn more at