Parents on TikTok are showing how they teaching their sons how to take care of themselves—physically and emotionally—so that they won’t burden their future partners.
TikTok creator Payal Desai started the trend, which is denoted by either the hashtag #TeachingOurSons or the use of Luniz and Michael Marshall’s 1995 hit “I Got Five On It.”
What is the #TeachingOurSons trend?
Desai, who has two sons, kicked off the trend on July 30 with a video of her teaching her kids “to appreciate retail therapy.”
“So your daughter doesn’t have to hear ‘Do you really need that?'” Desai wrote in her video’s overlay text. In her video’s caption, she wrote, “Ain’t no son of mine gonna be #dusty.”
Desai’s first video about teaching her sons had over 4 million TikTok views on Monday. That same day, Desai also posted a video of her teaching her son to wash dishes and clean up after himself “so your daughter doesn’t have to deal with a man who was catered to his whole life.”
@payalforstyle Aint no son of mine gonna be #dusty #dustyson #dustydaughter #nodust ♬ original sound – Bryan
Since July 30, Desai has posted 10 more videos about the lessons she #TeachingOurSons, including sharing large concepts like mindfulness and emotional intelligence and how to process their feelings—plus how to deal with their dirty clothes and put the toilet seat down.
In a TikTok posted on Friday, Desai said that women tend to have to accommodate men, and she doesn’t want to raise sons that ask that of the women around them.
“This is my way of being able to make a change,” Desai says in her video. “And it starts in my home. And yours too!”
In an interview with the Daily Dot, Desai also said that her sons enjoy making videos with her.
“My son, Carter, has been so excited to create videos on the lessons we talk about at home!” Desai told the Daily Dot. “Some of the content is funny… that may go over his head, but I still explain the reason/message behind it to him.”
What TikTok parents are teaching their kids
After receiving comments asking her to stop using heteronormative phrasing in her videos, Desai re-uploaded one of her viral TikToks and replaced the mention of her son’s future wife with “his partner.”
Her lessons have caught on. Other moms are showing the lessons they’re teaching their sons, like how to do household chores, cook, clean a car, and care for infants, plus the importance of self-care. One mom posted about teaching her son “the beauty of nature.”
The parents of daughters have gotten in on the trend, too. Dad TikToker Bryan—who Desai likely drew inspiration from for her first #TeachingOurSons post—posted in June that he attends tea parties with his daughters “so your dusty son don’t try to impress her with Golden Corral.”
Another dad, @drizzle531, posted a similar video.
“Paying 500 bucks for lunch with Disney princesses,” he wrote. “So your dusty son doesn’t try to impress my girls with Golden Corral.”
Update 12:20pm CT, Aug. 8: This story has been updated with quotes from Payal Desai.