The Gift of Independence: Cooking Lessons!
- “Hey mom? Can I invite friends over for lunch? I’ll cook pasta and tomato sauce.”
- “Great idea,” I tell our 14 year old, “You can also get them all to help clean up!”
Contrast this to our 12 year old's call:
- “Mom, I’m bringing over some friends for lunch. You can make us sandwiches: 1 ham & cheese with pickle, 1 ham with Tabasco….”
- “It’s a busy day, honey. When you want something from me, I need advance notice.”
Guess who’s happier with Mom at the end of the day…and guess who now drops by the kitchen more often to learn how to cook!
Our second child hesitates between taking responsibility (me, cook a whole meal!) and being a kid (do it for me). We’ll go through a full recipe together; he’ll wait for water to boil (and it might boil over), the need to wash hands after slicing hot peppers (he loves spicy) and more. These fun experiences will adjust his I’m-the-center-of-the-world attitude far more effectively than any lecture.
In cooking together, parent and child are physically close. (Oops, you have a HUGE kitchen?) It’s the opportunity for lower voices and playful proximity. I wrap my arms around the children to taste the food they’re cooking. We swish the faucet back and forth when we are both at the sink. We look at each expectantly when the buzzer goes off. Of course we like the batter clean…
Since girls often like to confide, the kitchen presents the opportunity to sit across from each other and talk, talk, talk. Boys generally prefer less direct exposure. “So, tell me who your friends are these days...” gets a response when I’m washing salad and he’s stirring tomato sauce.
Gift of Affirmation
“Today, compliments go to Chef Francis!”