The other day, I wrote a post about the benefits of having your kids help in the kitchen. But, I must confess … although it was always my desire to get my kids working in there, it was not the easiest thing to do once I started. It still isn’t sometimes.
The #1 reason why this was such a challenging task: I’m a big control freak!
The first kitchen task that my kids helped out with was putting together a gingerbread house. I know this is more of a crafty thing, but I thought this would be a good start because 1) no one will eat it once it’s done, and 2) it doesn’t involve any dangerous implements or appliances.
Not only am I a control freak, but I’m also a Wilton cake decorating “graduate” … a bad combination in this particular scenario. I felt myself tensing up when the candies were not being placed properly. This was a valuable lesson for me: if I’m going to train my kids in the kitchen, I seriously needed to loosen up.
When having them mix means more flour will probably end up on the floor …. when adding in the next liquid ingredient means pouring it a couple of feet above the bowl … when making a favorite treat means half of it will get eaten before we even finish, it seems like such a hassle to have these little ones help.
But, I’m learning to overlook the mess for the sweet memories that we share. Of course, I try to be realistic. There are times when I can’t always have them in the kitchen when they ask. But to replace those unplanned moments that cannot happen, I try to have prepared times of cooking or baking with the kids. Baking, of course, is their favorite, especially if it involves chocolate chips. 🙂
Even now, this continues to be an important lesson for me in being less controlling in order to savor the simple joys in life. Sometimes, I still have to fall flat on my face to be reminded of this important life lesson.
The kids and I have spent some great bonding times in the kitchen, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. Though there will certainly be more flour to sweep off the floor and more spills to wipe up, there will also be more laughter and chocolate chip cookies to look forward to.
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