What comes in mind when you hear about cooking with children? Chaos? Undoubtedly messy kitchen? Serenity? Perfect harmony? Well, most mothers associate cooking with their children with messy, chaotic kitchen in beyond belief clutter. That’s why they often refuse or reluctant to cook with their children.
In fact, cooking with children – like other things – can have positive and negative sides. The positive side is that it strengthens your mother-children bond. By cooking together, both of you will likely spend most of your time together.
During the cooking moment, you can share stories and experiences; you get to share your interesting experience during work – but make sure leave the serious, complicated things out of it – and they could tell what happened to them at school. Cooking together can also be useful since you’re transferring your cooking knowledge to them. It’s like preparing them for better future cooking life.
Trust me, they’ll thank you later when they have to start living on their own. Cooking together with your children can give you new experience in getting to know each other. You’ll learn a thing or two more about your children and they can also learn to know you better. Maybe you’ll stop seeing them as noisy, disobedient children once you know them better and they’ll stop seeing you as the evil queen of the house once they know you better.
The negative side, however, is if you’re the kind of person who likes tidiness, order, and quite a perfectionist when it comes to the kitchen; especially when you consider it as your territory. You’ll definitely have issues with your children.
You see, you – as an adult – and your children see cooking as two different kinds of points. You, as the mother of the house, naturally think that cooking is the time to prepare food for the family. While children think of cooking as another fun, play time. They like to think that maybe they can lick the bottom of the dough bowl or have a bite of the desert. You won’t need to go to anger management therapy when you know the way to solve the problem.
You can let your children help you with carrying the pans or washing the vegetables. Let them busy with small things. But never let them get near the knives or hot stove or pots. When you finish cooking a meal and there’s a mess around, you can have them clean the mess.
You should do the cleaning with them too, so you teach the right way to do so and also teach them the need for clean environment although you haven’t finished with the cooking yet.
Never try to explain the cooking process to them, unless it you intend to lullaby them and make them fall asleep. Children don’t really care about what’s happening; they’re more interested in the practice. There’s no use trying to fill them with theories since they won’t even remember those theories. Just let them watch you prepare your food. When they ask you, answer them by using simple language. If you do this often, they’ll remember the steps and recipes without them realizing it.
The point is that cooking with children should be a good opportunity to bond with your children. If you know how, it won’t be a nightmare. Instead, it could be a fun and great time for both of you. There’s nothing perfect, so when mix-up happens, don’t stress out. Laugh it out loud and continue.