Monday, September 26

Chef School 201

Rule #1 - No licking the spoon until we're done stirring!
I've noticed something. My kids seem to misbehave most when I'm busy trying to do my own work. You know how it goes. It's late afternoon and I'm scrambling to pick up the house, get dinner on the table, and keep 3 grumpy kids from killing each other. After dinner, the saga continues.

Play outside. ("Been there.")
       Play inside. ("Done that.")
             Clean your room. ("Over it.")
                    Find something to do. ("But I'm b-o-r-e-d!")
                           Leave your sister alone. ("She started it!")

I needed a change from the "Now you all play nice while Mommy cooks" routine, or at least one of us wasn't going to make it. New plan: My older girls, who are 4 and 6, rotate in helping me prepare dinner, expanding Chef School to include daily responsibilities in the kitchen. They help me mash and stir, heat and butter, set the table...and they love it. The other daughter helps me clean up from dinner that night... and they love it. I love it too.

~ I get one-on-one time with my kids, talking and laughing, and we're getting a chore done!

~ Miraculously, having only 2 children playing together really cuts down on the bickering, and the older girls each enjoy alone time with our toddler.

~ They are learning tons of valuable life skills, which I intend to let them "practice" more and more at my house! (hello, day off!)

But the best compliment I could get came this afternoon, when Linsey and her friend were making "soup" in my kitchen. As they were cleaning up, I asked her friend, "Do you help your mom wash dishes at home?"

Immediately Linsey interrupted, "Oh, no. She doesn't get to do chores like us at her house! She has to play in her room while her mom does the dishes." Lol, I know it will change eventually, but I'm really hoping that attitude of "getting to do chores" will stick around for a few more years!

How do you involve your kids in the kitchen?


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