The goopy finger reaches into the dough you asked him not to touch. The flour spills. Everyone wants a turn at the same time. The cookbook gets slopped on. The tiny hand grabbing for the spoon knocks over the glass of water. The excitement escalates. An egg gets cracked onto the floor. The smiling kid with cinnamon and honey all over his hands, face, and arms runs out of the kitchen to smear himself all over the couch….
Ah, it’s the picture of parenting bliss. These are the delightful reasons we all love letting our kids help us in the kitchen. Mmm-hmmm.
I remember it all very well. I knew the value of getting my kids into the kitchen with me to teach them the basics – plus they always loved helping me. But wow, usually it was so much easier to do it myself. After all, I didn’t need help spilling the buttermilk. I could do that very well all by myself.
The next time you have your kids helping you in the kitchen, and you begin to feel exasperated, wondering if it’s worth all the trouble and extra work – be encouraged by this walk down memory lane in the Coppinger Household:
These are my four boys, back in 2007. I don’t recommend always having all of your kids help you at once, but hey, when it’s Monkey Bread – everyone wants to help.
I had one that always walked on and jumped off countertops while helping me.
If I remember right, the floor was made of hot lava.
See what I’m saying?
Elias, please be careful with that vanilla you’re sniffing. It’s too precious to spill.
Sitting on the countertop was also a very effective way to reach the bowl.
Oh look, here they are making Snowflake Quesadillas. The little cuties. It’s great to look back at pictures of the kids and forget that what was really happening when I snapped the shot was that the five year old had his pants on backwards, the two year old was in the background screaming, and the other quesadillas were on the stove burning.
Why the walk down memory lane? Those pictures were all taken six years ago. See that little one in the middle of the picture above? Here he is now, making French Toast for our family brunch with very little help from me:
Check out our littlest guy in 2007, when he was just two years old:
This is him now, making pizza crust for our lunch:
My encouragement to you is this: If you continue to let your kids into the kitchen with you, teaching them basic skills and letting them do what they are able to do – your hard work WILL pay off. Now, all I have to do is hand my 11 year old a recipe and he can make it on his own. Now all I have to do is ask my 13 year old to brown hamburger meat for lunch, and he has it done in 15 minutes. Now all I have to do is ask my 8 year old to get the eggs ready for breakfast and he knows just what to do (except for the actual cooking part – we’re still working on that one). Now I can turn parts of our meal over to our 16 year old and he’ll take care of them completely.
My kids still have a lot to learn, but they’ve spent a lot of time helping me in the kitchen through the years, which has made learning to cook come more naturally to them.
So keep at it! You will be blessed, and more importantly, your kids will be blessed with knowing skills that are very valuable! Want some more encouragement and some incredibly awesome resources to help you with this endeavor? Check out what is available for you now:
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