Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Teaching Reliance

While sitting at my kids' gymnastics lesson last night, I had a conversation with my friends about cooking.
Not what we were going to cook, but about letting our kids cook.
I immediately felt panicked, thinking about letting my kids near a stove.
And knives, don't even get me started.
But after talking for a while, I realized that I have been doing a disservice to my kids.
By taking care of every little thing for them, I have hampered their ability to be self-reliant.
OK, I don't do EVERY little thing.
They do make their beds every morning, and recently have started to get their own breakfast.
On occasion, I have let them pack their own lunch.
But I wash and fold and put away their clothes, wash all the dishes, cook almost every meal, clean. . . 
I am basically a housewife from the 1950's.
But I like it.
It makes me happy when my son tells me that whatever I have made for dinner is the best meal he has ever eaten (he says this a lot, which makes me doubt his sincerity, but I still love to hear it).
But when they ask to help, I politely decline.
Yes, that sounds really sad, and not something that a very good mother would do.
And I have my reasons, which are all dumb (they will probably break something, or they won't do it right, or it will just be faster if I do it myself, etc.)
So last night I let my daughter cook for the first time.
She made pancakes.
(From Bisquick, not from scratch)
She read the recipe from the back, got out all the ingredients, and mixed them up.
I did not help once.
I did help by telling her at what level to have the stove, and she needed a little help with the flipping of the pancakes.
But she mad the whole batch, and the house did not burn down.
I am resolving to have her cook more often.
(I still did the dishes for her, but that will be another lesson for another time.)


SandGs Mom said...

wowsers. yeah I struggle here too. And I'm a total 50's era housewife. it is just so much faster. In fact just today I told sean to slice his own cheese if he needed a snack while we were walking out the door and he said "I have no idea how."

gantrieb said...

its all about baby steps. good job letting go :) who knows, maybe you'l get breakfast in bed for mothers day