As parents, we tend to be over protective over our little ones. In fact, in most household, children aren’t allowed to be in the kitchen. As much as we all know the risks of having a child in that room, the benefits our children could get from helping in the kitchen shouldn’t be disregarded.
Just like life, danger is can be found everywhere. It is only by being cautious and mindful that we can avoid accidents such as hurting our little ones with sharp objects or burning while in the kitchen.
Most parents would deny this but let’s get real here, most parents avoid letting their children help not because of the reasons mentioned above but a totally different one. Cleaning! We all know that the more hands working, the more things to clean afterwards. With kids helping, I bet you one spoon would turn to three! Let’s not forget how long it would take to do with kids as your sous chef instead of just being in the kitchen by yourself.
While others see the benefits from this, others may think otherwise. Sometimes being close-minded just makes you see the negative side of things. Having your kids around and help you in the kitchen doesn’t mean you want to hang your hat as the “cook” of the family. It’s more of teaching them life lessons and responsibility without you teaching them directly. Your kids would have enough learning experience in schools and you wouldn’t want another class at home. In short, you don’t want to be that boring!
Here are the reasons why children should help in the kitchen:
Create awareness at a young age
Do you know that you’re more prone to get into an accident using things you aren’t familiar? Using knives can really be dangerous for children but if they aren’t aware of the danger it could bring them, wouldn’t that be more dangerous? This reasoning goes the same with fire.
Let your children learn around the kitchen. I’m sure many of you have heard of the saying “Knowledge is power”. This quote actually applies in all aspects of life and any age one may be. With your children knowing which items are safe and dangerous for them to touch, can actually save them from unknown potential accidents in the future.
Another learning your children can get from hanging out with you more often in the kitchen is knowing more about the ingredients you use to make your meals at home. Aside from the usual counting and telling colors which are the usual activities with your 2-4 years old, you could add what vitamins do they get from eating such kind of food when they reach ages 5-7 years old.
This doesn’t only help add their appetite on eating such food knowing how much nutritious it is but also let their mindfully choose the they eat. This could have a long term effect on how they make their food choices as they grow up.
Sense of responsibility
Children learn more from doing the things taught to them rather than just telling them. Giving your children responsibilities to do around the house (depending on their age) is one way to do it. This certain skills that they get used to do are the ones that can be brought as they grow up.
Training your children to help around the house isn’t child labor or some sort if done correctly. There’s specific and proper tasks you can give a child at every age. This are life skills you are teaching them that they can adapt as they grow up.
I bet you don’t want to be one of those frustrated teenage parents who feel helpless work in the kitchen alone. What’s worst is having able teenagers just lounging around but don’t care about helping since they weren’t raised doing it. Whatever our children become would actually start from how we raise them. Teach them while they’re young is the key.
Sense of belonging
You might not notice but besides being naturally curious, children like imitating what adults do at home. Whether it be doing what you do or following you wherever you go. It’s actually beyond curiosity that makes them do what they do.
You might have guessed it by now and realise that they want to belong. Being young doesn’t mean they can’t do anything. They want to be part of whatever action is happening. There are tasks so simple that even at a tender age of 2 years old, you child can do. Letting them do join and do things that they see everyone is also doing helps build their self-esteem as well.
Helps build confidence
Letting your child help add ingredients on meals you cook helps build their confidence overtime. How many young adults nowadays are too scared even to fry an egg. Not because they don’t know what an egg looks like neither are they afraid of fire but because they’re afraid to mess up doing such a simple dish.
If your children gets exposed more often to making decisions, chances are they won’t be scared to make life decisions. You may think that there’s nothing your child can learn by giving them the responsibility of adding salt on your dinner dish but for them, it’s more than that. Acknowledge during dinner time that they are the reason why your food tastes delicious and for sure you’ll hear them boasting about their new found skill until the next day!
- By letting your child be aware of things in the kitchen (which is safe and dangerous) can help protect them from potential accidents in the future. As they grow older, you can slowly teach them proper usage and handling of kitchenware.
- Raising a responsible child starts by giving them some responsibility to do at home. When children grow up doing certain things, you won’t have a hard time telling them to help around the house when they are old enough to do so. It’ll come out naturally as they’re used to doing it already.
- Children are part of your household and they want to feel they belong. Never belittle them because of their age. You’ll be surprised how much they are more than willing to help.
- Simple things can be big for your children. Their confidence can be boost in different ways and helping in the kitchen is one of them.
- Cooking is a chore like any other at home. You don’t need to do it alone. Delegate tasks not only to give yourself more time to do other things but to teach your children life skills as well.