One of my goals – or maybe I should say – my most important goal as a parent is to give my kids the confidence in themselves to know that they can do anything, they can achieve anything if they work at it and want it enough. This confidence in themselves doesn’t start once they leave home and have to fend for themselves, it starts right from the beginning by giving them your trust and by giving them responsibilities.
You can do this in lots of different ways: being responsible for certain chores, trusting them with important tasks, and letting them get in the kitchen to experiment, make a mess and to cook.
These things all start off small and should be age appropriate, as a parent you can gently let them have more and more responsibilities and task as they grow, building up that trust so that when they do eventually leave home to go out into the big wide world, you’ll know that you have given them all the skills they need to do well.
I have two kiddos–Otilija is now 12 and started high school this year and Orlando is almost 10. I don’t homeschool them, but they do go to a very small independent school which shares my beliefs in the important of a slow childhood. There is no homework, no tests, no rushing through activity after activity, there is a lot of creative time and outdoor play time too and from kindergarten they begin to learn to cook.
As a creative person who has always given my kids free reign in the kitchen and the craft supplies I am very happy to say that my kids are now competent and confident in the kitchen and elsewhere in life.
They can plan a menu and cook dinner for the family, they can research a cake recipe, check if we have the ingredients and make it from scratch, they can get up early and cook pancakes or fried eggs for breakfast – and they sometimes even clean up the mess afterwards. I am very proud of how confident they are in the kitchen and I know that these skills will transfer to other parts of their lives.
Believing that your kids are capable, competent, creative, responsible, resourceful and resilient is the way toward building a confident child and cooking is the perfect teaching tool towards this goal.