As March quickly approaches, I find myself often in denial about the fact that my son will be turning nine. Nine! As in, one year away from double digits! Pardon me for just a moment while I go breathe into a brown paper bag. How is this possible?! How has timed passed so quickly?!
Despite my angst over said birthday, it’s coming. And with it comes a little boy who will become just a little bit more grown up. It’s this reality, the growing up part, that really has me thinking lately. As a parent, we all want to raise capable, independent and motivated children who will leave the nest with the skills to be a successful grown up. As my son is no longer a baby anymore, I’m feeling a kick in the pants to start teaching him more of the skills he’ll need to be independent and successful. Sure, chores are a part of what I’m talking about (and I admittedly need to get better at enforcing those), but I’m focusing on actual skills – how to safely use a sharp knife, how to use tools, how to navigate a cooktop, etc. They are all little things, but they add up! I think I often avoided such “lessons” because it’s easier, faster and simpler to just “fix” or “do” things for him than to have a teachable (and possibly messy or frustrating) moment. However, I’m newly committed.
A week or two ago I dug into our crafting bin and pulled out a bag of popsicle sticks. With my trusty Sharpie, I wrote “skills” on the sticks that we then put into a mason jar. Things like:
-Cutting fruit and vegetables
-Making scrambled eggs
-Using the air fryer
-Emptying the dishwasher
There are many more, but you get the idea!
Last week, my son pulled the “making scrambled eggs” stick out of the jar. So, scramble eggs he did! We looked at the little icons on the stovetop to figure out which burner was right and which size to use. We talked about spraying the pan so food doesn’t stick while cooking. We cracked eggs and made a mess. He sloshed eggs over the side of the pan with the spatula and my eye twitched a little. But you know what? He did it! And he was so proud of himself. Is the lesson over? No way! We’ve got several more scrambled egg making sessions to go before we’ll call it a mastered skill. But, we had fun in the kitchen together and he’s one tiny step closer to being a capable grown up one day (but seriously time, slow it down, will ya?).
I’m looking forward to the next popsicle stick. Until then, I’ll be over here eating a lot of scrambled eggs. Maybe I should teach him how to bake apple pie, next. Yum.
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