My girls love to bake. They shriek with excitement when I whip out the aprons and ask them to help me out in the kitchen. My son has also picked up on this excitement and drags a chair from the dining room to the kitchen whenever it appears I may start cooking or baking. Even if I’m just rearranging a few things, he assumes I’m baking without him and gets very offended. My nine-year-old recently cooked dinner for us and has asked several times to do it again. Granted, it was just macaroni and cheese, but she thought it was amazing. And, to be quite honest, it was. I’m not sure if that’s the prideful mama in me or the tired housewife grateful for a night off from “chef duty”! I hope I have ignited in them a lifelong passion for cooking and baking.
Baking with “Help”
It can be really stressful to bake – or to try something new – with your kids. Believe me, I know. There are a few key things you need to remember, and even say out loud before you begin.
#1: Get rid of your expectations and prepare for some memory making.
Those kids are going to make messes. They are going to giggle and be silly. They are going to have their own ideas about how it is supposed to be done. They are kids. And, they are really just looking forward to time with you.
#2: Try something well-known and familiar to you.
Do something that you have done before (and can easily fix)! If your child wants to try something completely different, do some research. Ask around. Make yourself familiar with it to alleviate the stress of the “unknown.”
#3: Set some simple rules for your activity.
For our baking experience, they were, “Wash your hands. Follow directions. Ask before doing. Have fun.”
Pursue Their Passions
Whether it be baking, washing the van, building a fort, playing a game that they are clearly making up as they go, doing a craft with glue, feathers, glitter… whatever it is, I would encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and into their little world. Do something out of the ordinary with them. Introduce them to your passions, and then let them introduce you to theirs. You will be amazed at the bond it creates. They will be encouraged to try new things and find what they love. They will grow and change before your eyes as they find new things that they love to do, and you might find something that you love to do with them.
What passion will you pursue with your kid this week/month/year?