I have a 10 year old son. I want him to grow up independent and able to take care of himself. Cook for himself, make his own doctors appointment (eventually), get a job, be responsible. I think that’s every mother’s hope for their kids.
I decided to start a cooking night with him. My kid is an only child. Not by choice but by circumstances beyond our control. I know there is a stereotype about only children out there but my kid is pretty well adjusted. Plays well with others, shares, loves being around other people,(adult and kids) is sensitive and understands others moods.
That being said I started to notice that I was the one with the issues. I’m a helper. I like to do for others and I was always doing stuff for him. Stuff he was able to do or could very easily learn to do. He’d say, “I’m hungry”, and I’d go and get him a snack. So he got to the point where he would just holler “mom, can you get me a snack please?” from upstairs and I’d get it and bring it to him. He’d be in the living room and ask me for something and I’d quit what I was doing go get it for him. I rarely made him do anything. I was teaching him to rely on others to get what he needed.
I think this is a danger for those of us who have only’s. It’s so easy to just do it for them. I don’t mind helping him out. I think its a nice thing to do. It hit me though that I was raising a child who was going to need me to make his doctor appointments at the age of 45. That is not okay with me. I was not raised that way. I was raised to be independent and self sufficient. Things needed to change for his benefit.
This is totally not the direction I was planning on taking with this post. Maybe a I need to do a post on raising an only child sometime. This whole post was to share about Monday night cooking nights with my kid. When I send him off to college I want him to know how to make food for himself among other things like laundry and how to make a bed. I thought I would start with cooking. Why cooking? I’m not sure. I am not a great cook, but I enjoy it and we’ve had some really fun cooking nights.
We started with Easy Mac in the microwave. We have done things like pancakes and french toast. Salad and smoothies. Last night we grilled steak and veggies. I’ve started asking him what he wants to cook too. Sometimes he has an idea but most times he’ll leave it up to me. One night when I asked him what he wanted to learn to cook he asked, “can’t I just get a wife?” Seriously kid? We have been able to incorporate what he is learning in school with measuring units. We talk about healthy eating and making good choices. We talk a lot during our cooking nights and that is probably my favorite part. I love spending time with him.
It’s been a great way to teach independence and confidence. He gets his own snacks now (as he should) but he was also able to make himself dinner (Easy Mac) when his dad’s meeting ran long the other day. I love seeing him grow and learn new things. I can’t wait to see where our cooking night takes us in the future.