I have my kids every other week. When they are with me, we cook supper together several times a week. When people hear me say that I usually the following reactions:
1) Are you crazy?
2) You let your kids use knives and go near the stove?
3) Isn’t it faster to just cook supper alone?
For the first one, the answer is ‘yes,’ but it’s doubtful that this particular reason is why I’ve gone to the crazy-side.
I guess the second one is understandable, but the answer, again, is ‘yes.’ I, Mom, let my kids use knives and go near the stove–they are supervised and instructed first, of course. Alex is 10 and Sophia is 6, so each task they are given is age appropriate. That being said, Sophia does cut stuff up and Alex uses the stove as you’ll see in their show. I am there each time and they are always reminded of the safety rules. Cooking is a learned skill that will stick with my kids for their entire lives. This fact alone heavily out weighs the safety risks in my mind, because I teach them how to use the tools and how to be safe.
The third reaction regarding the speed of cooking a meal with kids; well speed has very little to do with it for us. As I have stated before, I’m a single parent and after a full day of work, I pick up the kids, and get home by, hopefully, 6 p.m. each day. Then I have to make supper, make sure everyone eats, gets homework done and bathes…my kids and I get very little quality time before they have to go to bed so we can start it all over in the morning. Making supper together gives us a little time back (while, again, teaching a lifelong skill). Plus, the more you do it, the better the kids get at it and it actually speeds up the meal preparation.
I’m not gonna lie though, there are nights when I purposely make sure Sponge Bob is tuned in so I can just get supper prepared all super fast. And every year when we do Christmas cookie decorating, as I sit covered in flour amidst flying, holiday-colored sugars, I know for sure that I’ve lost my mind–and that I’ve gained priceless time with my love bugs…