It’s not easy getting a meal on the table in a timely fashion day after day, especially when you’re trying to juggle other family needs at the same time. And, in that crazy moment, in trying to get the meal together quickly, it’s hard to imagine taking time to teach your kids how to cook.
I’m talking about teenage kids here, those young adults who will be fending for themselves sooner than you can imagine. And the truth is, in reality it’s probably a lot easier without the kids “help.” Chances are they don’t even want to help or learn. Mine didn’t for years.
But now, after going through the (unending) process with my own kids, I’m convinced that the key to success is knowing when the time is right for YOU. You’re the one who’ll need most of the patience to make the team effort successful. Losing your temper or seeming short can be a recipe for disaster instead of a recipe for encouragement and future collaboration.
So, if you think you have a little extra time to get that meal on the table (or, if you can plan it that way), take a deep breath and ask for help.
If you’re using a recipe, read it together before starting. Demonstrate part of each step of the recipe as you go, and let your helper repeat and/or finish each step. Have patience. Explain how meals come together in stages, with some things taking longer to cook than others.
Move slowly. Be safe. Observe and talk about the way the foods are changing as they cook. Smell, taste and listen as you go. Have patience.
Things will not be perfect. And yet, things could not be more perfect. In fact, I’m willing to bet your meal will be more satisfying than ever.