Let The Kids Do The Cooking!

Food-Ball-AZTVI ran across (found by chance) some interesting advice recently in the On Parenting (about being a parent) section of the Washington Post newspaper:

“Every kid 16 and older should be making the entire dinner once or twice a week as one of their chores (regular responsibilities). And kids 12 and older should be responsible for at least making one dish at every family meal.”

The writer believes that we need to prepare our children to be self-sufficient (able to take care of themselves) when they leave home to go to school or begin their first job. Teaching them to cook – and giving them opportunities to practice cooking – is part of that preparation.

If we prepare our children in this way, the writer believes they will eat better-tasting, less expensive, and healthier food. So she thinks we should teach them to follow a recipe (instructions for preparing food), use basic cooking equipment, and all the other things a good cook needs to do. And she believes that we should give them as many opportunities as possible to practice what they are learning.

This article brings up an interesting question: What should parents do to prepare their children to leave home to go to school or begin a job? What did your parents do? What did you do with your children?

In the same article, another writer argues (says it’s true) that it’s “my job as a parent to give my kids” what she calls “life skills (abilities) that will help children succeed after they leave home.” Her list of skills includes things like cooking, cleaning, laundry (washing and taking care of clothes), being organized, and managing money and time.

My mother was one of those people. She wanted to be sure that we – her two boys and three girls – could take care of ourselves when we left home to go to school. She taught us to cook, wash and dry the dishes (we didn’t have an automatic dishwasher), clean the house, take care of our rooms, do our own laundry, and even sew buttons on our clothes. Then she made sure we got a lot of practice. I’m glad she did.

~ Warren Ediger – ESL coach and tutor, creator of the Successful English web site.

Photo from Raising Arizona Kids.

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16 Responses to Let The Kids Do The Cooking!

  1. Dan says:

    Hey Warren,

    I do not know, not having kids I am not sure what to say.

    Keep in mind that nowadays one has all the knowledge at hand.

    Given that fact, even if a parent does not teach the offspring, with a couple of clicks they are going to be able to find anything.

    I do not know whether I am a critical thinker or not, but I would teach them that.

    I believe that we also teach with our actions, so they only have to observe daddy who is a vegetarian, atheist, and saver/frugal. Who right now, is painting his own bedroom with the help of no one.

    Hey Warren, you did not mention whether you have kids or not. If is not too private I would like to know.


  2. Dan says:

    Hi everyone,

    I was thinking at a scene from the book Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse, which by the way spent part of his life nearby living on the beautiful pre-alps.

    Siddhartha gets to know his son after he had a relationship with Kamala the prostitute, she died and the kid spends some time with the father.

    The son is a teenager and hates his poor father, which is a poor boatman living by the river.

    Siddhartha is struggling with himself because he does not know what to do because the kid will not listen to him and want to go away back in the village.

    After a while Siddhartha realizes that when he himself was younger, he did the same thing with his father and never went back to see him dying.

    What I took from this story is that certain things are unteachable and we commit always the same mistakes over and over. If we wanna call that mistake of course.


  3. Aecio Flavio Perim says:

    Once upon a time there was a father who loved his children and afterwards these children didn’t love him back. This is what happens today all over the world. I had four children and I raised them with all my love and today they don’t even visit me. But I say that I raised children not for me but for the world. I did my part and now they are doing theirs. But they all are grownup and have a good life. This makes me happy.

  4. Aecio Flavio Perim says:

    Let the kids be just be kids. Kids are the future so we have to take a good care of them, to protect them, to make them happy, and do all the things they need. It has already been proved that when a kid doesn’t have a family, school, health and love usually it turns out he to be a bad grownup. So it is better to look at the kids with attention for we won’t have a good society in the future. God bless the kids.

  5. Aecio Flavio Perim says:

    I think it is a good idea to teach kids to do simple chores, especially when they are in family. Moms and dads should teach their children simple chores like wash dishes, sweep the yard, do the beds in the morning just in time when they get up, even though this seems to be painful for them. Responsabilities are to be tought when are still very young.

  6. peter says:

    In principle ,I support and like the idea. Ideally ,it could be the best approach teaching your kids to pull their weight around home so later on ,in real world , they never be dependable.the method will able them to take care of their personal chores,moreover ,bring them up responsible.
    I m childless!!
    But trust me ,I get it.
    we want our kids to learn how to go about everyday’s life without depending others on his /her every little move. So ,we coach them and sometimes we give them a hard time as we have their best interest at heart!

    But ,life is not always that kind!! By that I mean,you plan the best thing there is for your kids but reality sometimes gets in the way.

    I mean ,tell me how u gonna get a playful 12 year old boy to cook dinner. No. How do u trust a 12 year old boy who throw tantrum every chance he get with ur kitchen. The minute u turn around your back on him ,he is spraying the tap water to see the farthest object in the kitchen the spray water can hit.

    Given the fact that kids have a very short attention span,How are on earth we gonna get a 12 even 16 year old boy or girl for that matter to sit and take excruciatingly boring “painstaking” sew or ironing lessons.”
    Unless u have steel nerves ,they gonna wear u out.
    Eventually u gonna give up and let the kids do what he is naturally supposed to do:
    For boys to kick a ball
    For girls to chase butterflies

    The culinary or house-making skills we run our tails off after our kids to get them to sit and learn, they eventually will learn later on when they are gone off to college or sth.
    The skills that might come as a torture to kids , will be skillfully enough acquired in one weeks or two weeks later on in their adult lives.
    So let them be, shall we ?


  7. Aecio Flavio Perim says:

    Pete, you said it in a few ords.

  8. peter says:

    Hey Acio,
    Well, I m foot loose and fancy free :)))
    By that I mean,I m still single.
    I have no kids.
    But ,I have a handful of friends who are married and have kids.
    Man , raising kids is a lot of work.

    it is my take on it.
    You know what they say: “I call them like I see them.”

    Thanks for taking time out of your day to read my stuff
    I really appreciate the support


  9. Aecio Flavio Perim says:

    Pete, I am sure you will know whar kids are only after you have some. It’s not a bad idea having kids, but if you can wait more it is better. I like to read the post my peers write here. There is always someting good to learn. Best wishes for you and family.

  10. soraia says:


    I have a kid and nowadays is very difficult to teach all its things because I work a lot, but
    When I am at home in my day free I teach a bit of each a day I clean and my son help me, other day
    I cook and my son to want to know how to do.
    My son is 7 years old, and he likes to help me in we home, its method to we stay and laugh togethed.

  11. Dan says:

    hey everyone

    The only brother of mine that had one son is because of an accident. Because he is half slow and the other half has problems with alcohol and the mother his
    half slow and the other half is addicted to weed.
    I never see them, and frankly I do not care.

    Myself and the other two brothers have no kids.

    This is a little picture of my family.

  12. peter says:

    Hey Acieo,
    I m a rolling stone. I don’t mate for life. Plus I m not a kid person.
    I have the fear of commitment.
    The idea of having kids scares bejesuses out of me. It terrifies me.
    It is a hudge responsibility.

    To me ,Having kids is deal done for life; a contract filled with articles and clauses favouring the kids over you.
    Well , with girlfriends or even wives things are different. There are always loopholes. They are not a part of you. Things don’t work out with them ,you walk away.
    There is no walking away from kids, though. They are there always in the picture.
    I don’t see in me. I m not the marrying kind.it is not me. I am admittedly not marriage material. I m more of a fling kind of guy.
    I m not prepared for my old ball and chaine:))))) at least not yet !!

  13. peter says:

    Relevant to the subject we have in hand, I wanna broach up a trend that has become a thing among most parents-that is- shut their kids up with a smart phone.

    have u ever seen harried parents hand they smart phones to their kids to shut them up, quite them down if u will.
    Boy, A good parenting Lesson there.I ,for one, think it is the worst thing Dads and Moms could do to their children.
    They give their smart phones to their playful kids to keep them entertained and to get them off their back. So, they can continue doing whatever they are doing.
    I know some parents who happened to be my close friends that never stopped at smart phones ;they started their kids with iPad and electronic game gadgets at early age.
    To make matters worse, They actively buy game applications to get their kids sit around for hours.
    Every time I encounter such atrocity , I just hold my tongue.
    Well, It is not place to say anything.
    But , for all intends and purposes , it is so wrong.
    staring to a back lit gadget for one or two hours straight could be prejudicial to the kids: for one thing , it may harm their eyesights so much that ,later on in life, they may have need to wear ophthalmic eyeglasses.
    it may trigger all sorts of brain complications. The radiation smart phones , iPad ,and other electronic gizmo emit Is even
    harmful for adults much less kids.
    Besides , the constant involvement with a parallel cyber world make them out of touch with reality and encourage some sort of sedentary life style: children who are naturally supposed to do kid-related outdoors activities and to mingle with other kids all day long so they can develop some social senses prefer to isolate themselves indoor and play with those stupid gadgets.
    That is why I bite my tongue every time I see a kid with their folks iPhones in hand.
    Ales , nowadays it has become a general trend.


  14. Aecio Flavio Perim says:

    Hi Pete, it is not a bad idea to marry and have kids but if you can wait more it is better. I can say so because I had four kids and now I know, a little bit late, that no one raises kids for their own but for the world. If I had to get married now I wouldn’t definitely. But if you make your mind to get married, please invite me for to be the best man. I’d love it.

  15. peter says:

    Hi mates ,
    I dread this coming Monday. There is this group project we are working on at work.we each are delegated some tasks that handle a part of the projec.
    I botched a part of a very sensitive task. I m telling u guys , my boss is gonna hand me my a.s

    I have a big problem on my hand. I m out of ideas. I don’t know how to resolve it.
    In my defence, as a novice ,they threw too much at me ,on my first day at office.
    My boss assigned sb to me to give me a rundown on the project and get me up to speed. Thereafter , they dropped a big part of the project on my lap. Well ,i freaked out!!!


  16. Aecio Flavio Perim says:

    Say bye bye to this “let kids just be kids.”

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