As parents know, mornings can be hectic. Crowded bathrooms, late sleepers, last minute homework...not to mention, you might also be trying to get ready for work or activities you have planned that day. So wouldn't it be nice if your kids could do some things in the morning on their own, like making breakfast?
Help Your Child Learn to Make Breakfast
Have you child decide what they want in the morning. Give them choices if they do not know. Then make a list of directions so they know exactly how to do it, even if it is cereal! Fill a bowl with cereal and place a measuring cup with milk in the refrigerator. And really, the biggest teacher is to have them watch you. Make sure the items needed are reachable. We had stools for our kids when they were younger so they could be up higher with breakfast preparation, or even reaching items such as glasses and bowls from cupboards.
Make certain that they are comfortable trying. Items that need to be heated up in the microwave might be more daunting for them. Go over the directions and steps before they go to bed. And tell them they can come get you at any time if they need help; that it is okay.
Understand That Mistakes Happen
Let them make mistakes. Don't come down hard on them if they spill something and certainly don't allow them to use the oven unless you are completely confident they won't burn themselves or blow up the house! Making mistakes is how we learn. Make them feel good for trying and reassure them that mistakes are okay and just part of life!
As your children get older, they can learn to use the stove. The key to getting started is to have them cook that breakfast with you. Teach them which setting to put the burner on. Show them how to flip pancakes and have them try. Show them how to make pancake batter or French toast. Have them cook with you and make them do most of the work. Then they will have confidence and you can sleep without worry.
Teach Your Child to Be Independent
As mothers, no matter what our children's ages, it is our job to prepare them to leave home. That sounds dramatic, but really, don't you feel better knowing that if something were to happen to you or your partner or when it comes time for them to leave home, that they will know exactly how to take care of themselves? In addition, teaching children to do things that we normally do helps them learn not to take us for granted and stomps out that "entitlement" attitude that rears it's ugly head from time to time.
Having your child learn to make their own breakfast will boost their confidence and pave the way for other personal care chores they can learn, such as doing their own laundry, cleaning and vacuuming, and eventually running errands for us. And wouldn't that be wonderful?