I take my responsibility to eventually toss my two kiddos out of the nest pretty seriously. One day they will need to take care of themselves and SO HELP ME, they will not live on microwave noodles or be stumped by anything in the produce section of the grocery store or be the roommate that never contributes to the chores.
But that sort of kitchen know-how doesn’t just happen overnight. You need to be patient. You need to break things off in age appropriate bite-sized pieces. You need to embrace imperfection. Did I mention that YOU NEED TO BE PATIENT.
Which is easier said than done when you discover that your little angel wanted to surprise you by making coffee and now your kitchen floor is covered in coffee grounds. True story.
So the next time you think it would be easier to shoo everyone out of the kitchen and just do it yourself, repeat after me…
SWEEPING IS A LEARNED SKILL
I have a dog and two children. We can sweep and fill a dustpan three times a day. It’s usually equal parts cracker crumbs, Lego pieces, glitter, and dog food nuggets. Have you ever watched a small child sweep? Well, pull up a chair because it…….takes……for…..ev…..er. And when they are done there will still be stuff on the floor and odds are pretty fantastic that they will have spilled half of the dustpan contents on the floor when they try to pour it into the trash bag. BUT DO NOT ABANDON HOPE! Eventually they get the hang of it and you’ll have one less chore on your list…or at least a few fewer Legos to step on.
IT’S KNIFE NOT A CHAINSAW
Kids have to start somewhere. A butter knife and a banana is a good way to ease into the world of food prep. Whisking pancake batter? Also a solid starting point. At some point, you’ve gotta get brave and break out a sharp knife and some soft fruit. For the entirety of last summer, we ate our strawberries minced…but now, my kids valuable contributors to the meal prep team at our house.
THERE ARE ENOUGH DISHES FOR EVERYONE
My kids love to do dishes. Love it. I think it’s the bubbles. Are they efficient? No. Do they get water everywhere? Yes. Does it allow me to do other chores and therefore get us all to the finish line faster? HECK YES! (Have they broken anything? Yes. One plate. No one died.) Start by letting them clear the table and scrape plates. Before too long they’ll be handling this part from start to finish. Bonus points for teaching kids the kitchen golden rule of “If you cook, you don’t have to clean.”
A TODDLER CAN REPLACE A TRASH BAG
It might take 34 minutes. But they can do it! LET THEM. Because by the time they are five, they’ll be so attached to this chore that they will not let anyone get in their way when it comes to hauling out the full bag of trash. PLEASE NOTE: using bargain trash bags will lead to you cleaning up a delicious stew of moist coffee grounds, raw chicken bits, glitter, and carrot peels when the bag breaks because kids aren’t tall enough or strong enough to lift and carry a bag. Buy a trash bag you can drag.
(Like these Glad ForceFlex Kitchen Pro trash bags.)
RIDE THE WAVE WHILE THEY WANT TO BE UNDERFOOT
When I’m in the kitchen my kids are doing one of two things. 1. Orbiting me like two crazy moons. 2. Parked at the kitchen counter with crayons/Legos/homework/Play-Doh. This is messy. Stuff gets spilled. (A LOT.) Stuff gets sticky. (Perler beads + maple syrup.) But they won’t want to hang out with me forever and they won’t be interested in the finer points of my stellar scrambled eggs for much longer, so I’m teaching the simple stuff now, so that next year I can put them on saute duty.
Glad ForceFlex Kitchen Pro trash bags stand up to whatever mayhem…I mean, HELP, that my kids can dish up in the kitchen. The biggest, strongest, most flexible bags now offer an inner layer of ForceFlex and outer layer of LeakGuard technology so I can get as much help as I can in the kitchen.
PLUS – if you’re like me and have another large trash can stashed somewhere else in the house, like the upstairs laundry room, for bathroom/nursery trash, the odor neutralizing powers of the Glad ForceFlex Kitchen Pro will come in SUPER HANDY.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Glad. The opinions and text are all mine.