For many parents, having their small children in the kitchen can make them feel like tearing their hair out. From the constantly repeated "Can I have this and that?" to the bickering between siblings and whining that some parents have to endure can really be nerve wracking. Is it really possible to get through a meal will the children in tow?
Some children go through terrible tantrums, get into everything or constantly bicker with their siblings. The last thing you may feel like hearing while trying to get dinner done, and on the table while it's still hot, is screeching, howling or arguing. Parent's who work outside the home may feel like they need the time alone to quickly and efficiently prepare meals with as little fuss as possible.
Do you hate telling your children not right now when they want to sit in the kitchen with you while you prepare the family meals? While you are chopping, washing, peeling, scrubbing and cooking you could be spending quality time if you get creative.
There are several ways to handle this depending on the age of the children. For children two years old and up, you could supply them with drawing paper, crayons and coloring books. If your child happens to be a scribbler you could always purchase crayons that will only write on certain paper to avoid unwanted "art" on the walls, floor and whatever else your little darling can get to.
Keep plenty of refrigerator magnets and turn your fridge into an art festival, keeping their artwork up until the next time. Children love seeing their works on display. Make a big deal out of it when you put it up for them. Ooh and aah over their beautiful colorings and drawings and let them know that this is something they can only do in the kitchen while you prepare the meal if they behave.
Another time you may want to buy stickers and let them make their own sticker collages which you can proudly display on the refrigerator for them. If they start to misbehave you can send them out of the kitchen and let them know that they are welcome to keep you company on another day when they know how to behave. This reinforces that there are consequences that come as a direct result of their actions.
If you are really feeling adventurous you could have your children help in the kitchen, depending on their age. Always start with having them wash their hands so that they learn that their hands must be clean before they touch food.
You could let them stir batter, rinse fruit, sit biscuits on a cookie sheet, put spoonfuls of cookies on a cookie sheet, take silverware to the table, put napkins or paper towels on the table and many other minor tasks appropriate for small children. Vegetable salads, cookies and pasta salads are easy to have children help prepare.
You could play children's music or sing with your children as you go along preparing the meal. Making them feel involved makes them feel special. Being in the kitchen with Mommy or Daddy could be a great bonding experience.
Glenda. Charlie, David
Glenda. Charlie, David