Jen and Barb, Mom Life: Featured : Little Ways You Can Involve Your Children in the Everyday Parts of Life

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Little Ways You Can Involve Your Children in the Everyday Parts of Life


Guest Blogger: Hope of  A Busy Mom’s Slow Cooker Adventures

With technology being in the forefront these days, are things like cooking, cleaning, sewing, carpentry, etc. a dying art? Do we really want our children going off to college without knowing how to do their own laundry or how to clean their own bathroom?  If we start teaching them these things young, these worries will be a thing of the past.

When I was growing up, my parents both worked full-time.  They left early and got home late.  My grandma lived with us Monday through Friday and took my sister and me to and from school.   When we got home, she would always let us help her with dinner.  She taught my sister and I how to clean toilets, the sinks, wash the cupboards and scrub the floors.  She even taught us how to sew simple things like pillow cases.  On the weekends, when she wasn’t there, my sister and I took great pride in showing our parents what we learned from our grandma all week.  Today, when I look back, I am so incredibly grateful to her for the things she taught us.  I can tell you I wouldn’t be the food blogger or mother I am today without her.  She taught me so much!

I feel as if we as parents are so busy with our jobs and providing for our families, we often forget about simple things that we can teach our children and involve them in.  I’m now a mom to an almost 5 year old and almost 2 year old.  My husband and I both work full-time as well, but we try to make it a point to involve our children in everything we do, so that as they grow, they grow into responsible young beings!  It doesn’t have to be anything huge, really!  When I’m cleaning the house, I’ll give my daughter a baby wipe and have her wipe down every handle in the house, or wipe spots she sees on the walls.  She’s too young to do things like actually clean toilets, but she likes being involved in the process.  My son has caught on to this as well!  He actually received a broom and dustpan for Christmas because the boy LOVES to sweep!  When we start cleaning or picking up the house, he runs to get his broom.  I love it!

As an elementary music teacher, I was shocked to discover my kids often don’t know how to fold a simple scarf!  So, for the first month of school, every child in my classroom learned to fold.  I had parents telling me at conferences how grateful they were I taught their child to fold.  Apparently, my little kindergarteners were folding laundry like it was going out of style with their new-found skill.  It only took five minutes out of my day to teach them something so simple.  We all have five minutes, right?

This week, I got my children involved in the kitchen.  We used Chef Boyardee Beef Ravioli in Tomato and Meat Sauce, apple pieces and cherry tomatoes to make a cute edible smiley face!  They LOVED them!  I let my daughter help decide what we should use for the hair and ears.  She came up with the idea of using the parmesan cheese as a nose and eye balls.  She’s so creative!  I pulled my son’s highchair close to the counter so he could see us arranging the plates.  He was so excited!

I used that same Chef Boyardee Beef Ravioli in Tomato Sauce to make a delicious baked casserole for dinner the next night the whole family loved!  I sautéed some green peppers and mushrooms with garlic and pepper.  I then added the 3 cans of the Chef Boyardee Beef Ravioli in Tomato Sauce, about 1/3 cup of Italian Bread Crumbs and ¼ cup of chopped fresh basil.  I put it all in a casserole dish, topped it with about ¼ cup more of bread crumbs and 1 cup of Shredded Mozzarella Cheese.  I baked it at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.  When I served it, I sprinkled on some chopped up green onions for some fresh crunch!  My daughter helped with the whole process.  She was very involved.  She was so proud to serve her daddy and brother the dinner she “helped mommy make!”

There are so many little ways you can involve your children in the everyday parts of life.  I challenge you to always find a “job” for them.  It can be something simple like holding a bag open for you when you’re raking leaves, or watering the flowers for you while you weed.  The point is, they are learning responsibility.  Keep your kids involved in everything you do, and when they get ready to leave the nest, you’ll know they’ll be just fine on their own.

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