Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Everyone Has a Job To Do!

I'm always looking for ways to save time and/or money in the kitchen, so it's a pretty sure thing that you are, too, which is where kitchen tips come in. They may not be about cooking but they do have to do with the kitchen or eating. I wrote this one on my other blog a while back and thought it deserved it's own spot on my cooking blog, too!

My kitchen tip will save you (and me!) lots and lots of time cleaning up. Right now, in this particular season in your life, you may some little ones hanging on to your skirt as you try to move around the kitchen, getting a meal together or cleaning after preparing a meal. But, this season will not last forever, and those little cuties have a way of growing up really fast. In fact, it seems like only yesterday my own daughters were toddlers. Now my own daughter has a toddler of her own. Where has the time gone?

As our children get older, we moms should be doing ourselves a huge favor and teaching our children how to do things in the kitchen, and not just when we are there to supervise. As my own daughters grew, they each had a job to do, such as, helping to prepare the food, setting the table, clearing the table after we ate, washing dishes, putting dishes away, wiping down the counter, and other kitchen work. Most of the time, the above activities were a group effort and I would usually be there to make sure it was done correctly. I think most of us do things this way, especially if we have more than a couple of kids who are old enough to do any of these chores.

Even a toddler loves to help. Although my 16-month-old grand daughter isn't helping very much in the kitchen yet, she is learning to pick up her toys. She also helps her mommy by throwing away her little sister's diapers, and she loves to help put wet laundry into the dryer. We also give her a cloth so that she can "dust" and "clean." As she gets older, she will be learning to do more things and gaining more responsibility so that her mommy and daddy aren't still doing these things for her when she is in her teens! :/

But, I think we know when these skills that we have taught our children have really stuck and taken hold when we moms aren't there to make sure it gets done. It's when your daughter comes home at an unexpected hour from work and makes herself something to eat and when she is done, there is no evidence that she was ever in the kitchen. On the other hand, is there a gooey peanut butter and jelly knife stuck to the counter, with the peanut butter and jelly still left out? Or how about greasy splatters on the stove from the hamburger that was fried in the pan and the oily pan is sitting in the sink waiting for YOU to wash it? And, how about that microwave? You know, when the last person to use it didn't bother to put anything over the food and the top of the microwave is splattered with hardened, crusty food?

So, my Kitchen Tip for this week is to be consistent with your kids about their clean-up skills in the kitchen. When you come in from the grocery store, expecting the kitchen to be clean so that you are free to put away your food because your kids know that they always clean up after themselves, it just makes life easier. And, when it isn't done, calling them to the kitchen and having them get the job done right even though they were having such a good time playing outside. It's hard to look like the mean mom but it will be worth it later, I promise.


Mom said...

I don't know how I reaised such a good daughter to be a wonderful Mom, I'll never know. Love ya, Mom

Mom said...

oops! you should always proof your work, lol!