How many of you would let your 5 year old cook scrambled eggs from start to finish (INCLUDING the cooking on the stove part)
How many of you would let your 16 year old prepare and file their own taxes? Or your 12 year old change a tire all by themselves?
Guess what? I assure you that most children (barring children with developmental delays) are PERFECTLY capable of doing ANYTHING that you:
1. Expect of them
2. Prepare, teach, and TRAIN, them to do
3. and most importantly TRUST them to do!
I taught my older 2 kids how to cook eggs when they were 5 and 6! All it took was a DESIRE for them to learn (they showed intense interest and begged and begged to help until finally I said, "you know what? You can do this yourself. I'll show you.") And then several lessons proceeded until I felt confident in their abilities....
and now they cook them all by themselves!
They know how to set and maintain the heat on the stove, they know how to lubricate the pan with butter or oil, when to put the eggs on, they know how and when to flip the eggs, and they are both incredibly careful with their safety rules and they even willingly clean up their mess! After a couple years of egg making they are by far the best breakfast chefs in the house!
Nicholas Day posted an incredibly article about trusting in your child's capabilities. And guess what he does? He let's his toddler help chop food in the kitchen! Imagine how trusted, capable, and independent that child must feel!
A long time a go I created a printable that goes hand in hand with this article.
It's about teaching your children how to be independent and gives a very handy list of things they should/could learn by age group. In my family we slowly go through these items one by one throughout the year. They decide which one they want to work on (because interest and desire are key to fully integrating said concept into their brains/lives) and when they are done with their years list, we celebrate their independence, maturity, and capabilities with a one on one mommy/daddy date!
So... I'm curious.... what do YOU think your children are capable of and how do you show/incorporate it?