As parents, many of us will send our kids off to play groups, nursery and then school. They’ll learn how to play, how to be sociable with others and then of course, the necessary academic skills. These days there are so many other activities, clubs, teams and organised events that children can go to.
If you’re anything like me, you also appreciate family time and do not relish the idea of spending your full weekend standing on the side lines watching whatever activity you happen to have scheduled in for your kids and let’s not even start on the rushing around after school to take your kids to clubs that they are too tired to even want to go to! Having said all of that, I do think building a skill set outside of school for your children is really important.
My children, who are 7 and 4, up until last summer had only ever been in a swimming pool for a splash around. I was conscious that lots of kids these days go to formal swimming lessons, which definitely wasn’t as popular when I was a kid. It was the parents’ job and then you got lessons at Junior School. My son will be starting school swimming lessons next year and I absolutely want him to be able to swim by the time he starts those lessons. This prompted us to sign both kids up to 1-2-2 sessions with Swim Time and 4 months in I can see the kids coming on leaps and bounds. No doubt my little boy will be able to swim by the time he starts school lessons and my daughter’s confidence in the water has grown so much. Result!
The reason I was so keen for my kids to do swimming lessons is because it’s a life saving skill, something I think everyone should be able to do. This did get me thinking about what other skills we teach our children or gently push them towards. My daughter is a little young for extra curricular clubs at the moment, she’s tired out enough with a week at school then swimming lessons but my son does a Judo class that he loves and was the only thing he ever showed any interest in attending. Destination Judo focus on building confidence in children and this was definitely what my little boy needed. He’d always been the shy, quiet one. Not something my daughter is ever going to struggle with. Ha!
It was only when the mother-in-law commented how great it was that we regularly bake and cook with the kids that I realised that we were teaching them a great life skill. Something that I’d taken for granted and assumed everybody did with their children but having spoken in passing to a volunteer at a Food Bank I know this simply isn’t the case and in fact some adults never cook for themselves. My kids both absolutely love to help in the kitchen and feel even more important in their personalised aprons by Arty apple. We moved on from basic biscuits and cupcakes a good while ago. Now the kids often make dough balls with garlic butter, home made pizzas, calzones and more recently we even attempted some scotch eggs, one of Daddy’s favourite treats. The kids love them too although I’m not sure you can still call them scotch eggs if you feed the egg to the dog and only eat the sausage!
When I think about it, I’m really proud of the fact that my children can virtually make themselves a meal (obviously I do any sharp knife requirements and they never go near the oven) but you get what I mean, they can prepare a pizza from scratch! That’s impressive for a 4 and 7 year old. Maybe the reason so many adults don’t eat well is because they don’t know how to cook meals for themselves?
Did you cook with your parents as a child? Do you cook with your own children? I’d love to hear what you make and even the mishaps. Let’s face it we’ve all had a kitchen disaster at some point!