The other day my li’l Rosebug revealed to me that the reason she gets so angry with me when I tell her to do her schoolwork in a certain way is because she “…wants to do it her way!”. Well sometimes that is okay, but oftentimes, with schoolwork, it is not. There is usually an expected outcome at the end of the assignment. There may be more than one way to get to that end, but oftentimes, I was sorry to tell her, there is only one right way. 2 +2 must always equal 4.
Strong-willed is a very politically correct and positive term to describe her personality. But there are two sides to every coin, and I will have to say that her strong-will sometimes gets her in trouble. And God, in his ultimate wisdom, has brought her together with me. And I can be a bit strong-willed myself, especially in the area of our homeschooling. She wants to do it her way, and I want it done my way. Oftentimes our strong-wills clash in a very strong way!
But I do understand her feelings. And I appreciate her honesty in telling me how she feels. So I have vowed to try to find other opportunities to let do it her way whenever it is feasible. Not so much with schoolwork, but in other ways I am trying to give her some creative license. This weekend I bought her some little christmas crafts to work on, and I bit my tongue as she did them her way. I didn’t say a word when she broke the ear off the ceramic reindeer, or scraped all the black off of her scratch off art, or when she mixed up all the colors in her window hanging. She had fun doing it her way and that is what counts.
Another way that I have found to give her the much coveted creative license is through cooking. On the weekends I allow her to create and cook whatever she wants, within reason. Her first “experimental recipe” called for 4 cups of water, 2 eggs, and 2 cups of salt. I am sorry but I nixed that idea right out of the starting gate! Bob and I explained to her that when you are first starting out that it is best to start with something you are familiar with and just tweak the recipe a little. So she picked Top Ramen. She has never actually cooked Top Ramen before, but she has seen me cook it a few times. I always make her give me a “plan” of what she intends to do, so I can avert any total disasters, and she told me she was going to add olive oil, taco seasoning, and milk to her soup. Ooooookay! In the interest of giving her that creative license, I cringed bravely and let her loose in my kitchen. Bob and I stayed out of the room while our mad scientist was at work!
After she finished her Top Ramen challenge, I tried some (I am braver than Bob). I will admit that it wasn’t too visually appealing, but, truth be told, it wasn’t half bad! (Note to self, taco seasoning in Top Ramen is worth trying!)
The next weekend for dinner she tackled French Toast. She has helped me make that before, but this time she did it all by herself. She decided to add pomegranate juice and peanut butter powder to her eggs, milk and cinnamon-sugar batter.
Cooking it! I will admit I interfered and poured out the full cup of Olive Oil she had heating up in the pan before she ended up deep-frying her French Toast!
Again, needs a little work on visual appeal, but it tasted great! I ate several pieces for dinner. She was little afraid to try it herself, lol, but once I convinced her it really did taste good, she ate several pieces herself.
She has seen someone separating egg yolks from their whites, so she is determined to learn how to do that, too. I am very proud of her efforts.
Pretty good for a 7 year old, I think!
separating the yolk
I think that with time and practice she will become quite the young chef!
Side note – I am teaching her that in order to have the privilege of using our kitchen she has to clean up after herself. She is actually very good at that, until I caught her cleaning a pan with a diaper wipey! Yuck! Reteach! Reteach!
What cooking experiences have you had with your children? How much freedom do you give them and at what age?