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4 Reasons to Let Your Kids Play Mom on Mother's Day

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bonniemuffinsI thought that the first Mother's Day after my mom passed away would be the worst. But now that we've moved onto the second year, I realize that it doesn't matter which anniversary it is. The reality is that she's still not here and that will never change.

While combing through rows of cards at the store recently, I overheard someone saying, "These Hallmark holidays annoy me -- they're just random, commercial dates that force people into buying presents." But for me, Mother's Day has always been special.

In our house, this particular Sunday meant that I had to stay upstairs in my bedroom until the "surprise" was ready for me. Little did my kids know that the clanging of pots and pans and the aroma of fresh-baked muffins easily gave away the once-a-year feast they planned.

I always believed that the kitchen and supermarket were two invaluable classrooms where kids could learn lessons for life. The majority of the time, I played the role of teacher in those classrooms, orchestrating the recipes and family menus. But on Mother’s Day — the kids ruled. The countertops were often doused in flour and it seemed there were more ingredients outside of the pantry than in it.

But Mother’s Day is the day thatmesses need to be ignored so that the more importantmessages rise to the top:

  1. Let them shop. If you’re preparing a special meal with them, let your kids be in charge of holding (and perhaps crafting) the shopping list. Let them tell you which items to put into the cart with the understanding that if their urge is for junk, they may get overruled. This is a special day though, so perhaps a few of those ‘sometimes’ foods could be welcomed. A trip to the store is a great opportunity to explain why some foods are better than others; it’s a chance to compare labels, and plan how the bounty in your cart will be woven into your exciting day ahead.
  2. Let them cook. You don’t have to be an iron chef to teach your kids the essentials about how to throw together a few ingredients to create a delicious dish. Keep a few easy recipes handy so they can take a whirl at creating something without your help. If your children are young, be sure to include recipes that don’t require the use of knives or a stovetop and if they want to play in the kitchen without your help…be sure that someone like dad is around to oversee the operation.
  3. Let them create a tradition. In our busy lives while we multitask and rush through each activity, we miss out on the importance of creating a moment that will become a memory forever. Connecting in the kitchen on this day can be magnetic and attach to many other days like it where you can share much more than a meal. Families that eat together share essential conversations, with the table acting as a welcome mat for discussing the ups and downs of our daily lives.
  4. Let them honor your mother and grandmother. If you have a special recipe that was passed down to you, this day is a perfect time to cook or bake this unique dish. Tell your children a story about when you first tasted this meal and why it is so meaningful to you. Make a photocopy of the recipe and give it to each of them to put away, with the hope that they will recreate it at another time.

I know I’ll be making cheese blintzes — a dish my mom perfected. Although her recipe became mine, blintzes became a family project -- and we never pulled out this recipe without her being there to supervise. Until now.

I’m excited to see what my kids have in store for me this year. As they have grown, their cooking skills have blossomed along with my pride in them for appreciating the importance of blending nutritious and delicious on the same plate. These days, they are teaching me.

I wish you all a Mother’s Day surrounded by those that reside in your home and your heart.

Last Updated:5/8/2015
Important:The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not Everyday Health.
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Date: 04.12.2018, 17:45 / Views: 71335