Heard on the Street

Here’s a MOAT story from a mom who has been dutifully spreading the kitchen love to her able-body daughters. I just loved it. Not only the empowering work part… but the complete disaster that ended up being a great (memorable) lesson. It’s not only about making the kids work, but not hovering … letting them succeed, but also make a few mistakes.

Thanks for sharing!!… and thanks for walking the road with me.


Hi Kay,

It was good to see you this morning and to be able to recount my story:

With your challenge to give our children more hands-on responsibility, I decided to let my girls cook dinner once a week together. It's worked out quite well, and they've learned to work together, despite a few challenges. They've had to learn how to work out differences, alternate and let each person decide the menu (and not just the oldest one telling the younger one what she wants to cook), and divide the tasks evenly on the glamourous vs. less glitzy jobs.

This past week, I had to run out to meet a client, but the girls were all set to make tacos. I've told them repeatedly never to leave the kitchen while cooking, especially when something is on the stove or in the toaster oven--items that need constant attention. The older one put taco shells into the toaster oven and waited. In the meantime, the younger one found something especially interesting to show her sister from the den (probably on TV), so older daughter left.

Did I mention the toaster oven was still on? 

My husband, who works from home and who is right next to the kitchen, walked by and saw flames coming from the toaster oven. Thankfully, he put it out and called in the girls. I believe at this point he read them the riot act. (Disclaimer: Husband is the most mellow and laid back human ever, but I believe he came unglued because the toaster oven was next to our new refrigerator. We've been using the one in the garage, but that's another story).

When I returned a mere two hours later, the house smelled like smoke, soot and a fire. I didn't even want to know what happened. But alas, older daughter told me what happened. Dad had already doled out the consequences:

-No iPod touch for at least a week
-No TV
-Replacement of toaster oven

Oldest daughter wrote an apology note and put $50 in it to pay for a new toaster oven.

I tucked both girls in bed that night, and my oldest said, "Mom, in 20 years we'll be laughing about it." 

I reminded her about babysitting our cooking, especially when you need to watch over items cooking carefully. I believe she really won't forget to do this in the future. 

1. Sometimes the most impactful lessons you learn best are the ones you learn through your mistakes. 
2. Although we love and forgive our children and give them grace, there still is a consequence to making mistakes. 
3. The girls will still continue to cook, although we will be better about supervising! 

Thanks for letting me share.

Best regards,

Pin It on Pinterest