We’ve officially stepped into the vortex of spring: baseball games and school activities collide with daddy’s schedule and we’re left spinning, trying to keep our feet firmly planted.
Have you been there?
One evening this week we were left without dad to help with the grilling, so I bravely asked my (nearly) 10 year-old to stand in.
He was thrilled.
We both went outside and examined the grill. I turned on the propane tank and struck a match. He reminded me that I should always have a glass of water on hand in case of flare-ups.
Good to know.
And then I left him: alone with the meat, alone with the flipper, alone with the grill.
Funny how helping mom make dinner is infinitely more exciting when he has a hand with the protein.
Funny how much more smoothly things go when mom can focus on the fruits and veggies without having to run outside every-other minute to check on flames and heat.
I’ve found that our son not only enjoys helping with these “big” jobs, but finds pride in doing so. He also moseyed on into the kitchen to chat, give me updates, and explain his techniques. You won’t find me complaining about extra time to talk or the fact that I might have the next Bobby Flay on my hands.
Allowing our oldest to stretch his wingspan, if you will, has built responsibility and encouraged selflessness by prompting him to offer to help.
So how can you engage your growing son in tasks that will develop him and teach him skills?
- Teach him how to mow the lawn. Use precaution and don’t be lackadaizical by letting him mow barefoot and without you in the house–of course. But still, let him try. Your husband will love you if he comes home to one less thing to do!
- Invite him to “man” the grill. It’s great if dad is around to provide some instruction, but even if he’s not, your son will feel like a celebrity. Just remember to keep that glass of water nearby.
- Ask him to wash the car. Extra credit if he vacuums the inside, too.
- Trust him with a knife and a fresh bell pepper: your dinner will be finished in no time! PS: cilantro is more difficult. I recommend a scissors :)
- Place your supper devotions in front of him every once-in-awhile. Some of you may have strong feelings about dad leading devos, which I understand, however we’ve found better comprehension, heightened engagement when our son reads after dinner. The reading practice doesn’t hurt, either!
- Instruct him on laundry basics. If the bottle of detergent is new and heavy, I’ll quite often add the soap to our machine and walk away, only to ask the kids to separate and start the load. Small steps are better than none! (They do know how to measure soap, but those Costco bottles can be cumbersome!)