Housekeeping,  Parenting

5 Tips to Encourage Young Homemakers

I strive to make homemaking enjoyable for my daughter—and she loves it! In fact last Saturday when I picked up the vegetables for beef stew, she said, “I call dibs on the onions!” Then she followed up with, “I call dibs on the celery!”

Did I argue—uh.. no! It’s really cute how she insists on cooking whenever she can, and looks at it like her God-given right to be in the kitchen. Not that I mind. 🙂

In addition to having fun in the kitchen, my husband and I have purchased tools for her so that she will have a sense of belonging when it comes to homemaking. We started doing this when she was about 11. At twelve years old she got her own food processor. Even buying small things like her own potato peeler or recipe book has been a way of encouraging her in this field. The same holds true for other areas of the home, like laundry for example. If a child has their own shelf in the laundry room it can give them a sense of belonging and a desire to work there.

Because she loves being in the kitchen so much, Maddy will often ask if she can make dinner. If she does, I don’t complain about her choice or try to meddle in her work. There were some days where she made us nachos and bean dip, and we happily accepted it as if we were guests in her home.

The other day she offered to make mashed potatoes for supper. That was it—mashed potatoes. I happily accepted her offer, and then when she was busy at her work I went in the kitchen and offered to contribute to her meal. She loved that idea. So I threw some sausages in the oven and warmed up some vegetables.

Yeah, I know I’m talking about my daughter here, and you might be asking yourself, “What about the boys?”

As far as my boys as concerned, they love having fun in the kitchen, but they aren’t as passionate about cooking as Madison is. Sure they’ll get up on the cupboard and roll dough once in a while (wink), or hammer out my rouladin, but since each of them are unique they naturally have different paths to pursue.

For Nathaniel it’s gardening. We can be sitting outside together, suddenly he’ll grab a pair of gloves and start picking weeds. We gave him his own patch of land to garden last year (which is barely three feet square), but he likes the fact that it’s a place of his own. And for Graham–his passion is eating Madison’s cookies!

Whatever their passion and whatever the spark, it’s fun to encourage young homemakers, isn’t it? If you are looking for tips for encouraging yours, here are five tips for thought:

  1. Don’t expect perfection. Young homemakers won’t be perfect, so don’t expect or demand it. Does it really matter if the spaghetti sauce is too thick or if the hem on a skirt is crooked? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder so try to see things through her eyes.
  2. Give them a sense of ownership. Any small things that you can do like giving your daughter her own apron or giving your son a few tools, helps to give them a sense of ownership.
  3. Make housekeeping fun. There are days when my children fight to help me with dinner. I have added extra potato peelers to my kitchen because all of the kids want to help peel potatoes. The older ones love cutting vegetables and the boys love hammering steak or whisking a sauce.Dinner time has always been a fun time of preparation. I’ve always treated making dinner as my responsibility, and they are welcome to help.
  4. Offer inspiration. My daughter received a sewing machine for Christmas and shortly after we went for a tour of my sisters sewing room. Seeing the potential of one sewing machine inspired Maddy to further pursue the craft. Inspiration comes in all forms. In fact my son was inspired to organize his bedroom when he saw his brother’s new apartment.
  5. Teach them biblical principles that show them why we should care for the things that we have. God has created all things and everything that we have is a gift from Him. We take care of those things to show our appreciation of His gift. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Ghost, we know that, but how are we keeping up the grounds surrounding the temple? When people come to visit, what do they see? Do they see order and appreciation? Or a life that lacks moderation and self control? These are just some of the reasons we keep a good home.The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. ~ Genesis 2:14, NIV

You are loved by an almighty God,

Darlene Schacht

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