It started out like every morning. Boys wake up. Boys want breakfast. We have this routine in our house where the boys make their own breakfast every day for homeschool and they love it, but when it comes to the weekend they expect the works. This Sunday was no exception. When Papa Bear asked what they wanted for breakfast, it was a unanimous “PANCAKES”. But they didn’t just want us to make them. No. They were looking forward to cooking pancakes with Papa Bear.
Papa Bear’s reaction was priceless…
Nope. Sorry. I don’t do the “cooking with kids” thing. Mom does that.
Deflated and a little let down the boys went off to play.
It could have ended there. Boys go play. Papa makes pancakes.
Mom works on blog.
Instead, the story got really fun and interesting.
Building Family Connections with Morning Pancakes
Communication is the Key To Understanding
All it took was a little nudging and guidance from me and Papa Bear and the little bits were back in business. The conversation went something like this:
Me: Why can’t they cook with you?
Papa Bear: I am a little too OCD. I can’t handle the “Hey, lets cram everyone into a tiny space and argue over who is going to do each step.” It’s just too much for me.
Me: Would you be willing to do it if I set it up at the table, so there is enough room?
Papa Bear: Sure. (I’m not really sure how thrilled he was at this point, but he took the challenge.
You see, It wasn’t that Papa Bear didn’t want to cook with the kids. It isn’t that he was being difficult. He had a very valid reason for not wanting to make pancakes. In fact, if we had not had open communication, I would have never learned what he was thinking.
So often, I assume I understand why my children don’t want to do something. I make reasons up and never think to double check with them, the way I did with Papa Bear. I will make it a point to find out the “Why?” behind any resistance moving forward.
Maybe, they just need a little nudging and guidance, too.
No Two Parents are the Same
Papa Bear proceeded to, not only set up the ingredients at the table for more room; but, take it a step further. He carefully set out the bowls, pre-measured, pre-poured, and sorted into dry goods and wet goods. He put one group in front of Legoman’s seat. The other set in front of Bones’ seat. He set out three different whisks, one for each child and one for the mixture of the two sets. It was beautiful. It was so organized.
It was not how I do it at all.
And you know what? It worked perfectly. No arguing. Little mess. And everyone felt successful. Even Papa Bear.
I am learning that it doesn’t have to be how I do it. He didn’t have to follow my steps. Yes, the children will missed the math involved in measuring. They missed the turn taking lessons. They missed learning how to pour and scoop. But it doesn’t matter. I realized something much more important. Much like how Papa Bear and I set this up differently… no two learners are alike.
I will try my hardest to remember that when Legoman is going about his math a way I NEVER WOULD DO IT. Or Bones is doing “shenanigans.” I will try to remember that we are all learning in the way that make sense for us. And while we might not learn all of the same lessons at the same time…
We will learn.
Sometimes We Have to Try Something Uncomfortable
Papa Bear DID NOT want to cook with the kids. He did not want the hassle. He did not want the frustrations. But because he tried something he was uncomfortable with, and because we worked as a team, our family grew a little that day.
- They both got individual attention because they each had their own bowls, own ingredients, and own space.
- They developed language skills as they discussed the differences in textures between the dry and wet bowls.
- They were able to stay focused on the activity and not let space become the focus.
- They predicted what would happen when the two were mixed together.
- They experimented with ratio when the recipe called for 2 parts dry/ 1 part wet.
- They compared/contrasted when they had to try a different ratio.
- They learned trial and error is sometimes needed, even when following someone else’s instructions.
- They saw Papa Bear in a teaching role which is very important since I teach them all day.
- They were able to learn that taking the time to set up, measure and be prepared allows time to enjoy the activity.
- We all had delicious pancakes, while enjoying our family time peacefully.
Besides, Who Doesn’t Like Pancakes?
What family activity does your partner do differently than you do? What benefits do your children get from having someone do it differently than you?
I can’t wait to hear what you would like to see next. I am open to any and all suggestions. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram orsubscribe by email. I can’t wait to hear your ideas.
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