How to get others to take responsibility. First, you have to be okay with them taking responsibility.
My little cupcake started preparing her own breakfast when she was two years old. We woke up one morning and she was not in her bed; she had already gotten dressed and went to the kitchen and was spreading nutella on sliced bread.
I admit, my first reaction was to reprimand her, “Ask before you touch!” Then I talked to my mom and she was like, “Are you crazy, everyone else wishes their kid would get excited about fixing their own breakfast.” That’s when I decided we needed to find a middle ground.
I retracted my reaction and explained that I hoped it wouldn’t scare her from doing it again, but that this time we would set ground rules. We started kitchen safety classes at home. Every time I would get something out of the cupboards, I would explain whether it was something she could also use on her own, or ask before she touched, or only with adult supervision, or not at all.
She has been assigned one under the counter cupboard where all of her breakfast food is kept. Bread, raisins, dried fruit, peanut butter, nutella, and melamine plates.
Later I would discover that the official term for this is risk management (thanks Andy) : weighing the real risk against the benefits of autonomy. For example, she only uses butter knives, and in two years she’s only cut herself once, and it was healed by the next day.
Today she’s four years old and some days she just plays and lets us dress her, but most days she gets out of bed fully rested with no alarm, dresses herself and begins preparing her breakfast while Mommy and Daddy are showering and getting ready in the morning. Sometimes it is as simple as giving permission.
Giving permission also means relinquishing control. She might make a mess. That is her mess to clean up. We’ll need to plan more minutes into our morning routine to accommodate that. The overall calm and cooperation is worth it.
Here is a recipe for homemade hazelnut praline spread. The recipe is amazing, it’s not your typical homemade nut-butter. Often copy-cat Nutella recipes fall short because our kitchen equipment will never produce a silky smooth spread. This gourmet recipe resolves that problem by adding praline which you expect to be lumpy bumps of caramel and suddenly you genuinely look forward to lumps.
There are two scientific processes that blew us away. We learned that sugar has a melting point just like water, but a higher point of course. So you begin by putting sugar in a pan to make caramel, no butter, no liquids of any kind. You raise the temperature slowly, and presto! liquid sugar. My husband, myself, and our neighbors were all puzzled, how is this supposed to work? But in fact, it worked beautifully.
The second science moment that was baffling was when you take the now harded-like-a-rock caramel and break it up and put it in the blender and whirl. And according to the instructions it would turn to liquid, at which point my hubby & I glanced at each other. Really? A solid in a blender is going to transform into a liquid just like that. Early on, the pulverized powder is wizzing around the blender and we’re seriously questioning the viability of this recipe. Sure enough, if you let it blend long enough it turns into a gorgeous liquid praline. So enjoy the ride and the multitude of science lessons along the way. This recipe tastes fantastic! We don’t buy Nutella anymore. The recipe fills three, 370 g, jelly jars.
Click the image for the recipe. Let Google translate the text for you, don’t forget to convert the temperatures from Celsius to Fahrenheit where it’s appropriate.