Going through a divorce as a parent can put you and your child in emotional distress. After this experience, finding an activity in which you are able to bond with your child is something which can help heal emotional wounds from a divorce.
As a newly single parent, it is important to look after your child’s emotional well-being and make them feel better by creating a fun, productive activity for both of you to do together. Cooking can be incredibly useful for a child and they’ll learn skills they can carry into adulthood. Making meals together can also help create lasting memories for you and your child. Here are some tips to help make your child’s first cooking experience all the more enjoyable.
10 Tips for Bonding Through Food After Divorce
Your child may be emotionally distraught from going through a divorce, and having a single parent may also take some getting used to. Preparing meals together can help strengthen the bond between you and your child. Here are some things to consider when thinking about involving your child in the cooking process.
- Pull Out Old Recipes: Consider bringing out your family’s old recipes when cooking with your child. They can learn about their family’s history and will have classic recipes they’ll cherish forever. Cooking meals together using old family recipes is just one of the many ways children, parents and grandparents can build a closer bond with one another.
- Be Patient: When teaching your child to cook, you’ll need to make sure that you are being as patient as possible. Your child’s emotions will likely be all over the place after a divorce. so taking your time can help make this process less overwhelming for your them.
- Explain Instructions Carefully: Your child’s capacity to learn new things is important to take into account when explaining instructions. Go step-by-step and explain each task in a simplified, easy to understand manner.
- Make Your Kitchen Accessible: Your child will have to be able to navigate your kitchen with ease, so consider moving items around and rearranging appliances to make things easier. Give your child enough space to walk around and get used to a cooking environment. Making your kitchen organized and easy to maintain is easier than you may think. Keep drawers organized by setting cooking utensils in a designated area so it’s easier for your child to find them. By keeping cooking supplies organized, you’ll eliminate clutter from your kitchen and allow a smoother cooking experience for yourself and your child.
- Make Easy Meals First: A child’s first cooking experience may be stressful and difficult. Making meals which are easy to learn such as chicken noodle soup or grilled cheese will make the experience more enjoyable for your child. It will also help them learn cooking skills faster.
- Supervise Them Closely: Kitchens are full of potentially hazardous items, from warm stoves to sharp knives. Keep an eye on your child so they don’t burn or cut themselves. Make sure to keep a positive attitude in mind when teaching your child how to cook, as they may be nervous about the experience.
- Make Sure They Wash Their Hands: This may seem like a simple thing but it’s easy to overlook. Keeping your kitchen and food free of germs is essential. It is vital for everyone, especially kids, to wash their hands thoroughly before entering a cooking environment. Washing your hands is extremely important in keeping harmful bacteria away from your food.
- Make Things Fun: Just because you’re teaching your child something, doesn’t mean you can’t make things fun! Put on some of your child’s favorite music or keep a playful mood by making jokes as you’re cooking together. Laughter will make a potentially stressful task much more enjoyable for your child. This is why creating a light, fun atmosphere in your kitchen is so important.
- Consider Your Child’s Age and Ability: Keep in mind how old your child is and whether or not they’ll be able to perform the duties required to make the meal of your choice. You may want to take baby steps when teaching your child how to cook so as to not overwhelm them with so many things to do at once. Think about what they can or cannot do at their age and cook a meal according to their strengths and abilities.
- Make Sure They Wear the Right Attire: When cooking, especially for the first time, things are bound to get messy. Putting an apron on your child will help their favorite clothes stay clean, and it may get them more into the cooking mood. If they have long hair, consider putting a hairnet on them so strands of hair don’t fall into the food.
A divorce can be a challenging thing to accept for a child. If your child is still struggling with your divorce, you might also consider setting up an appointment with a specialist who can help them work through their feelings. School and family counselors can help bring your child back to their playful, happy self again.
Recovering from a divorce is never easy, and establishing a bond between you and your child after a traumatic experience like divorce is essential for their wellbeing. Cooking can be a wonderful bonding experience for you and your child, as it helps them build self-confidence and establish a stronger connection to a parent by learning valuable skills. Making meals together, and bonding through food, can help you and your child move forward from a divorce and create unforgettable memories.
Frankie Wallace is a freelance writer who contributes to a variety of blogs online. Wallace is a recent graduate from the University of Montana and currently resides in Boise, Idaho.