Parent waiting patiently and passively assisting child cooking in kitchenFind out whether your level of patience measures up when it comes to empowering your children in the kitchen and in life.

It’s no secret that it’s easier to do something ourselves than take the time to teach someone else. Nobody knows this better than a parent of young children trying to make dinner. Sure, there are things our little ones can help us with in the kitchen, but our sous chefs are likely to dawdle, spill and do it their way. So we don’t only need patience with the process; we need patience with the results. And that’s a tall order.

These five questions will help you determine if your patience level measures up:

  1. Do you rearrange the dishwasher after someone else has loaded it?
  2. Do you rearrange tableware after your child has set the table?
  3. Do you clean up after your children as they’re making a mess?
  4. Do you insist your children do household tasks in a certain order?
  5. Do you control more details than is necessary for a good-enough outcome?

If you said, “Yes,” to three or more of these questions, then you have some work to do to increase your patience and decrease your need to control. This is easier to accomplish if you believe that a child’s participation at home will empower her in the world. How could it not?

If your daughter can safely make mistakes alongside of you then she’s likely to tackle challenging tasks at school and beyond. Kids who feel like contributors have more confidence and competence. They’re more likely to carve out a spot for themselves rather than wait to be asked. It takes patience to celebrate participation over perfection but this short-term adjustment will yield big and lasting results.

Why not ask your little ones to help out in the kitchen this week and let us know how it goes? We’d love to hear from you at