Allowing Your Kids to Take Part in the Festivities
Thanksgiving can be a lot of work, especially if you’re hosting a large group. You may think it’s easier to send the kids away while preparing for your guests; however, allowing them to help will prepare them for their future and could be a bonding experience you’ll treasure forever. While growing up, did your parents allow you to help in the kitchen? If they did, think about the memories and the impact that had on your life. Kids can help you prepare food, decorate, and even clean. If they’re old enough to walk and speak, they’re old enough to join in the tradition.
Everyone loves something thoughtful, so this year try having your kids design a special place card or placemat for each guest. This can be done before the big day and is a great way to ring in a new tradition. Personal notes written to each guest will provide a special touch. If your child is too young to write, a glue stick and pre-printed message will work, too.
While you’re in the mood for being festive, now would be a great time to decorate. Window clings, autumn scented candles, holiday soaps and towels allow everyone to get in the spirit of the holiday. It allows your kids to feel creative and helpful, boosting their self-esteem.
When it comes to food, assigning your children their own specific jobs will allow them to have a feeling of accomplishment that comes with contributing. This process begins with the planning and carries through at the store. Before shopping, try sitting down as a family and go over what should be on the menu. After this is decided, take the kids to help you find ingredients and start checking things off of the list. Once everything is purchased, you can begin the preparation. Simple things like washing celery and peeling potatoes can be a huge help, as long as you assign age-appropriate tasks. With your children as your number one prep team, you can truly embrace the moments that matter. Have your oldest children handle things that don’t require supervision and let the little ones measure, mix and decorate. While the food is cooking, everyone can help set the table. Before and after the finishing touches, don’t forget to take photos of the entire process.
As dinner comes to a close, the mess may seem overwhelming, especially after that huge dinner. This is a great opportunity to ask your children for a helping hand. If you clean as you go, while preparing the meal, the aftermath isn’t as stressful. Divvy up jobs, so everyone has a part. Once all the dishes are settled, trash is taken out, and the food is stored, it’s time to make a toast to honor your children for helping make everything come together. Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on what you’re thankful for, and this holiday season is a great time to include your children in your traditions.