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This Boy’s Mom Felt Guilty for Being Too Busy To Make Dinner. But Then —

Ever feel terrible for being so busy you have to “neglect” your kids? Read on! This story comes to us from Krista Whipple, who lives with her husband and three children in Southern Utah. She is a Montessori theatre teacher and graduate student working on her Master’s in School Counseling. She’s also an artist, writer, nature lover, and Free-Range parent:

Zoom was eating my life.

I’m proud to have considered myself a Free-Range/Let Grow parent from the very beginning.

My kids have been helping in the kitchen since they were toddlers, and by second grade they could all do basic things on their own like scramble eggs, bake cookies, and chop veggies (with a sharp knife even!).

I’m currently a graduate student, and this summer I had to take several intensive classes with a heavy schedule. This meant that two days a week I was in class from 8am to 8pm! “Intensive” was an understatement!

Oooh, the guilt.

One evening, on one of those long days, my 11-year-old son came into my Zoom cave and asked what was for dinner. I still had 3 hours of class left so I told him to just go find something in the kitchen. I figured he’d probably eat cereal for dinner, and I’d go to bed trying not to feel too guilty about that.

Well, about 30 minutes later, he came back to my room to deliver a full plate of tacos he’d made himself! He’d seasoned and cooked the beef, chopped up the veggies, grated the cheese, baked the shells, and made up his own signature sauce from scratch to top it all off! He even made enough for his siblings so they didn’t starve too.

Wait — you know how to do this?

It was actually delicious, and not just in the “delicious for a beginner” way. It was really good! He’s now in charge of making family dinner by himself one night a week, and his cooking skills are getting better and better every time.

So if any parents reading are still looking for a reason to give their kids some independence, you should consider it might just result in your kid making you an amazing dinner on a busy night without being asked. I know I’m 100% SOLD!  — Krista

NOTE: If you take Krista’s cue and have your kids start doing some new things on their own, for gosh’ sake, enter our Let Grow Independence Challenge! Send us a photo or video of your kid doing something independently and they could win $300. Send us YOUR story of stepping back and you could win $100! ENTER HERE. Deadline: Aug. 14.


Krista Whipple





2 Responses to This Boy’s Mom Felt Guilty for Being Too Busy To Make Dinner. But Then —

  1. Common sense August 8, 2023 at 5:49 am #

    My kids made dinner at least once a week each. They got to experiment, within reason. It’s called raising adults, not perpetual children.

  2. LGB August 10, 2023 at 11:05 am #

    I haven’t checked in with this blog for a long time – happy to see it still up and running!

    I remember once coming home from an exhausting, 2.5-hour drive to find my daughter, age 10, and son, age 7 clad in aprons. They led me over to a beautifully set dining table and served some bow-tie tie pasta with marinara that they had prepared – yes, they even lit the candle! Kudos to my husband for stepping back, letting go of perfectionism, and allowing them to take charge.