When kids are young, dad is a superhero, but when they become teens, dad becomes an annoying old man. Cooking with dad isn’t cool anymore and the only interaction you get out of them comes from replies to texts and tweets. It’s time to try and reconnect with your teen and what better way to do it than through cooking. Whether you’re an old pro and want to pass on a little knowledge or a newbie looking for a partner in crime, you can do it and you’ll both be better for it.
Make It Something They Want
The first step in getting your teen interested in cooking with you is to make it something they like. Try your hand at their favorite food or dessert…from scratch. If they love chocolate chip cookies, then don’t make it from a tube or a kit. The goal is to have some one-on-one time with them and not 30 seconds of ingredient combining. Don’t try and get them to help with something that is not going to be something they want to eat. Meatloaf may be great for dinner, but it’s likely not something your teen is going to jump out of their skin to help you with.
Involve the Teen
If you simply ask your teen to help you in the kitchen and then do everything yourself, they’re not going to get much out of it. Instead, they’ll sit with their phone and text their friends about how lame you are. The goal is to do things together. Instead of mixing the ingredients yourself or simply lecturing, do it together. Keep the electronics out of the kitchen too. No DS, no cell phone, no tablet, no Vita, no nothing. If any of that is in the kitchen, then you’re going to lose them. All it takes is one text or one tweet and they’re off into the digital world.
Yes, They Do Enjoy It
They’re going to act like they hate it. They are going to whine and complain about it the entire time, but don’t let it get you down. They’re actually enjoying it, they just don’t want you to know that. Being a teenager is confusing and no matter how much they love and need you, they need to make it sound like they don’t. Don’t let it get to you, in 10 years they’ll bring it up in conversation and talk about how much they enjoyed spending time with you. Even though you may not be Superman any more, dad will always be someone they admire and want to be like.
If you want know more about teens cooking with dad, take a look at dadsthatcook.com and learn about every aspect of cooking.