Every morning since the pandemic began, I’ve woken up to my youngest son coming in demanding breakfast. “And make it snappy!” So I pull on my slipper socks and trudge to the kitchen while he barks out orders and moans if we don’t have what he wants. One morning, as I sipped my coffee and studied this situation from a more removed perspective (my back deck) two things occurred to me: 1) I need to set things up so this kid can make his own breakfast 2) I should probably read a parenting book or ten. Read on to see how to organize a breakfast station for your kids to give yourself a break, and if you want a parenting book that’s worked for us for at least a week, check out Parenting with Love and Logic.
Before I tell you about the breakfast station, can I just say that I’m a huge fan of anything that helps me read more? Basically, the way the I want to wake up each day is with two cups of hot coffee and uninterupted quality time with my book or journal. Here’s what I’m reading right now. The only problem is when you’re the mom, you can’t really have that. Or can you? Hmmmm.
Enter the Toast Station:
My kids like a simple breakfast of toast and jam or frozen waffles, and I realized that I was over-complicating the process by putting things out of their reach. I thought, why not set it up in a way that empowers the to make breakfast themselves and clean up when they are done? Here’s how to do it:
Create a zone:
Put everything your kids need to make their breakfast within their reach. This wasn’t possible with some things we like to keep refrigerated like juice/smoothies, so I put a step-stool in the drawer. Yes, it does take up a lot of space, but it’s worth it. Now they can reach things in the refrigerator too! As a bonus, I made space in this pull out directly below the toaster by relocating all of our now unused school/work lunch packing supplies.
Sell, Show + Safety:
After I set up the station, I introduced them to it, and got them all jazzed to use it. Selling them on it is key! Everyone wants to use something that seems like it was created just for them. Then I walked them through the entire process and showed them how to make both of their breakfasts of choice. We also talked about toaster safety and practiced using it.
Explain the expectations for clean up, and walk them through that process too. My boys took a lot of pride in making and cleaning up their breakfast. This new responsibility and skillset gave them confidence and choices! I think Parenting with Love and Logic would approve. Now I just need to show them how to do the laundry!
If you want more, you might also like my post The Miracle Morning!