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Teaching kids responsibility while having fun: Cooking breakfast

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My son Emir turned 9-years-old a couple of days ago. He’s a smart and handsome boy with Down syndrome, and he truly enjoys helping at home and doing his best every day.

This past Sunday, he greatly surprised me by offering to help me cook breakfast. That’s not an easy task but I saw in his eyes his desire to demonstrate to me how creative and caring he can be for his sister and me.

“What are we having for breakfast?” I asked him. “Eggs, of course,” he replied. And then, we started.

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He organized his tools and brought his little kitchen stool up to the counter to be high enough to do his work. He counted out the five eggs we needed and carefully broke them, one by one, into a little orange bowl. I was surprised as I watched his care as he broke them so precisely.

After beating the eggs and adding some salt, he brought me one fresh, white ear of corn, a tomato and some cheese. “Really? Are you adding corn to your omelet?” He said yes. So, I removed the corn from the cob, peeled the tomato and cut into pieces. Suddenly, his crazy idea started looking delicious.

With the help of a fork he mixed the ingredients. After everything was blended, we poured the mix onto the hot skillet that was previously sprayed with some olive oil.

We covered it and let it cook slowly for 15 minutes.

The outcome was better than I could have ever expected! Simply beautiful and delicious. Healthy and nutritious. Emir was proud and ate his creation with a big smile as did I and, of course, his sister.

This may look like a simple, everyday breakfast improvisation, but it means so much more for us. This means Emir is learning to be independent. He’s taking his own risks and he’s excited about learning, trying and discovering his abilities. He´s not scared of making mistakes, but is instead excited about discovering his abilities, the taste of his creations and the power of his determination.

What looks so simple today, in the form of a family breakfast, is actually a big door that opens to self-esteem and self-satisfaction in the future, while living and loving each and every day with special needs.

This is a great way for teaching your kids responsibility, while having fun.

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