Sunday, May 20, 2007

not allowed in the kitchen

And little boy stands on the other side of the stairgate and cries...

"i don't like sam in there when i am cooking for safety reasons."

I'm trying to think what they could be. Sharp knives? Give child one of those ancient blunt little kitchen knives we somehow all have one or two of, which hardly cut anything, and have him help you chop the veggies?

Dangerous objects in low cupboards? Either move them higher and safe things lower, or get those cupboard fasteners from mothercare

Kettle lead? Attach it to the wall so child can't pull boiling water on their head

Hot pans? I learned at my mother's knee to keep the pan handles tucked inwards so you can't pull them off the cooker

I don't think it's ever too soon to teach your child about hot rings and hot water in safe ways - putting a ring on and holding them far enough away to be safe but close enough to feel the heat, and explaining "hot", or whatever. candles are very good for learning about heat.

In your situation I'd be finding ways of making it possible for my child to come in the kitchen safely - because there's going to come a time when no part of the house is a no-go area, so why not work out how to make that possible as soon as you can? - and I'd be finding really cool things to amuse them safely while they are in there. Some salt and flour and food colouring and water? (make his own playdough) or a basin of water and some plastic mugs for pouring at the sink (And when itgoes on the floor, you just mop it up and feel smug because you mopped your kitchen unlike the rest of us)

"i don't want sam wandering or playing the kitchen period, so he has to learn
this, it is a boundary or rule i am setting him. i am happy for him to have his
own way on lots of things but not the kitchen. this is just my choice to keep
him out of harms way"
He thinks you're wrong about that. That's why he cries.
He might be right.


Anonymous said...

This is one of my real bugbears - not allowing children to learn safety for themselves. It's the same with blocking off the stairs so they can't learn to climb them safely. The huge danger with this way of parenting is that the minute you forget to shut the door/stairgate and toddler finds his way into the out-of-bounds area he has no idea what is safe and what is not and, unsupervised, could cause himself no end of harm.

Our children have free run of the house; we have a few locked cupboards but most of our low level cupboards are stocked with safe things. The children frequently sit up on the counter while we cook, helping put chopped vegetables into the pan for us - of course we have talked at length about the dangers of sharp knives/scissors and, as they're not stupid, don't put their hands in the way of the knife! We have no complaints from them when we suggest they give us back the knife they've managed to find because of it's sharpness - no need to have 'rules' in place as they understand the point of them IYSWIM. They wouldn't understand if they never had any exposure to them!

emma said...

Free run - I couldn't agree more.

I DO see the value of, say, having a stairgate for the period while child learns about doing stairs safely, but with lots of opening the stairgate and climbing up and down together - like a climber using a rope before they are ready to solo. But not as a long term solution.

Anonymous said...

Excelent ideas, Emma, as always.

Even if it was this ladies choice to keep him out of the kitchen way she should know that:

- It's not the kitchen that is too dangerous for her son, as many other parents have their children safely with them in the kitchen. It's her own inability to cope with the situation.

- Fair enough if she is too phobic to deal with a child in the kitchen, it's still her responsability of not having her son alone and distressed in another room.