A mom has revealed her toddlers cook themselves dinner and snacks—including using the stove.
The mom-of-two, who calls herself Laura Love online, has been sharing numerous videos to TikTok after teaching her children how to cook.
Love, who has a 3-year-old named Carter, and a 17-month-old named Jonah, revealed her elder son is able to use the stove and can whip up a range of dishes.
Love, thought to be from the U.S., has talked parents through how she slowly taught cooking skills to her boys, admitting it’s taken a lot of “patience.”
One of her most popular videos, shared a week ago, has been watched more than 12 million times.
In it, Jonah makes himself chopped banana on a slice of chocolate-covered bread, as Love talked followers through how she teaches him the basics.
“Every time I post a video of my 17-month-old preparing his snacks, so many of you ask how we get him started,” she said, as Jonah starts prepping his meal.
She explains: “If he’s having difficulty with something, I will model to him or use hand over hand one time to explain how it’s done, and then after that I just let him do his thing.
“It’s important to try not to fix what they’re doing. If I were to go in after and add more hummus or spread it out more that would give him the idea that his job wasn’t good enough. Which would defeat the purpose of trying to give himself confidence and independence.
“Before you do a task for your child, just stop and ask yourself, is my child able to do this on their own? More often than not they’re capable, so you should let them try.”
Her older son appears to be more advanced, and has moved on to using the stove—both the one in the kitchen and a small camping one.
Love bought a toy kitchen from Ikea, and added a portable water pump, connected to giant mason jars below, so the sink is operational.
As well as containers for their child-friendly cutlery, crockery and cooking equipment, Love also sets up the miniature camping stove for them to use, which she stressed is never done unsupervised.
In a separate video, Love shared more tips and advice for parents wanting to copy her teaching methods.
She said: “I started as soon as they were able to follow simple commands, such as can you pour this in the bowl. Every child is different but for mine it was around 14 months. When they’re that little you need to set up the environment and have everything pre-portioned in easy containers for a little one to hold.
“Making sure that bowls and utensils are toddler size is also very helpful. We started with simple tasks like pouring, scooping, mixing, shucking corn and buttering a pan. Start with simple recipes which don’t require heat like smoothies and parfaits. You could also use hand over hand until their coordination is a little better.
“Before my three-year-old ever touched a stove I made sure he knew the danger that comes with it. We did test runs with the stove off and I made sure he knew to touch the handle and not the pan. If he touched the pan I corrected him and after that we moved to low heat.
“Of course I’m always there to keep an eye on him and make sure he’s being safe. For those of you who are saying they should be playing with toys instead, just know this is something they truly enjoy and it’s never forced. And of course use your best judgment on what your little one is and isn’t ready for.”
Her videos show numerous spills and mess caused in the process, as she added: “It’s a very slow process that involves patience, consistency and lots of messes. I didn’t just let my kid have at it with the stove.”
But her patience has paid off, as other videos show Carter—wearing an apron and a chef hat—peeling and chopping potatoes, boiling them and then mashing them, adding milk and butter to get a creamy consistency.
Then gets peppers which he washes and chops, before frying them up with some sausages and onions and seasoning everything.
Another video shows him making mac ‘n’ cheese, boiling the pasta, adding butter and sauce, before washing up all the utensils and dishing himself out a bowl.
“My three-year-old made himself some lunch. The stove is put away and not accessible when he isn’t using it. Always supervised,” Love captioned the video.
Numerous parents have commented on Love’s videos, praising her technique, as Jay said: “Too many people rush to help their children without giving them a chance to solve problems on their own. I think that you were doing an amazing job.”
Rheanna.Graver noted: “He’s more independent than my father.”
Lashane Gayle Cummin simply said: “Parent goals.”
Sewsummer raved: “I love this! After finding your videos I’ve decided to make my son a functional kitchen and regain my patience. Thank you for showing the messy too.”
Newsweek has reached out to Love for a comment.
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