It was in July that my elder son asked my opinion about which online hobby class he should pursue as part of his school curriculum. Me and my husband normally ask our kids to look at the options themselves and make a choice on their own. We try to limit our role to an advisory and on need basis only, unless I feel they really need our help and honest opinion to decide for them. Not only does this makes the kids feel more empowered, but they also take more responsibility as the decision was made by them.
My son wanted to opt for cooking (non-stove) as a hobby. He has interest in learning new recipes and thanks to lockdown, he has been really helping us out in the kitchen work as well. We encouraged him to pursue the same as that was his interest area.
After the third class, I casually checked with him if he was enjoying the classes. As was evident he was loving the classes. He always look forward to the next class and makes sure that all the ingredients are available or procured well in advance and neatly arranged in a tray before the class. He would focus on presentation and lay out the finished items on serving trays for us and take photographs. Above all, and to my great satisfaction, he also cleans up the table after he is done with his routine in each class.
Once I asked him how many boys were there in the class. He shared there were seven boys out of a class strength of fifteen. The fact that nearly fifty percent (46.67 percent to be precise) of the class population for a cooking class comprised of boys made me happy and proud.
During a recent event in my apartment, a “cooking without fire” competition was held for children. This year my son was eagerly looking forward to it and participated for the first time. He had made three dishes independently (carrot ladoos, pudding and biscuit sandwich) in the allotted time. In his category, he won the first prize. This achievement of his made us all very proud. He was very excited about this and was encouraged to continue with this hobby.
Children’s education goes beyond going to school. Considering both boys and girls pursue the education and work shoulder to shoulder later in their career, it is important that they both learn this important life skill (as I would like to call it :)). As boys learn these things, they can appreciate the efforts of those that do this and share responsibility without making a big deal about this.
I see hope for the future generation and am proud to contribute in my own little way. I am hopeful that we will one day reach a stage when there is no need to write a blog on this topic and cooking skills become a norm for all children irrespective of gender.
By the way, while my son is experimenting and evolving his culinary skills, the side benefit is the tasty ladoos and puddings we get to relish!
This blog was first published here: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/blogs/beyond-stories/cooking-and-boys/